Dean is currently President at Merck Research Laboratories. Before his role at Merck, Dean was on the cutting-edge of translational medical research at the University of Utah for more than two decades. During his time at the university, he co-founded multiple biotech companies stemming from research from his laboratory, including Recursion, Hydra Biosciences and Navigen Pharmaceuticals. Dean served as the H.A. & Edna Benning Professor of Medicine and Cardiology, the vice-dean of research at the University of Utah Health Science Center, and as the chief scientific officer of University of Utah Health Care. Dean also served as interim CEO of Associated Regional University Pathologists (ARUP), the nation's third-largest clinical reference laboratory, from 2015 to 2016. Dean trained at Washington University in Saint Louis before coming to Utah to work as a post-doc in the laboratory of Mark Keating.