Mark L. Tykocinski, MD, Appointed President of Thomas Jefferson University

PHILADELPHIA (June 29, 2022) — As part of its planning for a new senior executive operating model, the Thomas Jefferson University Board of Trustees has appointed Mark L. Tykocinski, MD, as the next President of Thomas Jefferson University, effective July 1, 2022. As University President, Dr. Tykocinski, and Jefferson Health President, Dr. Bruce A. Meyer, will each report directly to a new CEO of the Jefferson enterprise, who is expected to be selected and named later this summer. Drs. Tykocinski and Meyer will continue to report to Interim CEO, H. Richard Haverstick, Jr., until the new CEO arrives.

Dr. Tykocinski currently serves as the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of Thomas Jefferson University, and as the Anthony F. and Gertrude M. DePalma Dean of Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC). When first appointed in 2008 as Dean of SKMC, he also served as president of the Jefferson’s university physician organization. In 2014, Dr. Tykocinski was appointed as the university’s first Provost, in addition to his position as Dean.

In announcing this presidential appointment, Jefferson Board of Trustees’ Chair Patricia D. Wellenbach stated, “Dr. Tykocinski is internationally respected for creating and leading a culture of transformation in education, research, clinical science, and academic administration. He is a person of extraordinary vision and creativity, committed to using innovation as a catalyst for growth, organizational vitality and excellence. He is the ideal leader for Thomas Jefferson University.”

Over the past 14 years, Dr. Tykocinski guided the University and SKMC through numerous milestones. Among the most significant were:

  • Jefferson’s highly successful and unique merger with Philadelphia University in 2017, which enabled the institution to expand its professional graduate education offerings; develop a multi-campus presence, now with a robust undergraduate program and emerge as a Carnegie-classified National Doctoral Research University.
  • Creation of the transformational JeffMD curriculum, along with a pioneering Medicine+ co-curriculum, exemplified by Medicine + Design and Medicine + Humanities programs.
  • Tripling of Jefferson’s annual extramural research portfolio to more than $200 million, with an emphasis on collaborative discovery and thematic research strengths in forefront areas such as computational medicine, bioenergetics, vaccines, and oncological, rehabilitative, and brain sciences; and the expansion of the faculty’s annual scholarly publications to more than 4,000.
  • Launch of eight Jefferson Global Centers, elevating Jefferson’s international profile and catalyzing a series of first-of-its-kind global initiatives.
  • University-wide growth in student enrollment and the establishment of a series of new academic programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels — in contrast to decreased enrollments and program retrenchment at many U.S. higher education institutions.

Reflecting on his appointment, Dr. Tykocinski observed, “As proud as I am of what we have accomplished at Thomas Jefferson University so far, it is only the beginning. Higher education is at an inflection point — its future will look very different from its past — and Jefferson is positioned to help define that future. We aspire to be a model for professions-focused education in the 21st century.

“At Jefferson, we look beyond standard core competencies, as we cultivate in our students cross-cutting ways of thinking and higher-order human qualities —dimensions that will ensure their continued relevance in a work world evolving at a bewildering pace, in an age of machine intelligence and robotic automation. Immersed in our community of scholars and its robust ecosystem of discovery, students are nurtured to be builders and healers of society, and to ultimately emerge as global citizens.”

In addition to his achievements as an academic leader, Dr. Tykocinski is a biomedical innovator, where his focus has been on pioneering unique immunotherapeutic strategies that invoke engineered proteins and cells. Among his scientific accomplishments, he has designed several novel classes of fusion proteins with therapeutic potential for cancer and autoimmunity. A first one, geared to cancer immunotherapy, has now entered clinical trials, and more will soon follow, through the biotech start-up Dr. Tykocinski founded. He has also made seminal contributions to the field of gene therapy, including the creation a novel class of episomal eukaryotic expression vectors, which have been disseminated widely. Dr. Tykocinski holds a series of patents related to protein and cellular engineering, and he is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

 “For more than a decade, Dr. Tykocinski has worked to advance Thomas Jefferson University ― its academic programs, programmatic research, and clinical prowess ― with dual focus on scale and distinction. He has used his vision and own deep experience to help guide the University to a place of strength, now with international recognition and with more than 8,400 students across 10 colleges,” said H. Richard Haverstick, Jr., Interim CEO and President, Thomas Jefferson University and Interim CEO, Jefferson Health. “We are thrilled to call Mark our new president and fully support him as he leads the University into its next chapter.”

Prior to joining Jefferson, Dr. Tykocinski spent a decade at the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as the Simon Flexner Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Under his leadership, the Department rose to top ranking in NIH funding among departments of pathology. He also led committees that developed Penn’s life sciences strategic plan and restructured its technology transfer. Previously, Dr. Tykocinski spent 15 years at Case Western Reserve University, where he was the founding director of its Gene Therapy Facility.

Dr. Tykocinski has served as president of both the American Society for Investigative Pathology/FASEB and the Association of Pathology Chairs, for which he now serves as a Senior Fellow. In those roles, he has helped shape pathology and laboratory medicine priorities for a new century. He also has served on numerous department review committees, as well as various NIH grant review committees, including Chair of an NIH Study Section. Dr. Tykocinski is currently a member of the Administrative Board of the AAMC Council of Deans.

Dr. Tykocinski earned a BA degree in biology magna cum laude from Yale University and was awarded his MD degree from New York University. He completed an internal medicine internship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, residency training in anatomic pathology in the Department of Pathology at New York University, and a research fellowship at NIAID/NIH in Bethesda.

Jefferson will soon launch national searches for a new University Provost and a Dean of SKMC.

About Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University, founded in 1824 as the Jefferson Medical College, is today a national doctoral research university and a pioneer in transdisciplinary, professional education. Home of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College and the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, Jefferson is a preeminent academic institution delivering high-impact education in over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs to 8,400 students across 10 colleges. The University’s academic offerings now include architecture, business, design, engineering, fashion, health, medicine, science, social science and textiles. Jefferson is redefining the higher education value proposition with an approach that is collaborative and active; increasingly global; integrated with industry; focused on research across disciplines to foster innovation and discovery; and technology-enhanced. Student-athletes compete as the Jefferson Rams in the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

About the Jefferson enterprise

Jefferson’s mission is to improve lives.  Located in Philadelphia, Jefferson is reimagining higher education and health care to create unparalleled value. Jefferson is more than 42,000 people strong, dedicated to preparing tomorrow’s professional leaders for 21st century careers; conducting research leading to new discoveries on the basic science, clinical, health science and applied levels; and providing the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients. The enterprise comprises Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health — which serves patients through millions of encounters each year across 18 hospitals (ten are Magnet® designated by the ANCC for nursing excellence) and over 50 outpatient and urgent care locations throughout the region.