UC Riverside Medical School Official Craig Byus Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA awards Lifetime Achievement in Medical Education award to long-time medical education leader at UC Riverside

Craig V. Byus, (right) senior associate dean, academic affairs for the UCR School of Medicine accepts the award from Alan G. Robinson, associate vice chancellor and senior associate dean for the David Geffen School of Medicine

By Jessica Kump

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – Craig V. Byus, Ph.D., senior associate dean of academic affairs and research in the UC Riverside School of Medicine, received the Lifetime Achievement in Medical Education Award from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA on May 22.

Dr. Alan Robinson, associate vice chancellor and senior associate dean at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, presented the award to Byus at the UCR School of Medicine’s annual clinical faculty recognition and student awards ceremony in downtown Riverside.

“His leadership and role modeling at Riverside was instrumental in developing the program here,” said Robinson, who emphasized Byus’ role in leading the development of the unique mission of the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences.

Byus is only the third recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in its 18-year existence. In addition to his exemplary career in teaching and service, the award recognizes his leadership in the complete redesign of the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, which resulted in a program geared toward diversifying the physician workforce and training physicians who would serve the underserved populations within Inland Southern California.

“This is a much-deserved honor that I am pleased to see Craig receive,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, dean of the UCR School of Medicine. “I strongly believe that had it not been for his vision, commitment and wise counsel in the transformation of the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, the UCR School of Medicine would not be where it is today.”

The original UCR/UCLA program, established in 1974, enrolled 250 UCR freshmen in a seven-year program that led to an M.D. The program, by design, pared each cohort of 250 students down to 24 students by the third undergraduate year, which was the first year of medical school.

As the program came under criticism for its tendency to favor academic performance in a single narrow major above all other outcomes, Byus took the opportunity to redesign it, implementing mechanisms to encourage the success of students traditionally under-represented in medicine, Robinson said.

In 2003, with the involvement of community physicians and stakeholders, the Haider Program’s mission was restructured to emphasize serving the medical needs of underserved, rural and Inland Southern California populations. It also opened the doors for admission to the medical program for traditional four-year UCR graduates from any undergraduate major as long as they completed the prerequisite medical school requirements.

In 2009, Byus was honored by the NAACP-Riverside Branch with a Medical/Public Health Award for his leadership in re-designing the medical education program. The Riverside Medical Clinic Foundation in 2011 awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award to Byus and in 2012 he was awarded the Outstanding Citizen distinction by the San Bernardino County Medical Society.

As director of the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, Byus leads the program which has provided admitted students their first two years of medical school training on the UCR campus, after which students transfer to the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine for the final two years of clinical rotations to complete their M.D. degrees. The program is the foundation on which the UCR School of Medicine will be launched this coming summer.

Byus also holds an academic appointment as professor of biomedical sciences, maintaining an active research laboratory concerned with the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of cell growth and proliferation, particularly as they relate to cancer. For 15 years, he served as a member of the Scientific Review Panel of the California Air Resources Board, which reviews and evaluates the environmental risks of toxic air contaminants prior to the risk management by the board.

Byus earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1968, and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire in Durham in 1973.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-4756
E-mail: john.warren@ucr.edu

Additional Contacts

Kathy Barton
Tel: (951) 827-4598
E-mail: kathryn.barton@ucr.edu

Archived under: Health, Inside UCR, , , , , ,

Top of Page