Former UConn President Philip E. Austin, who just finished serving as interim university president, will become the university’s interim vice president for health affairs until a permanent replacement is found for Dr. Cato Laurencin, the medical school dean and vice president for health affairs.

Dr. Bruce Liang, director of the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, will serve as interim dean of the UConn School of Medicine.

Laurencin is stepping down from both posts at the end of the month and will become CEO of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering.

The search for a permanent replacement is expected to take six months, according to the university. President Susan Herbst wrote in a message to the UConn Health Center community that the position will remain as it is now structured, as both a medical school dean and university vice president.

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Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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