Betty Drees, former dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, has been appointed president of the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.
Drees, M.D., F.A.C.P., serves as an endocrinologist and a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics at UMKC, roles she will continue to serve concurrently with her new role at the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute.
“We are fortunate to have recruited a physician-scientist of Betty Drees’ caliber to lead the Stowers graduate program,” said Robb Krumlauf, a member of the Board of Directors and scientific director of the Stowers Institute. “Her pioneering work in the study of type 2 diabetes mellitus and her experience training medical students in the art and science of biological investigation will prove invaluable in shaping our young scientists into tomorrow’s leaders.”
With more than 25 years in clinical practice, research, education and administration, Drees is dean emerita and the immediate past dean of the School of Medicine. She served 13 years in that role, from 2001 to 2014.
“It is an honor to be elected to lead the program at the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute,” Drees said. “The graduate school has a very committed faculty and talented pre-doctoral researchers, so I hope the administrative experience I bring can help them continue to grow. I want to help the researchers who join the program meet their career goals and get experience that prepares them for the future.”
Drees’ interests center around community impact and improved quality of health care such as prevention of diabetes mellitus and prevention of fractures. She leads a study on community interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus, titled “Reducing the Burden of Diabetes in the KC Area: Accelerating Innovation through Collaboration” and funded by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. She currently serves as president of the Community Leadership Board of the Kansas City American Diabetes Association.