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Edward Abraham Named Dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine

Edward Abraham, MD – Wake Forest Photo

Edward Abraham, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine and Spencer Chair in Medical Science Leadership at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), has been named dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine, effective Aug. 1.  The announcement was made by John D. McConnell, M.D., chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Abraham will succeed William Applegate, M.D., M.P.H., who has served as dean since 2002. Applegate previously announced his intention to resign from the position so he could return to his faculty responsibilities and focus on clinical geriatrics and on comparative effectiveness research.

“Dr. Abraham is a proven leader and an accomplished scientist with basic, translational and clinical research programs that have received continuous National Institutes of Health funding for more than 25 years,” McConnell said. “He will lead both our educational and research enterprises as well as enhance the academic accomplishments of our clinical mission.”

 In his career, Abraham has been either the principal or co-investigator on more than $35 million in NIH grants or contracts and $58 million in other research funding. He also holds four patents. 

“What drew me to Wake Forest Baptist is the great leadership of Dr. McConnell and his team, and its outstanding reputation for clinical care, biomedical research and technology transfer,” Abraham said. “We are poised to leverage that reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship to become a national leader in health care and medical education.”

During his five years as chairman of medicine at UAB, Abraham increased his department’s research funding by 25 percent, developed a physician scientist track in the residency program, initiated a mentoring program for junior faculty, enhanced diversity among the faculty and trainees, and fostered a culture of collaboration and teamwork among the faculty and staff.  He recently received the Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishments from the American Thoracic Society in acknowledgement of his outstanding scientific contributions in research that add to the understanding, prevention and treatment of respiratory disease or critical illness.

Prior to his tenure at UAB, Abraham spent 13 years at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where he served as vice chair of the Department of Medicine, director of the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, head of the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine and the Roger Sherman Mitchell Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.  

A native of Chicago, Abraham received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Stanford University. He did his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in critical care medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Early in his career he served as assistant professor and associate professor at UCLA, and was a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Immunobiology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

He currently is a section editor for the Journal of Immunology, serves on the editorial boards of 13 other journals, and is the editor emeritus of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  He has published more than 300 original research articles, reviews, editorials and book chapters. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians,  American Thoracic Society and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

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