Cecil O. Samuelson Jr., dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine, was appointed vice president for health sciences Tuesday.

His appointment, effective immediately, was approved by a telephone vote of the school's Institutional Council. It will be confirmed at the council's regular monthly meeting June 13.Nationally recognized for his expertise in rheumatology, the 46-year-old physician was chosen following a six-month nationwide search for a successor to Dr. Don E. Detmer.

A Salt Lake native, Samuelson received a bachelor's degree in molecular and genetic biology; a master's degree in educational psychology, and a medical degree, all from the U. He completed an internship, residency and fellowship in rheumatic and genetic diseases from Duke University Medical Center where he received the Haskel Schniff award in clinical medicine.

In addition to his administrative responsibilities at the U., Samuelson has a medical practice and is involved in national and community organizations.

The U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services has named him to the prestigious Federal Council on Graduate Medical Education. He is also governor-elect of the Utah Region of the American College of Physicians and is serving a five-year term as a trustee of the Utah State Medical Association.