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Betty Drees, MD, named president of the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research

01 March 2018

KANSAS CITY, MOEsteemed physician and educator Betty M. Drees, MD, FACP, was recently appointed president of the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.

“We are fortunate to have recruited a physician-educator of Betty Drees’ caliber to lead the Stowers graduate program,” says Robb Krumlauf, PhD, a member of the Board of Directors of the Graduate School and Scientific Director of the Stowers Institute. “Her experience training medical students in the biological sciences will prove invaluable in shaping our young scientists into tomorrow’s leaders.”

With more than twenty-five years in clinical practice, research, education, and administration, Drees is Dean Emerita and the immediate past dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine. She served thirteen years in that role, from 2001 to 2014.

“It was an honor to be elected to lead the graduate program at the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute,” says Drees. “The Graduate School has a very committed faculty and talented predoctoral researchers, so I hope the administrative experience I bring can help them continue to grow. I want to help the researchers who join the program meet their career goals and get experience that prepares them for the future.”

Drees serves as an endocrinologist and a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics at UMKC, roles she will continue to serve concurrently with her role at the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute.

She began her career with the Veterans Administration in the research Career Development Program, and, in addition to seeing patients for metabolic disorders and diabetes, also helped the hospital system develop its strategy to adopt the use of electronic medical records.

Today, Drees’ interests center around community impact and improved quality of health care, such as prevention of diabetes mellitus and prevention of fractures. She leads a study on community interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus, funded by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. She currently serves as president of the Community Leadership Board of the Kansas City American Diabetes Association.

She was co-principal investigator on a learning collaborative project funded by the National Institutes of Health on building institutional capacity for health equity.

Among her many honors, Drees is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies and is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and the American College of Endocrinology. She has been recognized by Kansas City’s 435 Magazine (2014) and the Kansas City Business Journal (2013) on their Best Doctors lists, by Ingram’s Magazine as one of Kansas City’s Most Accomplished and Successful Women (2008), among MidwestCEO’s Influential Women (2009), and in Kansas City’s Influential Women: Inspiration and mentorship from the women who make Kansas City great, Susan Greenberg, editor (2010).

Drees received an MD from the University of Kansas and continued her training at the University of Kansas Medical Center with a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism.

About the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research

The mission of the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research (GSSIMR) is to prepare a superb cadre of predoctoral researchers from around the world for the pursuit of innovative and creative investigations in the biological sciences. The GSSIMR predoctoral research program stresses critical thinking and the rapid development of experimental prowess. The program also focuses on in-depth understanding of the latest methodologies and approaches. The Graduate School is designed to provide predoctoral researchers with mentorship and hands-on experience to refine their abilities to carry out independent biological research. The Graduate School welcomed its first class in the fall of 2012, and in 2016 the first predoctoral researcher completed the PhD program. Learn more about this unique program at and on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is a public university serving more than 16,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The UMKC School of Medicine was founded in 1971 as an innovative, accelerated Doctor of Medicine degree program. From its baccalaureate/MD curriculum to a docent system that emphasizes small group learning, the school has remained a trendsetter in medical education and research. For more information about the UMKC School of Medicine, visit You can also learn more on Facebook and Twitter.

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