Faculty Educator of the Month: December 2009

Dr. William G. Wierda

Dr. William G. Wierda, associate professor and clinical medical director in the Department of Leukemia, has been named the December 2009 Faculty Educator of the Month.

From 2003 to 2008, Dr. Wierda was an instructor for the Immunotherapy of Cancer course in cancer therapeutics, which was aimed at graduate students. In addition, he was the instructor for the Biology of Lymphoid Leukemias course in tumor immunobiology in 2001. Before coming to MD Anderson, Dr. Wierda was an instructor for the Introduction to Clinical Medicine (2000-2001) and Clinical Oncology (2001) courses at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Wierda has also participated in direct supervision of trainees at MD Anderson. Specifically, he has supervised four undergraduate and allied health students and one postdoctoral research fellow. He also has been a research mentor for three clinical residents and fellows.

Dr. Wierda’s influence has gone beyond the walls of MD Anderson on numerous occasions, as he has been a session chair and given presentations at a long list of meetings, symposia and conferences throughout the world. Also, he served as monitoring physician for the National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials Monitoring Service/ Theradex at a cancer center site visit at the University of Maryland in 2005.

Dr. Wierda was honored for his professional achievement with the Clinical Scholar Award from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (2006-2011). In addition, he received the Clinical Fellowship Award from the American Cancer Society (1998-2000).

Dr. Wierda received his Ph.D. degree in microbiology and immunology and M.D. degree in 1992 and 1993, respectively, from Finch University of Health Sciences/ The Chicago Medical School in North Chicago, IL. He subsequently completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center in 1996. He then went on to complete a subspecialty fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of California, San Diego in 1999.

During his graduate training, Dr. Wierda was an assistant instructor of immunology in the Department of Immunology at Finch University of Health Sciences/ The Chicago Medical School (1989-1991). Upon completing his subspecialty fellowship, Dr. Wierda was named an instructor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, and a staff physician in hematology and oncology at the University of California, San Diego.

In 2001, Dr. Wierda came to MD Anderson as an assistant professor in the Department of Leukemia. He was promoted to his current position of associate professor in 2007 and was named clinical medical director in 2009.

In addition to his institutional duties described above, Dr. Wierda has been a member of the Clinical Research Committee since 2006 and has been a chair for this committee since 2008. Furthermore, he has served on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Faculty Senate, Clinical Ethics Committee and Psychosocial, Behavioral and Health Services Research Committee. In addition, Dr. Wierda is currently a consultant for five corporations.

Over the past decade, Dr. Wierda has been a principal investigator or co-investigator for 12 funded research projects and 15 funded protocols. He also has been an ad hoc study section member for a National Institutes of Health Program Progress Grant.

Dr. Wierda is currently a member of the editorial boards for Leukemia and the Journal of Clinical Oncology is a reviewer for four other journals. Over the past 20 years, he has authored more then 125 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, 24 invited articles, five book chapters and many abstracts.