Professor Joseph C. Kolars, M.D. is Professor of Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives at the University of Michigan Medical School. A trained gastroenterologist, Dr. Kolars has focused his career on physician education and has held a number of leadership roles in education programs for medical students, residents, and fellows at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan. Global health has been a major component of his career with a focus on education and health system strengthening in under-resourced areas of the world.
Prof. Kolars lived with his family in Shanghai from 1996-1999 to help establish one of China’s first western-based health care systems. From 2007-11 he served as a consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where he oversaw initiatives that partnered health science schools in sub-Saharan Africa with those in the U.S.. He currently is co-director of a joint institute between the University of Michigan Medical School and Peking University Health Science Center for translational research and education. Most recently, he has been working with the George Washington University MEPI Coordinating Center. He obtained his M.D. degree in 1982 from the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed his post-graduate training at the University of Michigan.