Noted clinical scientist to lead UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville

Daniel Wilson, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Daniel Wilson, UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville dean
By John Pastor

After an extensive national search, Daniel R. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D., has been named vice president of the University of Florida Health Science Center-Jacksonville and dean of the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville, announced David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System.

Wilson, chairman of psychiatry at Creighton University for the past 11 years, was chosen for his leadership, international reputation and sustained academic excellence. He will begin Feb. 1, 2012, replacing dean Robert C. Nuss, M.D., who is retiring.

“Dr. Wilson is highly skilled in patient care, research and teaching,” Guzick said. “Combined with his extensive leadership and management experience, which ranges from department chair to medical director of a large hospital system, he will serve the Jacksonville campus well and continue the tradition of excellence that Dr. Nuss established during an incredible 40-year career of medical leadership and clinical excellence.”

Wilson, also a professor of psychiatry, neurology and anthropology at Creighton University, has a strong research track record, with more than 50 grants as principal investigator, including two current National Institutes of Health awards. While his primary focus is forensic psychiatry, Wilson’s research agenda ranges from pharmaceutical development to treatment of mood, psychosis and posttraumatic stress disorders.

Prior to his appointments at Creighton, Wilson served as a professor of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati, where he directed the University Institute for Medicine & Law.

From 1994 to 2000, he served as medical director of The Lewis Center of the Ohio Department of Mental Health, managing some 600 employees with a budget of $35 million. Under his leadership, the National Alliance on Mental Illness named the hospital the Best Psychiatric Facility in Ohio. From 1998 to 2000, he also served as medical director for inpatient services of a statewide Integrated Health System spanning nine sites across Ohio and overseeing a multidisciplinary staff of more than 1,300 and a budget of $100 million.

Wilson received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from Yale, his medical degree from the University of Iowa and a diploma in mental health leadership from Case Western Reserve University. He completed residency in psychiatry as a joint appointee of Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General & McLean Hospitals. In addition to practical experience in student health psychiatry, forensics and medical administration, Wilson gained expertise in the genetics, neuropsychiatry, psychopharmacology and psychotherapy of mood, psychotic and stress disorders.

He subsequently earned a Ph.D. in biological anthropology at Queens’ College, Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. By working at the intersection of the fields of medicine, psychiatry and anthropology, Wilson has created hundreds of scholarly articles on a wide cross-section of topics that have earned him worldwide recognition in these fields.

Wilson has been named a Sleyster Scholar of the American Medical Association, a Falk Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a Rotary Fellow for Cambridge University, Life Fellow of the International Society of Police Surgeons, and Overseas Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He is currently president of the American Neuropsychiatric Society and a councilor of the World Psychiatric Association.

He has penned more than 200 papers, books, chapters and other scientific communications across a range of subjects including psychiatric diagnosis, psychopharmacology, forensics and evolutionary medicine.

Wilson will follow Nuss, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology who has been dean of the Jacksonville Campus since 2002. A professor of obstetrics and gynecology, with certification in the specialty of gynecologic oncology, Nuss has provided exceptional leadership in Jacksonville over a 40-year time period, doubling the College of Medicine’s academic and clinical operations and mentoring and teaching many.

During his tenure, he worked with hospital leaders to develop a mature and financially stable academic health center at UF&Shands Jacksonville. In addition, he created a vibrant practice plan with more than 600,000 outpatient visits and more than 34,000 inpatient admissions annually. In the past five years, externally funded research has grown by 200 percent at the Jacksonville campus, which now enjoys full partnership in UF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

“I have been privileged to enjoy a strong working relationship with Dr. Bob Nuss during his 10 years as dean. I look forward to having the same with Dr. Dan Wilson,” said James R. Burkhart, president and chief executive officer of Shands Jacksonville. “We are all excited about the experience and background that he brings to UF&Shands and look forward to the same vital partnership that has allowed us to excel over the past 10 years.”

David J. Vukich, chair of the dean search committee and senior associate dean of hospital affairs at Jacksonville, said Wilson was exceptional among a field that contained dozens of highly qualified candidates.

“Dr. Wilson was the standout, bringing a great combination of insight, experience and maturity. It will be a pleasure working with him,” Vukich said. “This campus has gained so much under Dr. Nuss’ strong leadership that we will never be able to thank him adequately. Many of us have benefited personally by his mentoring and teaching, and it is indeed a great legacy that he leaves. Dr. Wilson is up to the task, however.”