Dr. Dorothy (Dee) Bainton is the former vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of California, San Francisco, where she had the distinction of being the first woman to chair a department in the School of Medicine. A nationally recognized leader in academic pathology, Dr. Bainton’s research has focused on the development and function of hematopoietic cells in bone marrow and blood.
Dr. Bainton earned her bachelor’s degree in 1955 from Millsaps College and her medical degree in 1958 from Tulane University School of Medicine, where she was one of five women in a class of 128. She completed her internship and medical residency at Strong Memorial Hospital and a residency in hematology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. In 1963, Dr. Bainton accepted a postdoctoral research fellowship at University of California, San Francisco, where she earned her master’s degree in pathology in 1966. She continued there, beginning as a research associate and advancing to full professor. In 1987, she became chair of the Department of Pathology. Highly regarded as a pioneer for women in academic administration, Dr. Bainton was appointed vice chancellor of academic affairs in 1994, a post she held until her retirement one decade later. Under her leadership, mentoring and training programs were established and paid maternity leave was extended.
In recognition of her outstanding career, the University of California, San Francisco awarded Dr. Bainton with the UCSF Medal, the equivalent of an honorary degree, in 2009. Her additional honors include the Gold-Headed Cane Award from the American Society for Investigative Pathology as well as serving as its first female president, the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Tulane University Medical School, the Career Recognition Award from Women in Cell Biology, and the Merit Award from the National Institutes of Health. She belongs to several distinguished professional organizations, including the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society.
To help support the education of medical students at the University of Rochester, she and her husband, Dr. Cedric Bainton ’58M, ’60M (Res), made a commitment in 2009 to establish the Dr. Cedric and Dr. Dorothy Ford Bainton Medical Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide financial assistance for medical students based on academic ability or financial need.