University of Arizona

University of Arizona Names Fredric Edward Wondisford, MD, MS, MBA, Dean of the College of Medicine – Phoenix

University of Arizona
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University of Arizona Names Fredric Edward Wondisford, MD, MS, MBA, Dean of the College of Medicine – Phoenix

07 Sep, 2023

Following an extensive national search, the University of Arizona Health Sciences has named Fredric Edward Wondisford, MD, MS, MBA, dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, effective October 2.

Dr. Wondisford is an experienced clinician, professor and inventor with more than 30 years of experience in academic medicine and translational research. He joins the university from Rutgers University, where he is professor and chair of the Department of Medicine in the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Henry Rutgers Chair and Chancellor Scholar at Rutgers Health, and chief of the Medical Service at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, an RWJBarnabas Health facility.

At Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Dr. Wondisford expanded the Department of Medicine’s mentoring, teaching, clinical, research and community outreach activities while leading internal medicine care and teaching efforts at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

“Dr. Wondisford’s background in academic medicine, clinical integration and research growth are a perfect fit for the next dean of the College of Medicine – Phoenix,” said Michael D. Dake, MD, senior vice president for the University of Arizona Health Sciences. “Phoenix is home to a flourishing health care technology ecosystem that offers the perfect environment to capitalize on Dr. Wondisford’s experience in medical education innovation, as well as his vast research portfolio. I am confident Dr. Wondisford will lead the College of Medicine – Phoenix into a new era of distinction.”

As a physician-researcher, Dr. Wondisford developed, patented and clinically launched Thyrogen®, a form of recombinant thyroid-stimulating hormone that changed the standard of care for patients with thyroid cancer. He has three patent applications pending for inventions related to diabetes and fatty liver disease. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1990 and successfully led NIH-funded P60 Diabetes Centers and T32 endocrinology training programs at the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University. During his academic career, he has scientifically mentored 77 trainees, 40 of whom have gone on to obtain faculty appointments and develop independent research careers.

“I have a long-standing interest in the medical education of students, residents and fellows, and the College of Medicine – Phoenix has a reputation for excellence in all of these areas,” Dr. Wondisford said. “This is an exciting time as the college expands residency and fellowship programs in partnership with Banner Health and continues to make significant contributions to patient care through research innovation. I look forward to leading the college through its next growth phase.”

“We are excited for Dr. Wondisford to serve in this vital role to execute the overall vision of Banner Health’s academic division through the unique partnership between our two organizations,” said Michael Kupferman, MD, senior vice president of physician enterprise and president of the Banner – University Medicine Division. “His expertise in advancing patient care, research and medical education will further support our mission to ensure that patients have access to specialized health care services within Arizona and beyond.”

Prior to moving to Rutgers University, Dr. Wondisford was director of the Diabetes Institute at Johns Hopkins University, chief of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Division at the University of Chicago, and chief of the Thyroid Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard University, in addition to other professorships.

A graduate of the Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine, Dr. Wondisford completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio. He underwent additional training as an endocrinology research fellow at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a Division of the NIH.

Recently, he completed a Cornell University combined program resulting in Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees in health care policy, management and leadership with a special emphasis on academic strategy.

Dean Guy Reed, MD, MS, who has led the College of Medicine – Phoenix since 2017, will remain with the college in his faculty position to focus on translational cardiovascular research.


About University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix:

Throughout the College’s journey of creation, we have held and continue to have an expansive vision for the future. We value our past, are proud of our accomplishments to date and believe that collectively, our future is framed by how expansive our vision is and limited only by boundaries we place on these dreams.

The College of Medicine – Phoenix is committed to four pillars that empower its mission and vision for the future. The Education Pillar, Research Pillar, Clinical Pillar and Community Service

Pillar converge in many areas and synergistically form the foundation of the College.

The College is committed to providing an environment that motivates and encourages excellence — one where every student can thrive. Innovations in our curriculum prepare a growing body of diverse students to be physicians for tomorrow. By utilizing simulation technology and advances in medicine, the college offers students a rich, varied experience working in a distributed clinical partnership model.

Key Aspirations:

  • Leverage clinical partners to expand training opportunities.
  • Continue to create an inclusive and diverse culture on campus.
  • Improve and grow the graduate medical education programs to meet the health care needs of Arizonans.

The College will maintain and grow collaborative research relationships locally, nationally and globally to accelerate discovery and to advance health and health care for all. Research partners provide opportunities to collectively advance the breadth and complexity of medicine.

Key Aspirations:

  • Development of multidisciplinary centers of excellence (big data health care analytics, precision medicine, neurosciences) translated to improved patient care.
  • Create and grow core Research labs that will leverage the college and partners.
  • Expand focus on the research enterprise.
  • Collaborate with community and industry partners to expand resources and maximize partnerships.

The college has developed an integral network of clinical partners in the Phoenix area, exposing students to a diverse cross-section of patients while in training. The network is anchored by the Banner Health System. The university and Banner Health have enhanced their partnership, which includes further developing the academic mission at Banner’s flagship Banner University Medical Center – Phoenix.

Key Aspirations:

  • Further developing the partnership with Banner Health to create opportunities to advance teaching and research at the college.
  • Integrate educational and research expertise of the college into existing centers at Banner Health.
  • Pursue creation of more graduate medical education opportunities in the Phoenix area.
  • Develop innovative partnerships with affiliates throughout the region to increase opportunities for students and transform health care.

Community organizations and partners look to the college to lead efforts aimed at improving the health of our population. The college was built as a result of extraordinary collaboration within the community, and so it aspires to continually give back by making a real difference as an exceptional servant and partner.

Key Aspirations:

We can and will harness energies at our disposal to drive our economy, our national status, and critically, avail world-class health care to the citizens of our state.

We have an expansive vision for the future, valuing all of our resources and believing it is critical to meld with partners to form a collective force for health care in Arizona.


About Fredric Edward Wondisford, MD, MS, MBA:

“I have been the Henry Rutgers Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine (DOM) at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School since 2015. I oversee 154 full-time (growing from 53 in 2015) and 440 affiliate faculty members. During my tenure, DOM research faculty also increased from 11 to 33, NIH funding grew from $1.2M in 2015 to $17.9M in 2022, and the DOM’s Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research ranking improved from 93 in 2015 to 53 in 2022. Before this appointment, I was Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Physiology and Director of the Metabolism Division and Diabetes Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. I have scientifically mentored 77 trainees, of whom 40 have gone on to independent academic research careers. During my mentoring activities, I was supported by a K24, was the PI or Co-PI on two T32 grants, and supervised training programs in two different NIH P60 diabetes centers as the P.I. (the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins Diabetes Research and Training Centers). I am currently the KL2 training director of the NJ Alliance for Clinical and Translational Science, the first-ever CTSA award in the State of NJ.

I have had a long-standing interest in thyroid disease. While a senior staff fellow at the NIH and junior faculty member at Harvard Medical School, I developed and patented recombinant TSH (Thyrogen®), changing the standard of care for patients with thyroid cancer. My laboratory has two main research interests, supporting discovery and the scientific training of mentees: 1) Regulation of gene expression by nuclear thyroid hormone receptors and 2) Control of hepatic glucose production in health and disease. Both projects recently received new NIH R01 funding.”






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