1868 - The Detroit Medical College is founded next to Harper Hospital by five physicians who served in the U.S. Civil War. Its motto was Salus Populi – Suprema Lex, the welfare of the people is the highest law. The faculty consists of 12 members who teach medical students a two-year curriculum. The founders are Theodore A. McGraw, M.D.; Samuel P. Duffield; Ph.D. (received his M.D. in 1871 or 1872); David O. Farrand, M.D.; George P. Andrews, M.D.; and Edward W. Jenks, M.D.
Edward W. Jenks, M.D., is named president of the Detroit Medical College. He serves in that capacity through 1877.
First medical degrees awarded (to transfer students). Class includes Joseph Ferguson, M.D., the first African-American graduate in Michigan.
Samuel Duffield, M.D., a pharmacist and microscopist, founds the Detroit Academy of Medicine. The drug manufacturing business he started before that, the Parke Drug Manufacturing Co., was once America's largest manufacturer of drugs and was eventually acquired by Pfizer.
J. Henry Carstens, M.D., an early leader in the field of gynecology, graduates from the medical school.
Edmund A. Chapoton, M.D., a descendant of Jean Baptiste Chapoton, Fort Pontchartrain's third surgeon under the French, obtains his medical degree from the Detroit Medical College. He will go on to serve as a professor.
Theodore McGraw, M.D., a U.S. Army surgeon who was a prisoner of war, is named president of the Detroit College of Medicine, and serves in that capacity through 1913. In 1822, he performed one of the first thyroidectomies in the United States and in 1906 becomes one of the earliest physicians to use injected local anesthetics.
Michigan College of Medicine founded.
Michigan College of Medicine forms its Alumni Association.
Henry O. Walker, M.D., becomes the first professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, in addition to his other professorships.
Rival ambulance services of Detroit Medical School and Michigan College of Medicine compete for accident victims.
Anna Spencer Rankin, M.D., graduates from the Michigan College of Medicine, a precursor of the School of Medicine. She's the first female to do so.
Detroit Medical School and Michigan College of Medicine merge to form the Detroit College of Medicine.
Charles Devendorf, M.D., a faculty member, Harper Hospital physician and later chief medical officer for Children's Hospital, works with 17 Detroit women to form the Children's Free Hospital Association, which provides beds and clothing for sick children regardless of race, religion or ability to pay.
Merritte Ireland, M.D., who went on to serve as chief surgeon and brigadier general for the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI, graduates with a medical degree.
Detroit College of Medicine establishes the Department of Pharmacy, Department of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Dental Surgery.
Albert Henry Johnson, M.D., the third African-American graduate of the Detroit College of Medicine, graduates. Dr. Johnson will become a co-founder Dunbar Hospital, the first African-American non-profit hospital in Detroit.
Leucocyte, the school's first journal for medical students, faculty and alumni, is established.
J. Henry Carstens, M.D., chief of Surgical Gynecology and Obstetrics, is elected president of the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Theodore A. McGraw, M.D., is named vice president of the American Surgical Association.
The Department of Veterinary Medicine closes.
The first section of Urology is organized under Frederick Robbins, M.D.
The Department of Pharmacy closes.
The Department of Dental Surgery closes.
Detroit College of Medicine ranks an A in an American Medical Association inspection.
The school is reorganized as the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery.
Daniel LaFerte, M.D., becomes the first head of the Sub-Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Theodore A. McGraw, M.D., is named vice president of the American Medical Association.
Burt R. Shurly, M.D., is named dean of the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery, and serves in that capacity through 1917.
The Department of Physiology is established and includes Biochemistry and Pharmacology studies at various times.
Of the 16 black-owned and operated hospitals in Detroit, six have at least one founder who graduates from the Detroit College of Medicine or the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery.
Angus McLean, M.D., head of Surgery for the medical school and chief of Surgery for Harper Hospital, organizes Base Hospital 17. The unit arrives in Dijon, France, in July 1917, and treats American and French soldiers through Jan. 8, 1919, when it is deactivated. The base, which was served by 21 physicians from the medical school and Harper, became one of the largest American military hospitals in France. Shortly after WWI, Dr. McLean, a colonel, becomes personal physician to President Woodrow Wilson during the Peace Conference in France.
Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery admits women.
Burt Shurly, M.D., dean of the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery, a major in the Medical Officers' Reserve Corps, agrees to set up another base hospital through the Red Cross and the Army Medical Department, thanks to Detroit resident Carl E. Schmidt's financial contribution of $35,000. The unit is designated Base Hospital 36 and is staffed primarily by faculty of the medical college.
Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery is transferred to the Detroit Board of Education.
Walter H. MacCraken, M.D., is named dean of the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery. He serves in that capacity through 1935.
William Keane, M.D., is named professor and chair of the Department of Urology.
Receiving Hospital becomes the primary training base for the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery.
The Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery awards a B.Med. degree to students after their fourth year and an M.D. after their fifth year. A fifth (internship) year is required.
The College of Pharmacy is formed.
Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery constructs a new building at 645 Mullett St. for library and laboratories.
The university is organized under the Board of Education as Colleges of the City of Detroit. The colleges include Medicine, Education, Liberal Arts, Pharmacy, Engineering and the Graduate School.
Wayne University is named for Wayne County and Revolutionary War Gen. Anthony Wayne.
William J. Stapleton Jr. , M.D., is named acting dean of the Wayne University College of Medicine. He serves in that capacity into 1936.
Raymond B. Allen, M.D., is named dean of the Wayne University College of Medicine. He serves until 1939.
Edgar H. Norris, M.D., is named dean of the Wayne University College of Medicine, and serves in that capacity through 1945.
The College of Medicine's 36th General Hospital is activated. Ships overseas to Algeria in August 1943, and then to Italy in October 1943 to treat American forces during the Mediterranean invasion. The hospital moves to France and remains in service in Europe through the end of the war.
George Mogill, M.D., earns his medical degree. He goes on to serve in the Army's 8th Field Hospital in Europe. Afterward, he refuses to segregate his practice in Detroit between Peterboro and Charlotte streets. Dr. Mogill receives a Lifetime Achievement Citation in 2016 for his meritorious loyalty and commitment to the school, the field of medicine, and teaching and mentoring of medical students.
Dr. Marjorie Peebles is first African-American woman to graduate from College of Medicine. She also became the first African-American female resident and chief resident at Detroit Receiving Hospital and faculty member at Wayne State University.
The Army Specialized Training Program starts at the college, with most male students inducted into the Armed Forces.
The Department of Mortuary Science is established.
The Karmanos Cancer Institute, a Wayne State affiliate, begins as the Detroit Institute for Cancer Research, though its roots stretch to earlier medical leadership at Wayne State. Today, Karmanos offers leading treatments through one of the most extensive clinical trial programs available to patients.
The Kresge-Hooker Scientific Library is acquired.
Hardy A. Kemp, M.D., is appointed dean of the Wayne University College of Medicine. He serves through 1948.
Dr. Ivan B. Taylor launches Michigan's first Anesthesiology residency at Wayne University.
Gordon Scott, Ph.D., is appointed interim dean. Named permanent dean in 1950, he serves in that capacity until 1963. He joined Wayne University in 1946 as chair of the Department of Anatomy. Dr. Scott assumed the deanship during construction of the medical school building at Rivard and Chrysler, initiating the expansion of the student body from 250 to more than 1,700 at his retirement.
Leading ophthalmologists A.D. Ruedemann Sr., M.D., and Parker Heath, M.D., recognize the need for a comprehensive eye institute in Michigan. With a grant from the Kresge Foundation, they establish the Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit.
Angus Goetz, M.D., is named first acting chair of the Department of Orthopaedics.
The state funds a $3.5 million grant for the Medical Science building on Rivard Street.
Marion Barnhart, Ph.D., in the Department of Physiology, becomes the first full-time female staff member at the College of Medicine, and the first woman to become a professor (1967). Dr. Barnhart studied Hematology, particularly blood platelets and blood clotting. She develops tests and treatment for sickle cell anemia.
Forest Dewey Dodrill, M.D., and General Motors engineers design a machine to temporarily replace the blood-pumping function of the heart, making many types of open-heart surgery possible for the first time. The device is first used successfully at Wayne State's Harper Hospital in July 1952, and has made now-common cardiac procedures possible for millions of patients.
Wayne State University is established by Public Act 183 of 1956. The university shifts from city to state control.
Charles Whitten, M.D., becomes the first and only African-American to head a department in a Detroit hospital when he is selected clinical director of Pediatrics at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Professor of Physiology Piero Foa, M.D., Ph.D., first identifies the hormone glucagon, and demonstrates that glucose stimulates insulin secretion, a cornerstone in understanding diabetes and its treatment.
The Department of Neurosurgery is established and E. Stephen Gurdjian, M.D., is named its first chair. He is an early pioneer in the use of angiography to study cerebrovascular disease.
Ananda Prasad, professor of Internal Medicine, publishes a groundbreaking article linking zinc deficiency to slowed human growth. He has continued to study zinc's positive effects on human development, saving countless lives across the world, as mortality rates due to infantile diarrhea in Asia and Africa dropped from nearly 85 percent to 15 percent when the United Nations adopts zinc supplements advised in Dr. Prasad's research.
Morris Goodman, Ph.D., professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, asserts that chimpanzees and gorillas are genetically more closely related to humans than to other apes, and thus should be placed in family Hominidae rather than Pongidae. His research, based on molecular evidence, has since been generally accepted, including a later discovery from DNA sequences that chimpanzees and humans are more closely related to each other than to gorillas or other apes.
Ernest Gardner, M.D., is named dean and serves in that position until 1970. Dr. Gardner joined the College of Medicine as an assistant professor of Anatomy in May 1945. He was promoted to professor and chair of Anatomy in July 1950, and to associate dean in April 1961. He also served as consulting neuroanatomist at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
The Helen Vera Prentis Lande Medical Research Building is completed at a cost of approximately $4 million.
The name of the school is officially changed from College of Medicine to School of Medicine.
John J. Schwarz, M.D., graduates from the School of Medicine. He will go on to become the mayor of Battle Creek, Mich. (1985-87), a state senator (1987-94) and a U.S. representative (2005-07).
Professor of Surgery Allen Silbergleit, M.D., Ph.D., performs the world's first successful resection and graft of a ruptured mycotic/tuberculous abdominal aortic aneurysm.
The Kresge Eye Institute joins the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and administers and directs all ophthalmological services for WSU and the Detroit Medical Center.
The Shiffman Medical Library is constructed at 4325 Brush St. It opens in 1970.
The School of Medicine creates the Post-Baccalaureate Program, which leads to WSU leading the nation's 125 medical schools (exclusive of Howard and Meharry) in the number of African-American graduates from 1981 to 1997.
Ronald Krome, M.D., graduates from the Wayne State Surgery Residency and is assigned staff oversight for the Detroit General Hospital emergency room. By the early 1970s, Dr. Krome begins to develop an emergency physician staff that practices exclusively in emergency medicine and the Emergency Department becomes a formal part of the hospital's administrative structure.
Lawrence Brilliant, M.D., graduates from the School of Medicine. He will become chief executive officer of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, confronting global threats imperiling humanity. He founds the Seva Foundation, an international non-government organization overseeing programs that have restored sight to more than 3 million. He becomes a member of the four-person team that leads the successful World Health Organization smallpox eradication program in India and South Asia.
L. Murray Thomas, M.D., succeeds E. Stephen Gurdjian, M.D., as the second chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. Dr. Thomas brings the department into its present microscopic realm and works on a clinical study of extra-cranial cerebrovascular disease.
Charles Whitten, M.D., professor of Pediatrics, forms the Sickle Cell Detection and Information Center, the most comprehensive community program in the country. A co-founder of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Dr. Whitten, who also served the School of Medicine as associate dean for Curriculum, is among the first to develop and insist on newborn screening for sickle cell disease. As chief of Pediatrics at Detroit Receiving Hospital, he is the first African-American physician to head a department in a Detroit hospital.
Construction begins on the nine-story, $24 million Gordon H. Scott Hall of Basic Medical Sciences.
Robert Coye, M.D., is named dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He will serve until 1980. His tenure includes substantial growth in the size of the student body, placing it among the largest four medical colleges in the nation, and the opening of new facilities, including the Gordon H. Scott Hall of Basic Medical Sciences, the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development, the Health Care Institute and the Radiology Oncology Center.
The C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development is dedicated June 14. A center of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, it is later established as a university center in 1983. In 1988, it is designated as an entity of the School of Medicine.
Samuel Brooks, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry, describes for the first time the estrogen receptor in breast cancer cell line MCF-7, a pivotal discovery with fundamental impact upon breast cancer research.
Physiology Professor Robin Barraco, Ph.D., and colleagues perform an autopsy on the mummy Pum II during a seminar on death and disease in ancient Egypt.
The College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions forms from the merger of the College of Pharmacy and the Division of Allied Health Professions, School of Medicine.
With the growth of the Department of Ophthalmology and support from the Kresge Foundation, a new building for the Kresge Eye Institute is built. The 35,000-square-foot, single-floor structure connects to Harper Hospital.
The Emergency Medicine residency at Detroit General Hospital begins with Brooks Bock, M.D., as first residency director.
Richard Stone, M.D., graduates from the School of Medicine. He will become principal deputy undersecretary for Health in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
Henry Nadler, M.D., is named dean after coming from Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where he served as chief of staff and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern University. He expands genetic research programs while continuing to see patients and counsel families in the Genetics Clinic, in addition to his administrative responsibilities and advancement of the school's national research standing. He serves as dean until 1988.
Alexa Canady, M.D., becomes the first African-American neurosurgeon in the United States. Dr. Canady goes on to serve as professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Wayne State. She was chosen as one of the country's most outstanding doctors by Child magazine in 2001.
A Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher – a native of Detroit — discovers the first FDA-approved drug to treat AIDS patients in 1987. Jerome Horwitz, Ph.D., gave hope to millions of AIDS patients and their families with his discovery of the drug AZT, still used today.
Robert Sokol, M.D., is named dean. He joined the university in 1983 as chair of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics and obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief at the Detroit Medical Center. During his tenure, the School of Medicine progressed to 22nd nationally from 70th in National Science Foundation research expenditures ranking. He serves as dean through 1999.
Kresge ophthalmologists begin seeing patients in a new structure in November. The four-story building is 2.5 times larger and contains basic science and clinical laboratories, a library, an auditorium, classrooms and clinics.
Reach Out to Youth is developed by alumni Carolyn King, M.D. '93, and Don Tynes, M.D. '95, to provide children living in urban areas the opportunity to realize that they can be physicians and medical researchers. The annual event continues, with faculty and medical students volunteering to staff exhibits.
Brooks Bock, M.D., is appointed a full professor and named first chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.
Jerry Linenger, M.D. '81, M.P.H., Ph.D., flies on the space shuttle Discovery mission (Sept. 9-20, 1994), logging more than 10 days in space. In January 1997, he flies on the space shuttle Atlantis Russian space station Mir, returning in May after more than 132 days in space, the record duration space stay for an American at that time. This includes a five-hour spacewalk, the first by an American from a foreign space station in a non-American spacesuit. He carries a Wayne State University School of Medicine flag with him on the mission. That flag is now displayed in Scott Hall.
Bonnie F. Sloane, Ph.D., becomes the first female chair of any department in the School of Medicine and serves as Chair of Pharmacology through 2015.
Charles Vincent, M.D., was appointed to the Membership Committee of the American Medical Association, making him the first African-American appointed to the committee in the AMA's 147-year history.
Arthur Porter, M.D. became the first and only African-American president and chief executive officer of the Detroit Medical Center.
Professor of Physiology Bhanu Jena, Ph.D., discovers the porosome, a cellular structure demonstrated to be the universal secretory portal in cells. The structure is universally present in all cells.
William O'Neill, M.D., graduates from the School of Medicine. He will pioneer the use of angioplasty, now the standard of care, to treat heart attacks. He will perform the first aortic valve replacement through a catheter in 2005.
Jimmie Smith Jr., M.D., (Class of 1994) named special assistant to David Satcher, M.D., U.S. Surgeon General.
John Crissman, M.D., is appointed dean. Before joining the Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1990 as chair of Pathology and specialist-in-chief of Pathology and Laboratory Services, Dr. Crissman held the position of vice chair of Pathology at the Henry Ford Health System. As dean he led a number of business innovations for the university, including negotiation of a landmark contract with the school's primary hospital system affiliate for reimbursement for teaching, clinical services, medical administration and program support services. Through the establishment of the Wayne State University Physician Group, Dr. Crissman consolidated 19 independent faculty physician group practice plans into a single entity. He was instrumental in advocating bringing to WSU the largest intramural branch of the National Institutes of Health outside of Bethesda, Md., culminating in a 10-year contract for the Perinatology Research Branch, which continues at WSU. He will serve as dean until 2004.
Murali Guthikonda, M.D., is named interim chair of Neurosurgery. Named permanent chair in 2005, he adds faculty in neuro-trauma, cranial nerve disorders, epilepsy, neuro-oncology and interventional neuro-radiology. He oversees the development of the Motor Skills Laboratory to complement work in the area of computer-assisted learning.
The National Institutes of Health approves a 10-year contract to house the Perinatology Research Branch at the School of Medicine. The branch, which focuses on maternal-fetal medicine and preterm birth, is the only NIH branch of its type located outside of Bethesda, Md.
Morris Goodman, Ph.D., a distinguished professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, is the first Wayne State University faculty member elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
LaQuandra Nesbitt, M.D., graduates from the School of Medicine. She will become director of the District of Columbia Department of Health.
Department of Emergency Medicine faculty, working with the Detroit Medical Center, restructure the process of care within the emergency departments to establish a guarantee that patients will be evaluated by a physician within 29 minutes of arrival.
Robert Mentzer Jr., M.D., is appointed 14th dean in November 2005. A cardiothoracic surgeon, he is a national advocate for organ donation. He serves as dean until 2009.
Flint, Mich.-based pediatrician Mona Hanna Attisha, M.D., graduates from her Pediatrics Residency at WSU and Children's Hospital of Michigan, having served as chief resident since 2005. She makes headlines in 2015 when she announces that the blood of children living in Flint, and treated at Hurley Medical Center, where she practices, show elevated lead levels due to contaminated water. She is named one of Time Magazine's Most Influential People in 2015.
Private funds raise $35 million for construction of the Richard J. Mazurek, M.D., Medical Education Commons. The Shiffman Library staff and collections relocate to three temporary sites during renovation.
MD Magazine includes Mitchell Dombrowski, M.D., '79, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, among its Top 10 Physician-Inventors. He obtains 11 U.S. patents, including those for the insulin pen, contemporary glucose test strips using capillary action, safety needles and self-capping intravenous catheters.
Renee Jenkins, M.D., (Class of 1971) becomes the first African-American president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Cardiovascular Research Institute is established in February. It will be officially chartered in August 2009.
Valerie Parisi, M.D., M.P. H., M.B.A., is named dean. An obstetrician/gynecologist, she is a national leader in medical education and in the evaluation and certification of physicians. She helped launch and served as co-principal investigator for a federal grant to establish an Area Health Education Center program in Michigan. The school's first woman dean, she serves until 2014.
The school opens the Richard Mazurek, M.D., Medical Education Commons, with the new Shiffman Medical Library, at 320 E. Canfield St. in June.
The Wayne State University Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Oakwood Residency Program is established.
Medical students launch the Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic, the first student-run free clinic in Michigan. The clinic treats the homeless and underserved.
Peter Littrup, M.D., professor of Radiology and Neb Duric, Ph.D., professor of Radiation Oncology, develop a new breast cancer screening technology called Computerized Ultrasound Risk Evaluation. The technology will be marketed under the name SoftVue through a spinoff company called Delphinus Medical Technologies LCC.
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Sonia Hassan, M.D., working in the Perinatology Research Branch, discovers that the daily use of progesterone by pregnant women found to have a shortened cervix via ultrasound reduces the rate of preterm birth by as much as 45 percent.
Reginald Eadie, M.D., (Class of 1995) becomes president of Detroit Receiving Hospital; Sinai- Grace Hospital and Harper-Hutzel Hospitals in 2012. In 2016, Dr. Eadie was appointed regional chief operational officer of the Detroit Medical Center.
Aaron Maddox, M.D., (Class of 1976) is elected president of the Detroit Medical Society.
World AIDS Day Detroit is founded Dec. 1 by second-year medical student and now Internal Medicine physician Phillip Kucab, M.D. Events include a keynote address by Jeanne White-Ginder, mother of Ryan White. The event remembers those who have died from the disease, honors those infected and affected, and sparks a recommitment to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
The National Institutes of Health, after considering competitive proposals, awards a second 10-year contract to maintain its Perinatology Research Branch at the School of Medicine.
LaQuandra Nesbit, M.D., (Class of 2003) becomes director of the Louisville Health Department. In 2015, she becomes director of the Washington, D.C., Health Department.
E. Jerome "Jerry" Umanos, M.D., '82, is shot and killed with two others while treating patients at the CURE hospital for women and children in Kabul, Afghanistan in April. Dr. Umanos was the Kabul community health coordinator for Empowerment Health, an organization formed to offer resources and health care to mothers and children in Afghanistan.
The School of Medicine in July receives an $8.5 million gift from Michael and Marian Ilitch for the Department of Surgery. The gift creates the Ilitch Chair for Surgical Innovation and establishes an unrestricted fund to support research and development in surgical technologies. In recognition of the Ilitches' generosity, the department is renamed the Michael and Marian Ilitch Department of Surgery.
Jack D. Sobel, M.D., is appointed interim dean in November. A longtime member of the faculty, with extensive experience in both clinical practice and medical administration, he is named permanent dean in June 2015. He joined the Wayne State University School of Medicine as a professor of Internal Medicine in 1985, and was named chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases. One of the world's foremost authorities on yeast infections, Dr. Sobel is a widely published and strongly funded physician-researcher.
For six weeks in September and October, Craig Spencer, M.D., M.P.H., '08, volunteers with Doctors Without Borders at an ebola treatment center in Gueckedou, Guinea. He returns to New York on Oct. 17 and is rushed to the Bellevue Hospital Center, where he tests positive for the virus. He is declared ebola-free and released Nov. 11. He uses his notoriety as one of only eight people in the United States to survive the virus to improve the understanding and treatment of epidemic diseases in developing nations, through articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and lectures at various universities, including his alma mater in February 2015.
The Wayne State University Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Oakwood establishes a Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship Program, the only such program in Michigan and one of only 13 in the nation.
Wayne State University opens the Integrative Biosciences Center, a $93 million facility dedicated to studying and eliminating health disparities that affect Detroit's residents. The center supports researchers from varying fields and enhances their ability to collaborate to solve problems related to human health and society.
Dublin, Ireland-based pharmaceutical company Allergan plc acquires WSU startup RetroSense Therapeutics LLC for $60 million. The company focuses on novel gene therapy, RST-001, aimed at restoring vision in patients suffering from blindness caused by retinitis pigmentosa, a technology developed by Zhuo-Hua Pan, Ph.D, the Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Endowed Professor of Ophthalmology, and of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and scientific director of the Ligon Research Center of Vision/Kresge Eye Institute.
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, merge in January to form the new Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology .
Obstetrician and gynecologist Cheryl Gibson Fountain, M.D., Class of 1987, assumes the role of president of the Michigan State Medical Society. She becomes the society's first African-American female president.
Wayne State University and the Wayne State University Physician Group announce an agreement with Health Emergency Lifeline Programs to collaborate with Corktown Health Center, Michigan's first nonprofit medical home dedicated to the health needs of the LGBTQ community.
Phillip Levy, M.D., M.P.H., Edward S. Thomas Endowed Professor of Emergency Medicine, is appointed assistant vice president of Translational Science and Clinical Research Innovation for Wayne State University. He will oversee a transformational shift that will develop centralized, horizontally integrated resources to support clinical research university-wide. Housed in WSU's Integrative Biosciences Center, or IBio, the Center for Translational Science and Clinical Research Innovation will become the hub of campus-wide clinical research aimed at improving health and health care for Detroit and southeast Michigan. Envisioned as a partnership with the community, the center will serve as a focal point for WSU faculty to work with funding agencies and industry partners on the design and conduct of clinical research involving innovative methods, drugs and devices.
The Department of Emergency Medicine and the Detroit Medical Center are one of only 11 institutions in North America awarded the Strategies to Innovate EmeRgENcy Care Clinical Trials Network (SIREN) collaborative award by the National Institutes of Health. The collaboration will execute pre-hospital and acute care clinical trials, recruit and retain difficult to reach emergency care patients, and collaborate with investigators from major U.S. population centers, health care systems and academic environments. SIREN will serve as the clinical recruitment arm for major acute care NIH and Department of Defense research trials.
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and the School of Medicine launch the nation's largest study of African-American cancer survivors to better understand disproportionately high incidence and mortality rates from cancer and its impact on this specific patient population. The study is funded with a five-year, $9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.
The Class of 2017 achieves a 97.3 percent match success rate during Match Day. The rate surpasses the national match rate of 94.3 percent for allopathic students, in a year that saw 35,969 United States and international medical school students and graduates vie for 31,757 available positions, the most ever offered in the Match.
The Association of American Medical Colleges selects the School of Medicine as one of three finalists for the association's annual Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service. The prestigious award recognizes community service as an important element of the academic mission, and singles out institutions that serve as examples of social responsiveness for academic medical communities. Schools that receive the award must demonstrate a broad-based, continuing commitment to community service in a variety of programs and initiatives.
The School of Medicine establishes the Office of Medical Student Research and Innovation to assist students interested in research and entrepreneurship. The office facilitates ongoing endeavors to provide opportunities for students to participate in quality faculty-mentored research.
Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Perinatology Research Branch on the campus with three days of special events beginning Aug. 15. The mission of the PRB, part of the Division of Intramural Research, is to conduct research to understand the mechanisms of disease for obstetrical complications and develop diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies to reduce infant and maternal death.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Mort Harris commits $10 million to the highly competitive Wayne Med-Direct program at Wayne State University. The program recruits the very best high school students with a passion for addressing health disparities among our nation's most vulnerable populations, simultaneously admitting them into an undergraduate program and Wayne State's School of Medicine with full scholarships. The gift from Harris creates a fund that will provide permanent support for Wayne Med-Direct students. The students will be known as Mort Harris Med-Direct Scholars in recognition of his gift.
Professor of Surgery Charles Shanley, M.D., F.A.C.S., is appointed vice dean for Clinical Affairs, and is named president and chief executive officer of the Wayne State University Physician Group.
The Association of American Medical Colleges rankings for United States-based Physiology departments with funding from the National Institutes of Health places the Department of Physiology at No. 40 among the Top 81 physiology departments in the nation. The ranking is the highest ever for the department.
The Class of 2018 achieves an historic 98.3 percent Match Day success rate. The rate surpasses the national rate of 94.27 percent for allopathic students, in a year that saw 43,909 applicants apply for 32,910 available residency positions in the United States.
Michigan's University Research Corridor — an alliance of Wayne State University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan — released its 11th annual benchmark report, which cites the URC as the best in the nation for awarding advanced degrees in medicine and biological science.
The School of Medicine combines the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Department of Ophthalmology into the new Department of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences.
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and the School of Medicine launch the Office of Cancer Health Equity and Community Engagement. The mission of the office is to eliminate cancer health disparities in Michigan by promoting community-engaged research and supporting fair access to the full continuum of cancer care for all populations.
The School of Medicine reaches a historic mark for fundraising results, surpassing the $190 million goal just two days before the Pivotal Moments Campaign concludes Sept 30. Publicly launched in 2014, the $750 million university-wide campaign was the most ambitious comprehensive fundraising effort in Wayne State's 150-year history. More than 9,000 donors combined to achieve this milestone, including nearly 5,200 alumni and another 330 current or former members of Wayne State faculty and staff.
Gil Mor, M.D., Ph.D., is named the John M. Malone Jr., M.D., Endowed Chair and scientific director of the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development. A tenured professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and of Reproductive Science at Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Mor's research focuses on the immunology of pregnancy and the role of inflammation in cancer formation and progression. Dr. Mor was director of the Reproductive Science Division at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale.
The Class of 2019 celebrates a 98 percent residency match rate, surpassing the national average of 93.9 percent for allopathic students.
Wayne State University announces the creation of the Urban Children’s Health Collaborative, a community-based, multi-mission initiative with a focus on urban child and lifespan development that will foster individual, family and community health. The first phase of the UCHC will occur with the launch of Wayne Pediatrics, an academic clinical practice that will be home to WSU Department of Pediatrics faculty physicians and will serve as the School of Medicine’s official clinical service group for pediatrics.
Sonia Hassan, M.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is appointed associate vice president of Women’s Health and founder of the new Office of Women’s Health for Wayne State University. The office will integrate clinical medicine, research, economic, environmental and social factors to drive the health of women through research, education, program implementation and policy development. The office also will collaborate with external stakeholders to play an overarching role toward transforming health care for women and their children.
The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences launches the Nicotine and Tobacco Research Division, providing a hub to enhance research communication, collaboration and educational opportunities, with the ultimate goal of advancing science and enhancing the lives of tobacco users in the region.
The School of Medicine is selected as one of three sites to pilot the new national IGNITE program developed by female physicians to provide female medical students with skills and resources to help prevent burnout and conquer the challenges faced by women in medicine throughout their careers.
Mark Schweitzer, M.D., a preeminent radiologist and chair of the Department of Radiology at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, is appointed dean of the School of Medicine and vice president of Health Affairs for the university. He will join the university and the School of Medicine on April 27. In addition to his leadership role in the School of Medicine, as vice president of Health Affairs, Dr. Schweitzer will work with the deans of Wayne State’s College of Nursing and the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on clinical training issues.
The Class of 2020 achieves a 97 percent success rate during a Match Day celebration held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. WSU’s match rate surpasses the national average of 93.7 percent for allopathic students.
Wayne Health, in partnership with Wayne State University Health Sciences and ACCESS, provides the region’s first drive-through testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus for symptomatic health care workers and first-responders in Detroit and Dearborn. The tests are offered at no charge to health care workers, police officers, firefighters and medics from across the region who display symptoms.
The School of Medicine launches a new initiative to improve access to COVID-19 testing for symptomatic first responders, health care workers and corrections officers in Michigan. Ford Motor Co. provides vehicles, drivers and equipment to create the first mobile testing service in Michigan, an extension of drive-through testing sites that opened in Detroit and Dearborn on March 20 with financial backing from WSU. Each vehicle in the mobile testing fleet is fully-equipped for mobile COVID-19 testing and is capable of testing as many as 100 people a day, with test results returned in 24 to 36 hours.
Nationally-recognized substance use disorder researcher Mark Greenwald, Ph.D., is named the inaugural Gertrude Levin Endowed Chair in Addiction and Pain Biology for the School of Medicine.
The School of Medicine graduates more than 270 new doctors during a commencement ceremony conducted virtually to adhere to precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences ranks 11th in the nation and No. 1 in Michigan medical schools in National Institutes of Health research funding, according to the annual Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.
The School of Medicine opens a Maternal Support Room within Scott Hall, coinciding with National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, the first of its kind on the medical school campus.
Karen Mourtzikos, M.D., is appointed executive vice dean. She will be responsible for Graduate Medical Education, Continuing Medical Education, enhanced clinical affiliations, leadership searches and special projects.
The Wayne Health nurse midwifery program celebrates its 40th anniversary. Its 75 certified nurse midwives have delivered more than 42,000 infants since 1980.
State officials build upon the COVID-19 mobile testing program launched by Wayne State University and Wayne Health in April by increasing the mobile testing infrastructure that can be extended for other health services such as vaccine administration. Through a coalition of WSU, Wayne Health and the Ford Motor Co., the mobile testing units have visited nearly 200 different locations and tested more than 27,000 people. All sites offer free testing. The state provides three additional units to Wayne Health.
The Wayne Health Mobile Health Unit fleet, originally created to bring testing to sites across southeast Michigan, begins administering COVID-19 vaccines throughout Michigan.
The School of Medicine and Michigan Healthcare Professionals announce an agreement that makes one of southeast Michigan’s largest multi-specialty medical groups the school’s newest affiliate for the training of medical students. The affiliation sees medical students train with physicians in the 169 outpatient offices and diagnostic centers of Michigan Healthcare Professionals, which has more than 450 health care providers serving all the hospitals in the tri-county and metropolitan Detroit areas.
The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, which provides an annual ranking of NIH funding to medical schools and individual departments, places the School of Medicine in the top half of medical schools securing NIH grant funding in 2020. Two departments – the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, and the Department of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences -- are among the nation’s top 20 departments in NIH grant funding. The Department of Emergency Medicine ranks in the nation’s top 30. Five other departments rank in the top 50 nationally.
The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences teams with the State of Michigan to develop a comprehensive behavioral and mental health training and support program for the state’s first responders and their families to address the stress they face in their duties protecting residents. Frontline Strong Together will be available electronically and in-person to first responders and their families in nearly all of Michigan’s 83 counties.
U.S. News and World Report names the School of Medicine a Top 100 medical school for research in its annual Best Medical Schools rankings. The magazine ranks the school 66th in research of the 188 medical schools eligible for ranking. The school also is ranked 89th in the category of Primary Care, and 26th among Most Diverse medical schools and 51st in Medical Schools With the Most Graduates Practicing in Health Professional Shortage Areas.
The Class of 2021 celebrates a 99 percent residency match rate despite COVID-19 pandemic challenges.
Ascension St. John Children’s Hospital becomes the designated inpatient care site for pediatric patients from Wayne Pediatrics. With the new relationship, patients have increased access to board-certified specialists representing an array of pediatric services, including rheumatology, infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS in children and young adults, endocrinology, immunology, nephrology, adolescent medicine and general pediatrics.
Wayne State University and Henry Ford Health System announce the launch of a basic and translational research initiative in cardiometabolic health and disease as a thematic focus for program growth. The Integrated Research and Development Initiative in Cardiometabolic Health and Disease will focus on program strengths at both institutions that directly addresses health issues of cardiac disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity metabolism and kidney disease that are of particular relevance for the broad communities that the two institutions serve.
The School of Medicine establishes the new Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases, building on the university’s experiences in combating COVID-19 to prepare Detroit and the state of Michigan to tackle pandemic diseases. The center is the first of its kind located in an urban setting within the state.
The state of Michigan awards the School of Medicine a $7 million grant to investigate, in military veterans, the potential therapeutic effects of cannabis to improve patients’ quality of life and reduce post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptoms that can precede suicide.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services awards $4.3 million to the Wayne State University Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases to collect and analyze genomic data to address emerging infectious disease threats and enhance the state’s ability to respond to those threats. The funding will increase infectious disease sequencing capacity in the state, beginning with the COVID-19 virus.
The Wayne State University School of Medicine continues its rise nationally in National Institutes of Health medical research funding. The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, which provides an annual ranking of NIH funding to medical schools and individual departments, places the WSU School of Medicine 74th nationally and second in Michigan among medical schools securing NIH grant funding in 2021, with a total of $52,543,743 in grants. In 2020, the school ranked 77th nationally.
The Class of 2022, during the first in-person Match Day celebration since 2019, posts a residency match rate of 97.4%, higher than the national average of 92.9%. The school's match rate over the last five years, 98%, is higher than the national five-year rate of 93%.
U.S. News and World Report again names the Wayne State University School of Medicine a Top 100 medical school for research in its annual Best Medical Schools rankings. The magazine ranks the School of Medicine 68th in research of the 188 medical schools eligible for ranking. The school ranks 86th in the category of Best Medical Schools for Primary Care. Other rankings include: 28th Most Diverse Medical School and 58th in Most Graduates Serving in Medically Underserved Areas.
Wael Sakr, M.D., chair of Pathology, is named the 19th dean of the WSU School of Medicine in May. Dean Sakr is a nationally recognized academic pathologist with a solid record of National Institutes of Health funding and significant contributions in his area of scholarship. He has held leadership roles in professional and community-based organizations, including the National Arab American Medical Association, and the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services. In addition to leading the School of Medicine, Dean Sakr chairs the Wayne Health Board of Directors and is a member of the new Joint Operating Leadership Team, charged with ensuring appropriate funding for strategic priorities, particularly medical education. Mark Schweitzer, M.D., the previous dean, now serves as vice president of Health Affairs.
The Wayne State University School of Medicine’s C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development holds an open house June 9, the kickoff of a yearlong celebration of 50 years of research and training in personalized approaches to medical treatment and care that improves health outcomes for women, men and children in Detroit and around the world. The center, which opened in 1973, is an internationally known research center established to promote research training relating to women's and children's health, with a focus on reproductive biology, immunology, oncology, toxicology and prenatal medicine. Its scientists integrate basic, translational and clinical research with the purpose of improving women's health.
The Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute announce plans to construct a new building complex consisting of two towers that will further their unique academic and research-based partnership. The estimated $300 million project receives a $100 million appropriation from the State of Michigan. WSU and Karmanos plan to house collaborative medical education, research and laboratories, health science and community health clinics in the new spaces.
Researchers at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences launch $12.5 million in projects funded by the State of Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency expected to provide much-needed scientific understanding of the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids, particularly among veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. The Veteran Marijuana Research Grant-funded study via the State of Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency supports two large-scale randomized controlled clinical trials over five years that will evaluate the efficacy of cannabis and cannabinoids for improving behavioral health in U.S. military veterans living in Michigan. The project focuses on the potential for improving symptoms of PTSD, which affects up to 31% of U.S. military veterans. Veterans living with PTSD are at increased risk of suicide and other poor outcomes, such as depression, substance use disorders, sleep disturbances and even cardiovascular events, such as stroke. In the latest annual report from the U.S. Veterans Health Administration, an average of 17.2 veterans died by suicide per day in 2019.
The Wayne State University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences and the State of Michigan launch a new website and phone line to provide assistance and training for the state’s first responders and their families confronting the stresses they face in their everyday duties. The Frontline Strong Together (www.fst5.org) website and call line (1-833-34-STRONG) were created by first responders and mental health experts. The site provides 24/7 live support, effective resources and cutting-edge services to prevent and alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and other work-related mental health challenges. Mental health experts from Wayne State University and Wayne Health teamed with the Michigan Crisis and Access Line and representatives of the Michigan Professional Firefighters Union, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Department of Corrections, paramedics and dispatchers to develop the program. A $2 million grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services funded the development of education, training, support and behavioral health treatment services by the WSU Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. The programs assist police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, dispatchers, corrections personnel and their families in addressing and reducing sources of stress from both acute and chronic stressors.
A new mural, a collaborative effort between the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts and the School of Medicine, with input from Detroit community representatives, is installed outside of Scott Hall as a monument to African American progress in the medical field in the city and within the global community. It was funded by a grant from Michigan Humanities.
Wayne State University and Wayne County finalize an agreement to partner in the operation of the county’s Office of the Medical Examiner. The agreement takes effect Oct. 1 for a renewable five-year period. The university, through the School of Medicine, the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the College of Nursing and the School of Social Work, will provide state-of-the-art forensics services and social services support. The agreement will allow the university to leverage data and findings to enhance knowledge and plans to improve public health standards for the residents of Wayne County and beyond. The agreement also will provide avenues to expand educational opportunities and to strengthen efforts to address health disparities and improve the overall health of the region.
1869 - Joseph Ferguson, M.D., a graduate of the Detroit Medical College, is the first African-American medical school graduate in Michigan.
1871 - Henry Fitzbutler, Detroit Medical College's second African-American student, completes his first year. He went on to the University of Michigan and, later, Louisville, Kentucky, where he helped found a medical school owned and operated by African American physicians.
1881 - Dr. Anna Spencer Rankin graduates with a M.D. from the Michigan School of Medicine, a precursor of the School of Medicine. She's the first female to do so.
1890 - Dr. Merritte Ireland, who went on to serve as chief surgeon and Brigader General for the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One, graduates with a M.D.
1942 - George Mogill, M.D. earns a M.D. He goes on to serve in the Army's 8th Field Hospital in Europe during the war and refuses to segregate his Detroit practice when he opens it in Detroit between Peterboro and Charlotte streets. Dr. Mogill goes on to receive a Lifetime Achievement Citation in 2016 for his meritorious loyalty and commitment to the school, the field of medicine and the teaching and mentoring of medical students.
1943 - Dr. Marjorie Peebles is first African-American woman to graduate from College of Medicine. She also became the first African-American female resident and chief resident at Detroit Receiving Hospital and faculty member at Wayne State University.
1956 - Charles Whitten, M.D., became the first and only African-American to head a department in a Detroit hospital when he was selected clinical director of Pediatrics at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
1977 - Dr. William O'Neill graduates with a M.D. degree. He goes on to pioneer the use of angioplasty to treat heart attacks, a procedure that is now the standard of care for the treatment of heart attacks. O'Neill also performed the first aortic valve replacement through a catheter in 2005.
2014 - Dr. Craig Spencer, a 2008 alumnus, volunteers in the West African nation of Guinea, working with Doctors Without Borders to treat ebola patients. He goes on to gain worldwide notoriety after being diagnosed with the ebola virus and speaks to audiences worldwide on ebola patient and provider experiences.
2015- Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a 2006 resident alumna, discovers the elevated lead levels in the blood of children living in the city of Flint, Mich.
2017 - Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Cheryl Gibson Fountain assumes the role of president of the Michigan State Medical Society at its 152nd annual meeting. She becomes the medical society's first African American female president.
Learn more about our notable alumni and their accomplishments.