Robert M. DAlessandri, M.D., West Virginias best-known physician, will resign his post of vice president for health sciences at West Virginia University at the end of the current semester, bringing to a close a 30-year career as leader of the states leading health institution.

Dr. DAlessandri has been selected as president of the new Medical College of Northeastern Pennsylvania, in Scranton.

Dr. DAlessandri will leave WVU with a remarkable record of achievement,said WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr.I want to thank him for what he has done for the University and our entire state in his distinguished career here. I havewitnessed first-hand the very skilled way in which he’s led with absolute integrity and vision.”

Dean of the WVU School of Medicine, John Prescott, added,Bob has been a mentor to me, and an inspiration. I will miss him greatly, and Im sure you will as well. He leaves us in an unbelievably strong position. Our educational programs are sound. Our research enterprise has doubled in recent years, and continues to grow. Our clinical services have earned the trust of tens of thousands of patients. We are moving forward.”

Hardesty said Scranton is lucky to have D’Alessandri.

“I cannot think of a finer person or professional to become the president of a new medical college. He will be greatly missedbut he leaves the health professions programs and our hospitals and health institutions in excellent and capable hands.

WVU officials will conduct a nationwide search for Dr. DAlessandris successor. A search committee will be announced soon.

Current Senior Associate Vice President, Fred Butcher, Ph.D., will act as the vice president until a permanent replacement has been named, Hardesty said. Dr. Butcher is not planning to apply for the permanent post.

Butcher has been at WVU since 1978, when he joined the faculty in biochemistry. Since then, he has held numerous posts including the Director of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.

DAlessandri joined the WVU faculty in 1977, and served as dean of the School of Medicine from 1989 to 2004.