Thewissen Appointed Chair of Anatomy and Neurobiology

Dear Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni,

After a nationwide search, I am pleased to announce that J.G.M. “Hans” Thewissen, Ph.D., has accepted the role of chair of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the College of Medicine, after having served as the interim chair since July 1, 2021.

Dr. Hans ThewissenDr. Thewissen is the Ingalls-Brown Endowed Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Distinguished University Professor who has been a faculty member at NEOMED since 1993. He holds a graduate appointment in the School of Biomedical Sciences at Kent State University and is a research associate at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. His strong commitment to education, research and service at both college and university levels, has been evident throughout his career.  

Dr. Thewissen is a highly respected faculty leader who has served as co-chair of the College of Medicine’s CAPP 2 Committee and an at-large member of the Curriculum Committee. He has also chaired the University’s Tenure and Promotions Committee. During the College’s most recent LCME accreditation site visit, Dr. Thewissen served as a key faculty representative for the site visit. He has taught extensively in the anatomy and embryology pre-clinical curriculum and served for many years as the course director of the Human Development and Structure course. He also heads the Body Donor Advisory Board for the Department.

A nationally and internationally known research expert in the study of anatomy, paleontology and the embryology of whales, Dr. Thewissen discovered several fossil whale species that documented the evolutionary transition from land to water, including the first whale — Ambulocetus natans — with hind limbs strong enough to walk on land. Hence, the origin for the naming of Nate, the Walking Whale. Dr. Thewissen has written or edited five books, including 'The Walking Whales.'

As interim chair, Dr. Thewissen showed both passion and talent in leading his department academically and administratively.  

In my new role as interim dean, it has been a pleasure to collaborate with him. His contributions to the College’s leadership team have been invaluable. The search committee and I interviewed a field of excellent candidates for this position, but Dr. Thewissen clearly rose to the top. I look forward to our continued work to advance the mission of the College of Medicine.

Congratulations to Dr. Thewissen!



Eugene Mowad, M.D.
Interim Dean, College of Medicine

Share this post