As senior associate dean for research, Steven L. Kunkel, Ph.D., provides direction for the school’s research mission, including setting goals for developing a major global presence for the Medical School’s research enterprise.
Dr. Kunkel is the Endowed Professor in Pathology Research and co-director of general pathology in the Department of Pathology at the Medical School.
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.
Dr. Kunkel’s areas of research have centered on assessing molecular mechanisms of lung inflammation by investigating cytokine and chemokine directed cell-to-cell communication circuits. His studies in cytokine and chemokine biology are international 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.
Dr. Kunkel has served the University in previous administrative positions, including the interim associate vice president for research (1995); associate dean for interdisciplinary studies, Horace H. Rackham Graduate School (1995-present); interim dean of the Horace H. Rackham Graduate School (2004-05); interim vice provost for academic affairs (2004-05); and co-director of Departmental Research, Department of Pathology (1991-present).