The University of Florida Health Cancer Center is pleased to announce that John R. Wingard, M.D., has been appointed the center’s deputy director.
In this role, Dr. Wingard will be responsible for overseeing the UFHCC good manufacturing practices (GMP) resource to facilitate bringing UF-developed novel cell and drug therapies rapidly to the clinic. He will also be responsible for managing the internal grants programs to stimulate collaborative research initiatives, coordinating membership activities and developing a strategic plan for the UFHCC.
“Dr. Wingard’s, dedication and consistent focus on academic excellence and innovative patient care through clinical research, along with his years of experience at the University of Florida make him an ideal second in command for our center,” said Jonathan Licht, M.D., director of the UF Health Cancer Center.
Dr. Wingard’s position is one of several new leadership roles being added to the UF Health Cancer Center roster. The revamped leadership team and Dr. Licht will work with clinical, population science and laboratory-based faculty and staff to develop and implement new and innovative strategies for the treatment and prevention of cancer. These leadership positions are critical in aligning the UFHCC with the center structure required for NCI designation.
“I am honored to be trusted with these new responsibilities,” said Dr. Wingard. “This is an exciting time for the UF Health Cancer Center. Our work to achieve NCI designation poses formidable challenges but the path is clear and, under Dr. Licht’s leadership, substantial progress has already been made in a short time. With the institutional commitment being made and the energetic, capable team being assembled, we are confident we will be successful. I look forward to being a part of this important work.”
Dr. Wingard was appointed associate director for clinical research at the UFHCC in 2015; for the preceding four years, he served as its deputy director for research. In addition, Dr. Wingard is a professor of medicine and pediatrics in the UF College of Medicine, serving as Price Eminent Scholar. Since 1996, he has led Florida’s longest-established bone marrow transplant center, the UF Health Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, which has a history of influencing national benchmarks for quality and innovation in stem cell transplantation and patient care.
Dr. Wingard received his undergraduate training at Yale University, his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, his residency at University of Tennessee and his oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins. He began his faculty career at Johns Hopkins, subsequently joining the faculty at Emory University. Since 1996, he has been on the faculty at the University of Florida.
Dr. Wingard has held a number of leadership positions in the field of cellular therapy, including co-chair of the Late Effects Working Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, chair of the steering committee of the NHLBI/NCI Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, member of the board of directors of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapies, past president of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and member and immediate past chair of the National Marrow Donor Program board of directors. He has been continuously NIH-funded since 1999 and has published 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 60 book chapters and has edited five books. Dr. Wingard has been invited to give hundreds of lectures locally, nationally and internationally.
Recent honors include selection for the University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship, which recognizes faculty members who have distinguished records of research with great promise to continue to make distinctive contributions. Dr. Wingard received the Hospital Medical Professional Advocate of the Year award from the Florida Association of Blood Banks in 2014 and was included in Newsweek Health’s list of “Top Cancer Doctors 2015” for excellence in treatment of bone marrow transplant, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Wingard as he moves into his new role as deputy director of the University of Florida Health Cancer Center.