Selwyn Vickers, M.D., chosen to lead UAB School of Medicine

vicers sSelwyn M. Vickers, M.D., has been named the next senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. Vickers, a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, is a world-renowned surgeon, pancreatic cancer researcher, pioneer in health disparities research and a native of Alabama. He was recommended after an extensive national search.

Vickers, 53, spent his formative years as a young faculty member at UAB, beginning in 1994, and he directed the section of gastrointestinal surgery here from 2000-06. He now is the Jay Phillips Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He will begin his new post at UAB Oct. 15, 2013. Pending approval from the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, Vickers will also hold the James C. Lee Jr. Endowed Chair. Anupam Agarwal, M.D., who has served as interim vice president and dean since February, will return to his position as director of the Division of Nephrology and vice chair for research in the Department of Medicine.

“We were fortunate to have a pool of very highly talented candidates who recognize that UAB is doing great things here and around the world,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts, who was senior vice president and dean of the School of Medicine from 2010 until his appointment as president in February of this year. “In the end, Dr. Vickers emerged as the right person at the right time for UAB. We are glad to have him back. There are very high expectations for the School of Medicine. With Dr. Vickers as its leader, we have every confidence those expectations will be exceeded.”

“It is my great honor to return to Alabama and UAB, where my family and I created so many wonderful memories,” Vickers said. “I would like to thank President Ray Watts and the search committee for placing their trust in me. I look forward to working with Dr. Watts and everyone else at UAB and leading the School of Medicine toward even greater success.

“I feel fortunate to have served six years as chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School. It has been a transformative experience. I will miss working with the outstanding faculty, especially those in the Department of Surgery, and I will always appreciate the opportunity to serve and grow at the University of Minnesota.”

Vickers will lead the medical school’s main campus in Birmingham, as well as regional campuses in Montgomery, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa. He also will be part of UAB Medicine’s joint operating leadership (JOL) team with UAB Health System Chief Executive Officer Will Ferniany, Ph.D., and James Bonner, M.D., president of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, the School of Medicine faculty-physician practice group. The JOL steers operations and finances for all UAB Hospital and ambulatory medical services, including The Kirklin Clinic and the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital.

Vickers was born in Demopolis, Ala., and grew up in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. He earned baccalaureate and medical degrees from the Johns Hopkins University and completed surgical training there, including a chief residency. He completed two summer post-graduate research fellowships with the National Institutes of Health and training at John Radcliffe Hospital of Oxford University, England. He was an instructor of surgery at Hopkins for a year before coming to UAB as an assistant professor.

While at UAB, Vickers was co-director of the Minority Health and Research Center and the Pancreaticobiliary Center. He was a senior scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and an associate scientist in the Gene Therapy Center.

He left UAB to become chair of the department of surgery at Minnesota in 2006. From Minnesota, he continued research collaborations with faculty at UAB and is the co-principal investigator for the Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Pancreatic Cancer. Vickers leads or co-leads several multi-year, multi-million dollar research projects funded by the NIH, covering health disparities, pancreatic cancer and training. He has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1994.

With Mona Fouad, M.D., director of the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine and the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, Vickers helped create Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials (EMPaCT), a consortium of five cancer centers aimed at increasing the participation by minorities in clinical trials.

In July, Vickers and James Shikany, Ph.D., a professor in the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine, were awarded a $13.5 million grant to create the National Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for African-American Men’s Health (NTCC). The NTCC is a collaborative effort with 100 Black Men of America Inc., the National USA Foundation Inc. and the National Football League to create community partnerships to design, deliver and evaluate interventions targeting the four most significant causes of death and disease across the lifespan of African-American men and boys: unintentional and violence-related injury, cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke.

While at UAB, Vickers won numerous honors and awards, including the Argus Society for Excellence in Teaching Award and the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2000, he was the first faculty member chosen by students as commencement speaker.

Vickers and his wife Janice Vickers, who also is from Alabama, have been married since 1988; their parents live in Huntsville. They have four children: Lauren, 22, Adrienne, 20, Lydia, 16, and Benjamin, 14.

The School of Medicine at UAB has more than 1,100 faculty, 3,000 staff, 879 medical students and 814 medical residents. UAB attracts more than $400 million annually in external research funding and consistently ranks among the top 25 schools in funding from the NIH.

People

  • Cowart named assistant dean for Business
    Assistant Professor Lary Cowart, Ph.D., is the new assistant dean for accreditation in the Collat School of Business. He assumes those duties from Professor Jack Howard, Ph.D., who had served as associate dean for faculty development and research since 2013.
    posted yesterday 30 views
  • Day wins NIH early-stage investigator award
    Jeremy Day, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology, is one of six recipients of inaugural awards given to early-stage investigators for highly innovative studies in epigenetics.
    posted 2 days ago 47 views
  • Yeatts wears many hats, each with confidence
    Megan Yeatts won the hearts and respect of her co-workers in Ophthalmology to become June’s Employee of the Month.
    posted 7 days ago 474 views
  • Three honored as emeritus faculty
    Three longtime faculty in the UAB School of Medicine have been honored as emeritus professors. They are John T. Carpenter, M.D., James R. Jackson, Ph.D., and Luis O. Vasconez, M.D.
    posted 13 days ago 508 views
  • Business selects sales, marketing expert as new chair
    C. Michael Wittmann, Ph.D., will be the new chair of Marketing, Industrial Distribution and Economics in the Collat School of Business, effective July 1. Wittmann comes to UAB from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he chairs its Department of Marketing and Merchandising.
    posted 14 days ago 242 views
  • Endowed chair, professor appointed in School of Medicine
    Professor Ravi Bhatia, M.D., is the next holder of the Martha Ann and David L. May Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, and Professor Edward W. Hook III, M.D., was chosen to be the inaugural holder of the Cobbs Endowed Professorship in Infectious Diseases.
    posted 16 days ago 457 views
  • Barnes selected to lead Enrollment Management
    Bradley Barnes, Ph.D., has been named vice provost for Enrollment Management, and his first day at UAB will be July 15. Barnes, who will report to Provost Linda Lucas, will lead a comprehensive enrollment-management unit to develop strategies for student recruitment, admissions, retention and persistence to graduation.
    posted a while back 542 views
  • Banks is a diplomat with a ‘black belt in red-tape cutting’
    Susan Banks, The Graduate School’s go-to person for all policy and procedure questions, is Employee of the Month.
    posted a while back 1579 views
  • Outman’s ‘deft touch’ brings many different people together
    UAB’s meteoric rise in a few decades is attributed to its identity as a collaborative academic research institution, and those who work with Ryan Outman say he is “the essence of this UAB spirit” and more than worthy of being UAB's Employee of the Month.
    posted a while back 1565 views
  • New research, insights included in latest edition of 'Mucosal Immunology'
    Microbiology Professor Jiri Mestecky, M.D., Ph.D., has completed the fourth edition of the only comprehensive reference covering the basic science and clinical manifestations of mucosal immunology.
    posted a while back 947 views
  • Chapman to chair English department
    Professor Alison Chapman., Ph.D., who has been director of undergraduate studies for the Department of English since 2008, has accepted the position as its chair. Highly regarded as a teacher and mentor, she received the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010 and the Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award from UAB and the National Association of Academic Advisors in 2014.
    posted a while back 712 views
  • Arribas is new chair for Foreign Languages

    Julian Arribas, Ph.D., comes to UAB from Creighton University. His international perspective and contacts are expected to advance the goals for globalization for the College of Arts and Sciences.

    posted a while back 748 views
  • Evans is new chair of Music

    Patrick Evans, D.M., comes to UAB from DePauw University, where he was director of admissions for its School of Music. Evans, a baritone who has performed nationwide and abroad, is a lecturer, practitioner and clinician in the fields of sacred music and congregational song.

    posted a while back 778 views
  • Than is AOA Educator of the Year
    Tammy Than, O.D., professor of optometry, was recently named the American Optometric Association's Educator of the Year. She will be recognized at the 2015 meeting June 24. It speaks volumes that she has won the American Optometric Student Association Teaching Award six times.
    posted a while back 864 views
  • McClintock honored for commitment to outreach

    James McClintock, Ph.D., endowed professor of polar and marine biology, received the Odessa Woolfolk Community Service Award for using his lifetime of work in Antarctica to educate students and the public about the value and excitement of pursuing science on the remote continent.

    posted a while back 1473 views
  • Carver is VPIT/chief information officer
    Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D., comes to UAB from the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, for which he served as vice chancellor and chief information officer. He will be the senior IT leader at UAB and also hold an academic appointment in computer sciences. His first day at UAB will be June 1.
    posted a while back 1001 views
  • Seven honored as Outstanding Women for 2015

    Each year during Women’s History Month, UAB honors women who have mentored or served other women, taken a courageous stance or overcome adversity to achieve a goal. 

    posted a while back 1887 views
  • Three decades of experience makes Price the heart of OH&S

    Sherri Price, administrative supervisor in Occupational Health and Safety, has been named Employee of the Month for March. 

    posted a while back 1478 views
  • Outstanding women to be recognized March 19
    Seven women will be honored by the UAB Commission on the Status of Women on March 19, and leadership expert Betsy Myers will speak on March 20.
    posted a while back 996 views
  • Faculty to be honored for excellence in teaching March 18

    Twelve faculty who exemplify the best in classroom teaching will be recognized during the annual Faculty Awards Convocation at 4 p.m. in the UAB National Alumni Society House.

    posted a while back 2823 views
Latest from the UAB Reporter