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Deans

Samuel LeBaronSamuel LeBaron, MD, PhD – Executive Dean of Basic Sciences

Before entering medical school, Dr. LeBaron received a PhD in Clinical Psychology and worked for several years at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He was author or co-author of numerous articles, chapters, and a book related to the management of pain in children. He then attended medical school at the University of Calgary, Canada and completed a residency in Family Medicine in San Jose, California.

He then accepted a position at Stanford School of Medicine where he developed the first Stanford clerkship in Family Medicine. During his 20 years at Stanford he received numerous awards for clinical teaching, advising, and mentoring of student research projects.

Dr. LeBaron had a central mission during his career at Stanford University: To help students achieve the highest standards of clinical knowledge and care. Besides teaching students in the Stanford Family Medicine Clinic, he was also a preceptor for several years at a local free clinic. He also brought students to provide care to those who lost homes in the Loma Prieta earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, and other and other groups without a safety net.

In his capacity as a clinical preceptor and as director of the core clerkship in Family Medicine, he always held high expectations for students to learn basic clinical skills and knowledge balanced by a deep understanding of ethics, the realities of death and loss, and the role of spirituality and meaning in medicine. His efforts to teach these values led in 2003 to what he considers two of the greatest honors, both of which were student-initiated: An award for “Compassion in Medicine” at Stanford, and a national award (Association of American Medical Colleges) for “Humanism In Medicine.”

Dr. LeBaron has previously served as AUA’s Chair of the Department of Clinical Medicine from 2012 to 2014.

Dean of Students, Professor and Department Chair - Dr. Reza SaniiReza Sanii, PhD – Dean of Graduate Studies & Student Affairs

Dr. Sanii is a graduate of the University of Manitoba School of Medicine in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Assistant Professor - Dr. Karron JamesKarron James, PhD – Associate Dean of Curriculum

Dr. Karron James graduated from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada with a bachelor of science degree in 1999. There, she completed the honors program, performing research to identify surface virulence factors of Listeria monocytogenes.

Associate Dean for Admissions, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and Professor - Dr. James RiceJames Rice, Rhd – Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs

Dr. James M. Rice received his doctoral degree in rehabilitation from Southern Illinois University in 1983. He initially taught at St. Cloud State University and also at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis from 1981 to 1989. He became a licensed Psychologist in 1983 and worked as a hospital-based psychologist working with chronic pain, spinal-cord injured, stroke, and traumatic brain injury patients. In 1990, he was a founding partner and president of Medical Psychology Associates, PC, a private practice in Indianapolis, Indiana providing psychological assessment, treatment, and consultation services. In 2008, Dr. Rice joined the faculty at the American University of Antigua College of Medicine. He is currently Associate Dean of Admissions, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, and Professor of Behavioral Science & Neuroscience. His current clinical and research interests include the psychosocial aspects of chronic disease and disability.

Professor - Nandini RaoNandini Rao, PhD – Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs

After obtaining a PhD in medical biochemistry from Manipal University, India, she completed her post doctoral studies in the dept. of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indiana School of Medicine, Indianapolis, on the mechanism of action of PTH on the bone. After working as a visiting research scientist at Indiana School of Medicine, Terre Haute where she studied on the froglet limb regeneration, Dr. Rao went on a scientific adventure on salamander limb regeneration at Purdue School of Science, Indianapolis. Her research experience includes proteomics, genomics, purification of proteins etc. In addition to publications in internationally indexed journals, she is also a co author for  a chapter In “Principles of Regenerative Medicine”, for which Thompson J is one of the editors. Dr. Rao as a faculty in Manipal, taught medical Biochemistry for about 15 years and taught molecular biology and cell biology in Terre Haute and Indianapolis, in addition to Medical Biochemistry. She is also a member of Indiana University Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine.

Professor - Dr. Richard Millis
Richard Millis, PhD – Associate Dean for Research

Dr. Millis authored or co-authored approximately 100 articles in peer-reviewed publications on various aspects of medical physiology and has co-edited four research reference books. His most recent research, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to identify genetic and physiological markers for obesity in African-American adolescents. He has authored a government report funded by the U.S. Army’s Surgeon General on the effects of nicotine and nicotine withdrawal that was instrumental in creating the first federal government smoke-free workplace by the Department of Defense. He was chief scientist for the development of the federal government’s first centralized database on medical aspects of protection against chemical and biological warfare agents, and compiled the curriculum used to train physicians and allied health personnel on chemical casualty care for the first Persian Gulf War.

Dr. Millis is the recipient of a 2006 Teaching with Technology Award based on his extensive use of computer simulations for educational enhancement in teaching physiology to students in medical, dental and allied health sciences programs. Such educational enhancement was used to teach various medical review courses such as a workshop in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and in raising student performance on the United States Medical Licensure Step 1 Examination. He was a principal developer of an integrated basic and clinical science medical curriculum, employing a collaborative active-learning model that uses medical residents and clinical fellows for presenting computer simulations of clinical cases.

 Juli Valtschanoff, MD – Associate Dean of Assessments, Outcomes & Evaluations

Dr. Valtschanoff obtained his M.D. degree from Sofia Medical University in Bulgaria, where he practiced medicine, taught anatomy, histology and embryology to medical students, and did research on the involvement of the basal forebrain in Alzheimer’s disease. He went on to complete two postdoctoral periods in neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and remained at the same institution for 12 more years to run a successful research laboratory and teach anatomy to medical students and neurobiology to Ph.D. students. His research was on a variety of neurotransmitters and receptors in the somatosensory systems of the brain and the spinal cord with a focus on the mechanisms of pain perception. For the last 2.5 years at AUA, Dr Valtschanoff has taught anatomy and cell biology and has recently assumed the responsibilities of a Chief Proctor.