UAMS Names Steven Webber, M.D., as Dean of the College of Medicine, Executive Vice Chancellor

By Yavonda Chase

He is succeeding G. Richard Smith, M.D., who has served in an interim capacity since January, following the death of Susan Smyth, M.D., Ph.D.

“Dr. Webber is a remarkable physician, researcher and administrator who has accomplished wonderful things at Vanderbilt,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health. “I look forward to working with him as we accomplish great things at UAMS.

“I’m also very grateful to Dr. Smith for stepping in during a difficult time and leading the College of Medicine for the past year. Rick is always willing to pitch in to help UAMS, and we thank him for it.”

Webber joins UAMS from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he is the James C. Overall professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics. He also serves as pediatrician-in-chief of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen to join UAMS as the next executive vice chancellor and dean of the College of Medicine,” said Webber.  “I look forward to working with the UAMS community to advance the clinical, educational and discovery missions of the university, and to share in the common goal of improving the health and well-being of all those living in Arkansas and the surrounding region.”

Prior to joining Vanderbilt in 2012, Webber served as chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, co-director of the Heart Institute, and medical director of the Thoracic Transplantation Program at the University of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

An internationally renowned expert on solid organ transplantation in children, Webber has received continuous funding for his research for more than 25 years, has published over 230 peer-reviewed publications, and is the co-author of three textbooks in the field of organ transplantation. He has served as president of both the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study (an international research consortium) and the International Pediatric Transplant Association. He has also served as chair of the Thoracic Committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing and has served on the board of directors of the American Society of Transplantation and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.

“We conducted a nationwide search and consider ourselves fortunate to have found Dr. Webber. He is the perfect fit for UAMS,” said Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and provost. “I know he will accomplish great things here.”

Born in London, Webber graduated first in his class from the University of Bristol Medical School in Bristol, England. He completed his internal medicine residency at University Hospitals of Leicester in England; his pediatric residency at University Hospital Nottingham and John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford; and pediatric cardiology fellowships at the University of British Columbia and B.C. Children’s Hospital and at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh.

Webber is married to Jennifer Hill, a nonprofit education leader in Nashville, Tennessee. The couple collectively raised four children: Hannah, Katie, Lev and Eliana.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.