Albert Einstein College of Medicine Names Marla Keller, M.D., Executive Dean

June 3, 2024—(BRONX, NY)—Marla Keller, M.D., a national leader in academic medicine and in clinical and translational research and training, has been appointed executive dean at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Keller will work closely with Yaron Tomer, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein, other executive leaders at the College of Medicine and Montefiore, and the Board of Trustees to achieve the vision for the institution. As Einstein’s second most senior officer, she will drive strategic planning for the College of Medicine and provide guidance across all academic and research programs.

Marla J. Keller, M.D.

Marla J. Keller, M.D.

Dr. Keller has served Einstein with great distinction over the past 17 years. She is currently the director of the NIH-funded Harold and Muriel Block Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Einstein and Montefiore and the interim senior associate dean for clinical and translational research. She previously served as vice chair of research in the department of medicine.

“Dr. Keller’s accomplishments at Montefiore Einstein and on the national stage have clearly demonstrated her effective and collaborative leadership, research and administrative acumen, dedication to innovation, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Dr. Tomer, who is also chief academic officer at Montefiore Einstein. “Her appointment is a crucial step in moving Einstein forward into a new era of excellence and ensuring the ongoing success of our enterprise.”

Dr. Keller was selected by a search committee after a thorough internal search. She will assume her new role on July 1, 2024, succeeding Edward R. Burns, M.D., who has provided exemplary and steadfast leadership in this position since 2000.

As executive dean, Dr. Keller will be responsible for supporting clinical, translational, and basic science research, as well as the educational and academic operations. She will also direct the research enterprise, providing guidance and resources for research education and training, fostering new and interdisciplinary research initiatives and collaborations, and implementing all regulations and policies. She will work closely with department chairs and center directors to fund and spur new research, strategically recruit, retain, and mentor faculty, and expand opportunities for scientific discovery with the office of biotechnology and business development.

Dr. Keller’s accomplishments at Montefiore Einstein and on the national stage have clearly demonstrated her effective and collaborative leadership, research and administrative acumen, dedication to innovation, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dean Yaron Tomer, M.D.

“Guided by Dr. Ruth Gottesman’s transformative gift and a new strategic plan, I will work tirelessly with Dean Tomer, his leadership team, department chairs, and center directors to enhance basic science and clinical research, improve research operations, integrate Einstein’s and Montefiore’s clinical and translational research programs, and bolster our education initiatives,” said Dr. Keller. 

As vice chair of research for the department of medicine, Dr. Keller oversaw a robust research portfolio of more than 100 principal investigators. NIH funding increased significantly and a formal research compensation plan was developed for the department. She streamlined research operations, increasing the number of clinical trials to more than 200 across 14 divisions. One of her most important initiatives was creating a physician-scientist pathway to support faculty in becoming independently funded investigators. During her seven-year tenure, the department had 37 K (early career) awardees, of which 23% are from groups historically underrepresented in medicine, and 43% transitioned to R (independent research) funding. She also co-founded a junior faculty mentoring program and led the department’s COVID-19 treatment task force.

On the national level, she served as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services panel on HIV treatment guidelines and the NIH COVID-19 treatment guidelines panel, helping to shape protocols for the country. She is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and a member of the HIV Medical Association.

Dr. Keller’s research has focused on prevention of HIV in women using biomedical interventions, improving cervical cancer screening practices, and the treatment of COVID-19, resulting in nearly 100 publications.

After earning an M.D. from New York University School of Medicine, Dr. Keller completed an internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and an infectious diseases fellowship at Beth Israel/Brigham & Women’s Hospital combined program. She was recruited to Montefiore Einstein in 2007 after spending nine years on the faculty at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

“The executive dean position requires leadership, sensitivity, creativity, collaboration, innovation, and dedication and I am confident, given her abilities and experience, that Dr. Keller will excel in her new role,” said Dr. Tomer.