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Message from the Dean

Message from the Dean
Ralph V. Clayman, M.D., discusses goals for UC Irvine Health School of Medicine.

Ralph V. Clayman, M.D., an innovative leader in urology and minimally invasive surgery, became dean of UC Irvine Health School of Medicine in December, 2009. Since he assumed the post, he has worked with the faculty to invigorate the academic, research and clinical missions of the School of Medicine.

When Clayman came to UC Irvine in 2002 to start its Department of Urology, he already was a prolific researcher and pioneer in minimally invasive techniques that have revolutionized kidney and urinary tract surgical procedures and dramatically improved patient outcomes. The department is consistently ranked among the nation's top 50 in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Hospitals" issue. Many of the department's doctors are rated nationally among the best in their field. UC Irvine is now a major center for minimally invasive robotic and laparoscopic surgery, and is home to the first mini-residency program for teaching urological surgeons the latest techniques.

Clayman came to UC Irvine from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was professor of surgery and radiology and medical director of the Midwest Stone Institute. There he and his colleagues pioneered techniques in less invasive therapies for kidney stones and performed the world's first removal of a tumor bearing kidney using a laparoscope. They subsequently expanded the technique to include a broad variety of renal surgery for cancer and benign disease.

Clayman has invented more than a dozen devices for performing minimally invasive surgical procedures. His laboratory studies are directed at the use of cryotherapy for treating renal cancer and other minimally invasive technologies to improve patient outcomes.

"I am honored and invigorated by this opportunity to promote the excellence of the School of Medicine and its superb medical campus to the Orange County community and beyond," Clayman said when he became dean.