John Wright Named Dean of UB Medical School

By Lois Baker

Release Date: October 7, 1998

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- John R. Wright, M.D., interim dean of the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences since Jan. 1, 1997, and chair of its Department of Pathology for 23 years, has been named dean of the school, effective Oct. 1.

UB Provost Thomas E. Headrick, in announcing the appointment, praised Wright's performance as interim dean, citing his "extraordinary job in the most challenging of times for medical schools and health care in general."

"His wide knowledge, perceptive understanding, openness and resoluteness have made it possible for the university and the medical school to move forward toward fundamental changes during a difficult period," Headrick said. Lauding Wright's equanimity, determination and sense of purpose, he added: "I look forward to his continued help and guidance through the thicket of concerns affecting health care and medical schools."

Michael E. Bernardino, M.D., vice president for health affairs, praised Wright as well. "John Wright demonstrated his devotion to the medical school by serving as interim dean during a very turbulent time," Bernardino said. "His wisdom, thoughtfulness, and honest and focused leadership enhanced my transition to the university, and I look forward to working with him as we strive to fulfill the mission of the medical school and university."

Wright was named UB's interim vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the medical school effective Jan. 1, 1997, following the resignation of John P. Naughton, M.D., after 21 years in the combined post. He continued to serve as interim dean following the appointment this past April 1 of Bernardino as vice president for health affairs.

Wright received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg in 1959. He interned and was a resident in internal medicine at Winnipeg General Hospital and in pathology at Baltimore City Hospitals, completing his residency in pathology at The Buffalo General Hospital (BGH). He also was a National Institutes of Health Fellow in endocrinology at BGH and received a two-year Buswell Fellowship from UB in 1965-67, which he spent teaching and conducting research.

He returned to UB in 1974 to chair its Department of Pathology after serving seven years on the pathology faculty of The Johns Hopkins Medical School. He remained chair of his department until being named interim dean. He also was head of pathology at BGH during those years.

Wright has enjoyed a long affiliation with Roswell Park Cancer Institute as well. He served as interim director of the institute from July 1985 through October 1986, and was a member of the institute's board of visitors from 1981 until it disbanded in 1997, serving as chair from 1987 on. He remains on the board of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Alliance Foundation.

Nationally, Wright is immediate past-president of the Association of Pathology Chairs and a former member of the National Caucus of Basic Biomedical Science Chairs and of the administrative board of the Council of Academic Societies of the American Association of Medical Colleges.

He lives in Williamsville.