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IU School of Medicine names new chair to lead Department of Anesthesia

David C. Adams chair anesthesia

INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana University School of Medicine has announced a New York-based physician leader has been named the new chair of the Department of Anesthesia.
David C. Adams, MD, will assume the role of department chair effective January 1, 2021 and will have oversight and responsibility for the program’s clinical, education and research programs. 

With more than 30 years of experience in the field of anesthesiology, Adams currently serves as executive vice chairman at Montefiore Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesiology and professor of anesthesiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York City. 

Adams has a long history of service as a leader in academic medicine. Prior to his work in New York, Adams served as associate dean for graduate medical education and designated institutional official at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont for seven years. 

“Dr. Adams’ comprehensive clinical and administrative experience in anesthesiology and graduate medical education, along with his collaborative leadership style, make him the ideal candidate for this role,” said Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, dean of IU School of Medicine and IU’s executive vice president for clinical affairs.

Adams will also hold the Robert K. Stoelting Professor of Anesthesia endowed chair appointment.

He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Michigan State University, and his postdoctoral training included a transitional internship at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, followed by anesthesiology residency and clinical fellowship training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. His first academic appointment was in 1993 as an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Columbia University.

The Department of Anesthesia at IU School of Medicine provides training programs for medical student education in the school’s MD program, residents and fellows in the graduate medical education program, and graduate students pursuing a Master of Science in Anesthesia as part of Indiana’s only anesthesiologist assistant program. The department is emerging as a leader in translational research on chronic pain, opioid pharmacology, and the sequelae of traumatic brain injury.

“The Department of Anesthesia has such a rich history of clinical, teaching, and research excellence,” said Adams. “I am very excited about the opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues in such an outstanding academic environment.” 

Adams succeeds Robert G. Presson, MD, who announced his intent to retire late last year. Presson has been with IU School of Medicine for more than 33 years, spending the last eight as department chair. He will continue to practice clinically with the department. 


IU School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.