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January 17, 2007 - 12:00am

UA Appoints Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD, Dean for College of Medicine-Phoenix

The University of Arizona has named Edward H. (Ted) Shortliffe, MD, PhD, dean of The University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, in partnership with Arizona State University. He will begin in his new role at the UA after March 1.

Dr. Shortliffe will report to Keith A. Joiner, MD, dean of the UA College of Medicine and vice provost for medical affairs. Dr. Joiner has statewide oversight for College of Medicine programs, including Tucson and Phoenix medical education, research and clinical activities.

Dr. Shortliffe will be a member of the UA's Academic Council and Health Sciences Academic Council, participating in collaborative discussions with his dean colleagues on matters related to medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health. A nationally renowned clinician, educator and expert in the field of biomedical informatics, Dr. Shortliffe comes to the UA from Columbia University in New York, where he is the Rolf A. Scholdager Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He also is a professor in the Departments of Medicine and of Computer Science at Columbia.

"This is a new and key position for The University of Arizona," said UA President Robert N. Shelton. "Dr. Shortliffe's long experience as a physician, researcher and academic leader will be of immense value as we prepare to welcome the first class of medical students this summer to the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix, in partnership with ASU."

"It was a privilege to have worked with Ted Shortliffe at Columbia University and to be able to work with him again now," said Arizona State University Michael Crow. "He has been a leader for many years in the integration of separate fields of knowledge - computing and medicine - for the benefit of human health. He is the right person to strengthen the ties between our two universities as we expand the College of Medicine for the benefit of the citizens of Arizona."

Dr. Joiner said, "Ted Shortliffe is ideally suited to be Dean of the Phoenix Program. He is a world-renowned figure in medical information systems and the underlying science. More importantly for his new position, he has a deep understanding of how to create dynamic and effective linkages between clinical care, education and research. He is deeply committed to developing the Phoenix Program collaboratively with ASU and synergistically with the Tucson Program of the College of Medicine. Through his recruitment, we will truly realize our enormous potential for creating a great, statewide College of Medicine."

"I am eager to take on the new challenges associated with the leadership of the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix in partnership with ASU. It is a unique opportunity with tremendous enthusiasm for the venture at both the city and state levels and a chance to innovate in medical education and in interdisciplinary biomedical research. I have had extensive experience building new programs from scratch in the past and believe that my skills and knowledge are well-matched to the work ahead," Dr. Shortliffe said.

During the early 1970s, Dr. Shortliffe was principal developer of the medical expert system known as MYCIN, widely cited as the first system of its kind. He earned a doctoral degree in medical information sciences at Stanford University in 1975 and his medical degree at Stanford in 1976. After completing his internship in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in 1977 and a residency in internal medicine at Stanford University Hospital in 1979, he joined the Stanford internal medicine faculty, where he served as chief of general internal medicine and associate chair of medicine for primary care. He subsequently became associate dean for information resources and technology, while continuing to pursue research and educational programs in medical informatics.

Dr. Shortliffe joined Columbia University in January 2000. His research interests include the broad range of issues related to integrated decision-support systems, their effective implementation and the role of the Internet in health care.

He is a member of a variety of professional organizations, including the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the American Clinical and Climatological Association, the American College of Medical Informatics and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.

In addition to having authored more than 300 articles and books in the fields of medical computing and artificial intelligence, he is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Biomedical Informatics, and he serves on the editorial boards for several other biomedical informatics publications.

The UA College of Medicine-Phoenix, in partnership with ASU, will admit its first four-year class of 24 medical students in July. The college, on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, is expected to increase its class size to 150 students in conjunction with an ambitious building program on the site.