Crabb to step down as chair of medicine in 2015

June 19, 2014

David W. Crabb, M.D., will step down from his position as chair of the Department of Medicine in the summer of 2015.

Dr. Crabb was named chair and John B. Hickam Professor of Medicine on Feb. 1, 2001, taking over the position from D. Craig Brater, M.D., the ninth dean of the IU School of Medicine, who retired last year. Dr. Crabb also served as interim chair of the department starting in July 2000.

David Crabb

David W. Crabb, M.D.

The Department of Medicine is the largest department at the IU School of Medicine and houses the divisions of cardiology, clinical pharmacology, endocrinology, gastroenterology and hepatology, general internal medicine and geriatrics, hematology/oncology, infectious diseases, nephrology, pulmonary and rheumatology.  

As chairman, Dr. Crabb oversaw the scientific and clinical activities of over 400 faculty members, including affiliated physicians, and the education of more than 150 internal medicine and medicine-pediatrics residents.

During his 14 years as chair, the Department of Medicine's research funding approximately doubled to over $100 million. The residency program also gained national recognition through its selection as a site for the Educational Innovations Project, one of 21 sites in the country. EIP emphasizes leadership training of the residents, innovations in patient safety and a new approach to meeting patient care quality targets in the outpatient continuity clinics.

The residency program was also funded as a site for training in screening and brief intervention for alcohol abuse.

Dr. Crabb joined the faculty in 1983 as an assistant professor of medicine and of biochemistry and molecular biology and was promoted to professor in 1990. He served as vice chairman for research in the Department of Medicine from 1993 to 2000 and as the assistant dean for research   from 1999 to 2000. He also served as director of the Wishard Memorial Hospital Section of Gastroenterology from 1993 to 1997, the Board of Trustees for the Health and Hospital Corporation, and currently practices at Eskenazi Health and the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center.

In 2013, the IU School of Medicine established the David W. Crabb Chair in Gastroenterology and Hepatology in honor of his career at the school. He has also received the IUPUI Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the IU School of Medicine Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence and a Trustee Teaching Award.

His primary research interest is alcoholism, with a focus that has evolved from the metabolism of alcohol and the genetic predisposition to alcoholism to new treatments for alcoholic hepatitis and improving the identification and treatment of individuals with hazardous drinking. He is the recipient of a R37 MERIT award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and has served as the director of the Indiana Alcohol Research Center since 2002.

He was also named recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the Central Society of Clinical Research and the Research Society on Alcoholism. He has served in several national leadership positions, including president of the Central Society for Clinical Research, the National Council for the NIAAA and the Council of Councils for the NIH. He was named a Master of the American College of Physicians in 2013.

Dr. Crabb graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Purdue University in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in biology and received his medical degree from IU in 1978. He served his residency at IUSM and was chief resident of internal medicine from 1982 to 1983. He completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at IUSM in 1982.

After stepping down as chair, Dr. Crabb will expand his role as the chief of internal medicine at Eskenazi Health, where his goals include reunification of the various branches of internal medicine -- inpatient, outpatient and subspecialty care -- with the goals of improving access and health outcomes and reducing costs and increasing his role in resident and student education.

He will retain his positions as a professor of medicine and a professor of biochemistry and  molecular biology at the IU School of Medicine. An executive search committee will be formed to conduct a national search for his successor as chair.

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