The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM) has named Paul R. Skolnik its chair of the Department of Basic Science Education (DBSE). Skolnik will provide leadership, mentoring, and strategy development for the department and faculty representing a spectrum of research and medical science specialties, including further development of a shared vision focused on continuing excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, and service.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Skolnik to his new role as DBSE chair, particularly given his impressive credentials and extensive experience in leadership in academic medical school settings. We anticipate that he will be especially effective in working with both basic science and clinical faculty as we seek ways to further integrate foundational science concepts across the entire medical curriculum,” said Lee Learman, dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

Prior to his recruitment to the position, Skolnik served as professor and chair of Internal Medicine at VTCSOM/Carilion Clinic and at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, where he held an endowed chair and also served as professor and chief of the section of Infectious Diseases at Boston University Medical Center. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 

“I look forward to helping the VTCSOM in its continuing quest to train the next generation of outstanding physicians who will pursue careers as physician scientists, physician leaders, health providers, and advocates for healthy communities on the regional, national, and international levels,” Skolnik said. “The cutting-edge educational strategies that are employed at VTCSOM and Virginia Tech have already resulted in graduating students who excel in all these realms and evolving strategies will further enhance these successes.” 

Skolnik holds current appointments at VTCSOM as a professor of both basic science education and internal medicine. A board-certified physician who specializes in infectious diseases, Skolnik’s research interests lie in the field of infectious diseases, immunovirology, clinical translational research, and, based on his leadership roles during the Ebola virus disease and COVID‑19 outbreaks, pandemic preparedness.  

He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and scientific abstracts and has given a plethora of presentations at local, regional, national, and international scientific meetings. He also has been the recipient of numerous National Institutes of Health, Health Resources and Service Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grants throughout his career in academic medicine, along with other training and research funding in his roles as program director, principal investigator, and site leader for training grants, center awards, Clinical and Translational Science Awards, and national clinical trials group grants.  

“We’re excited to have Dr. Skolnik take on a leadership role within the education mission,” said Jed Gonzalo, senior associate dean for medical education. “He has deep experience and a passion across all of the medical school mission areas, which will be invaluable to our collective efforts to develop the best physicians who graduate from Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.”

Skolnik earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University, his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed his residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University.


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