William Applegate Named Dean of Wake Forest University School of Medicine

February 6, 2002

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - William B. Applegate, M.D., M.P.H., will become dean of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and senior vice president of Wake Forest University Health Sciences, effective April 1. The announcement, by Richard H. Dean, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Wake Forest University Health Sciences, came at a called meeting of the faculty and student body of the medical school.

"Bill is a proven leader of the faculty and students," said Dean. "As chief academic officer, he will lead both our educational and research missions as well as enhance the academic accomplishments of our clinical mission."

Applegate is professor and chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, a position he assumed in January 1999. He also is co-chair of Wake Forest University Physicians, which governs the clinical faculty.

Dean praised Applegate''s qualities of collegiality and collaboration and said his "clear vision of opportunities that will advantage our academic mission and facilitate our academic accomplishments led me to conclude that he was the right person for this job."

"As chief academic officer I see two major goals for the School of Medicine," said Applegate. "First, we plan to be one of the top 30 National Institutes of Health-funded academic research centers in the country. Second, we wish to take our creative and innovative medical school curriculum and partner it with the business school, the law school and the new school of biomedical engineering to even better prepare our medical students to be leaders in tomorrow''s health care system." Applegate is nationally recognized, especially in the fields of geriatrics and cardiovascular epidemiology. He has served as president of the American Geriatrics Society and as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. He has served on the executive committee of the Council for Epidemiology and Prevention of the American Heart Association.

In his career, Applegate has been either the principal investigator or a co-investigator on nearly $40 million in NIH grants or contracts.

He came to Wake Forest from the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences in Memphis, where he was professor and chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine, professor of medicine and professor of biostatistics and epidemiology. He also was director of the Center for Prevention and Health Sciences Research and the General Clinical Research Center there, and served for a period as chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine. Before that, he was director of outpatient medicine clinics and assistant professor of medicine and family and community medicine at the University of New Mexico.

Long before Applegate came to Wake Forest, he was regularly collaborating with more a dozen Wake Forest faculty members on a variety of research projects, ranging from the benefits of exercise in the elderly to a plethora of studies on controlling high blood pressure, and prevention of coronary artery disease in elderly persons. Applegate is a nationally recognized scientist in the area of managing hypertension in the elderly. He has served in key administrative roles in 11 multicenter national studies. As a clinician, he has been listed in both Best Doctors in America and America''s Top Doctors.

Applegate got his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Louisville, where he was named outstanding medical student and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society. He did residencies at Boston City Hospital and N.C. Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill and got his master''s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

He was recently elected to the board of regents of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Internal Medicine.


Contact: Robert Conn, Jim Steele or Mark Wright at (336) 716-4587

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