Kass named senior associate dean for human research protection

Michael A. Kass, MD, has been appointed to the newly created position of senior associate dean for human research protection at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, made the announcement.


This new role is in addition to his current duties as professor and head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Kass will oversee the continuing operations of the university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Human Research Protections Office (HRPO). He will be working very closely with Jonathan Green, MD, associate dean for human studies and executive chair of the IRB, and Martha Jones, executive director of the HRPO. Among Kass’ duties is the continuing oversight of IRB and HRPO operations.

Kass is well known in the university community. He has been a member of the faculty for 43 years and served on the Executive Faculty of the School of Medicine since 1999. He is a distinguished clinical investigator whose research, particularly related to glaucoma, is very highly regarded and often cited.

A graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University Medical School, Kass completed a one-year internship at Passavant Memorial Hospital in Chicago then served two years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps before coming to Washington University School of Medicine in 1969 as a resident in ophthalmology. In 1972, he was named chief resident.

He joined the faculty at Yale University in 1973 as an assistant professor of ophthalmology and director of the glaucoma service before returning to Washington University in 1975 as an assistant professor of ophthalmology. Kass has been a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences since 1983 and head of the department since 1999.

He served as principal investigator and study chairman of one of the largest studies of human subjects ever conducted in the field of ophthalmology. The Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study, a 22-center study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, ended the debate about whether it was appropriate to treat patients with elevated eye pressure but no loss of vision due to glaucoma. The study found it was possible to delay, or possibly prevent, glaucoma by using drops that reduced pressure in the eyes of patients with elevated intraocular pressure.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.