University Of Utah’s New Health Science Chief Has High Hopes For Flagship’s Future

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vivian Lee is a reformer, but she isn’t much of a talker.

That’s because she’s “a doer,” one full of insights and a drive for excellence, according to former colleagues in Manhattan, where Lee was vice dean for science at New York University’s Langone Medical Center until six months ago.

At just 45, Lee may be Utah’s most influential physician, leading a $2 billion biomedical research, education and clinical enterprise clustered against the Wasatch foothills above the University of Utah’s main campus. Last year the U. hired Lee, a leading radiological researcher and mother of four, as its senior vice president for health sciences, the flagship’s No. 2 post long held by Lorris Betz.

“She is somebody with very high standards and she cares deeply about any endeavor she’s engaged in and has a big vision of the future. She is not an incrementalist,” said Robert Grossman, Langone’s dean and CEO and one-time head of the NYU radiology department that Lee joined in 1998.

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