Wactawski-Wende Named UB's Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives

By Lois Baker

Release Date: August 21, 2009 This content is archived.


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Jean Wactawski-Wende has been named UB's vice provost for strategic initiatives beginning in September.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jean Wactawski-Wende, Ph.D., professor and associate chair of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, and adjunct professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has been appointed UB's vice provost for strategic initiatives.

She will assume the position in September, replacing Alexander Cartwright, Ph.D., who was named to two new leadership roles -- chair of the UB Department of Electrical Engineering and inaugural chair of UB's new Department of Biomedical Engineering.

In her position as vice provost for strategic initiatives, Wactawski-Wende will work with the UB 2020 leadership teams to help the university reach its strategic goals set for the next decade, and will facilitate creation of cross-discipline initiatives critical to reaching those goals.

On accepting this new responsibility, Wactawski-Wende said: "I am honored to be offered this position, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to help advance UB's status as a top research university." She will continue her research in several areas of women's health.

"I am very excited that Jean is joining our leadership team," said UB Provost Satish K. Tripathi. "Jean brings much experience and success in terms of bringing faculty together to engage in groundbreaking cross-disciplinary research collaborations; and I know she will continue to bring a cross-disciplinary perspective and ambition to the office of the vice provost for strategic initiatives.

"With Alex Cartwright first in this role and now Jean, I am very pleased that we have continued to attract such talented and successful faculty to this leadership position."

Wactawski-Wende has been a UB faculty member since 1989. Her initial appointments were in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, where she was director of the Division of Women's Health Research. She joined the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in 1999. Prior to coming to UB, she spent five years as a research scientist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

She has been an active researcher for more than 25 years, investigating conditions affecting women's health. She is principal investigator of UB's $13 million Women's Health Initiative Vanguard Center, one of 40 centers across the United States responsible for implementing this $625 million landmark clinical trial investigating the major factors influencing morbidity and mortality in older women. Results of that work have been far reaching, impacting understanding of long-term health in women. She also is a member of the WHI executive committee.

Wactawski-Wende currently is principal investigator on two NIH-funded clinical trials and leads the Buffalo center of a National Cancer Institute of Canada clinical trial studying use of an aromatase inhibitor to prevent breast cancer. Her work has resulted in 85 papers published in many top peer-reviewed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA and Nature Genetics. She has lectured extensively, is a reviewer for numerous professional journals, and has served on or chaired multiple national committees concerning women's health. She currently is a member of the Cooperative Multi-Center Reproductive Medicine Networks Clinical Trial Advisory Board of the NIH's Eunice B. Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

She has received many awards throughout her career, including the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship in 2006, and most recently the UB Exceptional Scholar: Sustained Achievement Award in 2009.

A graduate of Canisius College with a degree in biology, Wactawski-Wende holds an M.S. degree in natural sciences and epidemiology and a Ph.D. in experimental pathology and epidemiology, both from UB's Roswell Park Division.

She lives in Clarence, N.Y.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.