John W. "Jack" Eckstein, 50MD, 54R, emeritus dean and professor of internal medicine at the UI College of Medicine, has devoted his life to the medical profession and to the University of Iowa.
After completing his internal medicine residency at the UI, Eckstein soon decided on a career in academic medicine and research. He joined Iowa's College of Medicine faculty and rapidly rose from an assistant in internal medicine to the rank of full professor. Internationally respected for his cardiovascular research, Eckstein redirected his professional energies in 1970 when he was named dean of the UI College of Medicine.
During Eckstein's 20-year tenure as dean, the UI College of Medicine gained recognition as one of the top-ranked educational and research entities in the nation. Under his guidance, Iowa developed one of the country's first statewide family practice training programs. The program not only provides medical care to thousands of Iowans each year, but also guides 25 percent of Iowa's medical graduates into family medicine—twice the national average. Instrumental in recruiting and organizing the clinicians and professionals who form the UI's Cardiovascular Research Center, dedicated in 1982, Eckstein also led the effort to construct facilities for biomedical researchers, including the five-story, 125,000 square-foot research building that has been named in his honor.
In 1991, Eckstein retired as dean to return to full-time professorial duties in the College of Medicine. He continues to work on a variety of special projects for the medical college and for the UI, including serving on the Advisory Committee to the director of the National Institutes of Health and other national scientific and professional societies. Eckstein is a member of the UI Alumni Association's Directors' Club and the Foundation's Presidents Club.