Steven L. Kunkel, Ph.D., is executive vice dean for research in the Medical School and chief scientific officer for Michigan Medicine, effective Sept. 1, 2019. He serves the faculty as the Endowed Professor of Pathology Research and the Peter A. Ward Distinguished University Professor.
Kunkel has a long and robust history with the University of Michigan. He has served in various leadership and administrative positions, including interim associate vice president for research; associate dean for interdisciplinary studies, Horace H. Rackham Graduate School; interim dean of the Rackham Graduate School; interim vice provost for academic affairs; and co-director of Departmental Research, Department of Pathology.
His research interests have centered on assessing molecular mechanisms of lung inflammation by studying cytokine and chemokine biology. His studies are internationally recognized and have provided a more clear understanding of how these proteins participate in the initiation, maintenance, and resolution of acute and chronic lung. His research group has provided evidence for specific cytokine phenotypes that dictate the progression of particular chronic diseases.
His impact in the field of immunology and inflammation can be effectively demonstrated in a variety of ways: He has co-authored more than 600 peer-reviewed manuscripts, contributed more than 60 chapters to different books in his field, served as the editor for four books, presented more than 150 lectures as a visiting professor/lecturer in the past 10 years, maintained continuous funding of multiple National Institute of Health grants for a number of years, including the principal investigator of a program project to study lung inflammation and a recipient of a previous NIH MERIT Award, served on National Institute of Health peer review study sections, organized numerous international conferences on inflammation, and is an associate editor for various professional scientific journals. He is the present co-chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the NIAID-NIH.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in microbiology and served his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Connecticut Health Center. He joined the University of Michigan Medical School faculty in 1980, and served as senior associate dean for research in the Medical School since 2007.