I am pleased to announce that the Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Dr. Richard Fedorak as dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry for the period November 1, 2016 to June 30, 2021. He is currently interim dean of the faculty, a role he has held since February 1, 2015.
A proud alumnus, Richard has been a member of the University of Alberta academy for 30 years. In addition to serving as interim dean, he is professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at the U of A, and is currently the president of the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation. A member of the medical staff at both the University of Alberta Hospital and the Cross Cancer Institute, Richard is also a consulting physician at the Stollery Children’s Health Centre of Northern Alberta and the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
Over his career, Richard has served the university in a number of administrative roles, as director of the Division of Gastroenterology from 1990-2006, associate vice-president (research) from 2010-2013, and most recently, interim dean.
Under his leadership, the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry recently completed a year-long strategic planning process in May 2016. The plan has a strong focus on attracting and supporting an exceptional community of faculty, students, and staff, and on the building of educational programs, learning opportunities, partnerships, funding, and governance needed to inspire and facilitate academic excellence, innovation, and public service.
As interim dean, Richard also re-organized the faculty’s advancement team to position it for greater success in fundraising, communication and community engagement. He has a proven track record in fundraising, bringing in seminal donations to the Zeidler Family Gastrointestinal Health Centre, the Alan H Owen Endoscopy Unit, and the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation. In April 2004, Richard secured a $21 million Canada Foundation for Innovation Grant Award that led to the establishment and ongoing success of the Centre of Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research.
The recipient of numerous awards, research fellowships and grants, Richard is a recognized expert in inflammatory bowel disease. He has an active basic gastrointestinal research laboratory in the area of mucosal immunology, inflammation, and membrane function and structure. In addition, he leads a large gastrointestinal disease clinical research group. He serves on multiple national and international scientific advisory boards, has published over 500 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, and has two patents on colonic-specific drug delivery.
Over his career, Richard has been an active contributor and leader in his discipline. He has served as director for the Centre of Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research, director of the Northern Alberta Clinical Trials and Research Centre, president of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology, president of the University of Alberta Hospital Medical Staff, president of the Alberta Society of Gastroenterology, president of the World Congress of Gastroenterology Bid Federation, General Secretary of the Pan American Congress of Gastroenterology, and president of the World Congress of Gastroenterology.
In recognition of his many academic contributions, Richard is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and the Royal Society of Canada.
Please join me in congratulating Richard Fedorak on his appointment as the next dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
I wish to thank all of you who participated in the selection process. Most particularly, I thank the members of the Dean Selection Committee for their hard work and commitment.