Emory Report
August 6, 2007
Volume 59, Number 36

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August 6, 2007
Sanfilippo to head Emory's health care enterprise

By Sarah Goodwin

Emory has named Fred Sanfilippo, a distinguished physician-scientist who currently leads the health sciences at the Ohio State University, to head its own health care enterprise.

Sanfilippo, an expert in transplant immunology who has published more than 250 scientific papers, will succeed Michael M.E. Johns as executive vice president for health affairs, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chairman of the board of Emory Healthcare. Sanfilippo currently is serving as senior vice president and executive dean for health sciences at Ohio State, and as CEO of the Ohio State University Medical Center.

“We could not be more pleased to find a leader with the breadth and depth of experience possessed by Fred Sanfilippo,” said President Jim Wagner. “He has long been recognized for his expertise in biomedical science, and he has achieved recognition as well for his ability to lead transformations of complex academic organizations to higher levels of excellence. It is this rare combination of scientific and organizational talent that makes Fred such an ideal fit for the Emory health sciences at this dynamic juncture in our history.”
The appointment is effective Oct. 1, at which time Johns will assume the position of chancellor of the University.

“It is exciting to join Emory at a time when the range of opportunities facing the University is second to none in biomedical science as well as health care delivery and work force development,” said Sanfilippo. “I am especially pleased to succeed Mike Johns, one of our country’s senior statesmen in academic medicine, as head of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Emory is at the cusp of even greater distinction after more than a decade of rapid growth in research, education and clinical programs.”

Sanfilippo also notes that he is particularly excited about Emory’s focus on predictive health and global health. “Right from my start at Ohio State we set forth a vision to develop personalized health care. Emory is one of the few institutions that is at the leading edge in creating this future of medicine. The Emory Predictive Health Initiative is a great University-wide priority that extends as a collaborative partnership with Georgia Tech and other institutions. I’m really looking forward to help accelerate these and other key strategic priorities.”

Sanfilippo earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in immunology from Duke University, where he joined the medical faculty in 1979 and spent 14 years. At Duke he was professor of pathology, immunology and experimental surgery. In 1993, he moved to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as Baxley Professor of Pathology, pathologist-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and chair of the Department of Pathology in the School of Medicine. He was named to his current position at Ohio State as senior vice president in 2000, and as executive dean for health sciences in 2004.

“Fred Sanfilippo will be a driving force as he continues the momentum of the health sciences at Emory and keeps us on the rapidly rising trajectory we have enjoyed for the past decade,” said Johns, who has served as the head of Emory health sciences since 1996. “I am glad to be able to pass the baton to such a capable leader and watch in the coming years as Fred moves Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center toward an extraordinary future. There is no doubt that all of the strengths that he brings to Emory will serve it well.”

Sanfilippo has served as president of the American Society of Transplantation, president of the American Society of Investigative Pathology, and is a member of the board of directors of the Association of Academic Health Centers. He has served on the editorial boards of 13 journals and has been principal or co-principal of eight inventions; a principal investigator of more than $40 million in research grants; and an invited speaker at 120 institutions, symposia, and meetings. He was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2004.

Sanfilippo is married with two children; his wife Janet oversees special projects at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State, his daughter Lisa is a research assistant at Columbia University, and his son Joseph is an entering freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.