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AAMC Names Duke’s Ross McKinney Jr., MD, as Chief Scientific Officer

Washington, D.C., July 5, 2016—The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) announced today that Ross McKinney Jr., MD, has been named as the association’s new chief scientific officer after a nationwide search. McKinney is currently director of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine and professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Duke University Medical Center. He will join the AAMC on Sept. 19.

As chief scientific officer, McKinney will lead an array of AAMC programs that support all aspects of medical research and training. He will also represent the AAMC nationally on issues related to research and science policy, administration, and workforce development, and education and training.

“As both a researcher and pediatric infectious disease specialist, Dr. McKinney brings a unique mix of expertise in medical research and clinical care, with more than 30 years of experience in conducting research and providing patient care to children, adolescents, and families,” said Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC president and CEO. “His leadership in bioethics and clinical research at the national level makes him exceptionally well suited to direct AAMC programs and priorities in research, training, and science policy on behalf of the AAMC and our members.”

Among his career highlights, McKinney was first author of the key Phase I and II studies on Zidovudine (AZT) use in children, and he continues to conduct research on the natural history, prevention, and treatment of pediatric HIV disease. In bioethics, his research focuses on conflict of interest, the ethics of sports medicine, and the process of informed consent.

“I am delighted to be joining the AAMC to lead its highly effective Scientific Affairs team. These are challenging times in the world of academic medical research—whether the realms are basic, translational, or clinical research—and the AAMC is uniquely positioned to make a positive difference. I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to join in,” McKinney said.

A member of the Duke faculty since 1985, McKinney served as director of the division of pediatric infectious diseases from 1994 to 2003. He was appointed vice dean for research at Duke University School of Medicine in 2002 and in 2007 became director of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine. Currently on the board of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors, McKinney served two terms as chairman of the American Board of Pediatrics Subboard of Pediatric Infectious Diseases from 1998 to 2001. He served as chair of the steering committee for the AAMC’s Forum on Conflict of Interest in Academe from 2008 to 2010 and was previously chair of the Clinical Research Ethics Key Function Committee of the NIH Clinical Translational Science Award collaborative consortium.

McKinney received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1975. He earned his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center.


The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their nearly 160,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at


Ross McKinney Jr., MD

Press Contact
Brooke Bergen, AAMC