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Wactawski-Wende appointed dean of School of Public Health at UB

The interim designation has been removed from the job title for Jean Wactawski-Wende, who Tuesday was appointed dean of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Wactawski-Wende, a longtime UB faculty member, had been interim dean last July. She succeeded Lynn T. Kozlowski, who stepped down to resume his role as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior.

Charles F. Zukoski, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Michael E. Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said that Wactawski-Wende was selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates after an extensive national search.

A UB faculty member since 1989, Wactawski-Wende is an epidemiologist specializing in women’s health issues. 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 – since renamed the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health – in 1999.

She also served as vice provost for strategic initiatives from 2009-2014. Prior to UB, she spent five years as a research scientist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Wactawski-Wende, 56, has been awarded nearly $38 million in research grants and contracts since 2001, focusing her work on understanding the conditions affecting women’s health. She is principal investigator of UB’s Women’s Health Initiative Center, one of 40 centers across the country responsible for implementing the landmark National Institutes of Health-funded study.

“As a national and global leader in epidemiology and women’s health research, Jean’s scholarly contributions have had a sustained and powerful impact on health care practice for women in the U.S. and around the world,” UB President Satish K. Tripathi said. “Her impact on our UB community has been equally profound – from her outstanding service as interim dean and earlier as vice provost for strategic initiatives, to her instrumental role in establishing UB’s leadership in the NIH-funded Women’s Health Initiative, one of the largest clinical trials ever undertaken in the U.S.

“We are truly fortunate to have a scholar of her stature and proven leadership ability at the helm of our School of Public Health and Health Professions.”