The dean and vice president of the University of Connecticut Health Center, Dr. Cato Laurencin, will be stepping down to devote his energy to leading transitional research initiatives and providing clinical care, UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement Thursday.

Laurencin, who has been instrumental in promoting the expansion of the health center, including the $864 million renovation approved by the legislature earlier this month, will continue to work at the university as CEO of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering.

Herbst said she will name an interim vice president shortly and a national search will be conducted for Laurencin’s successor.