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SUNY Upstate names NIH-funded researcher as interim chair of pharmacology

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Richard Wojcikiewicz, Ph.D., an NIH-funded researcher and a professor of pharmacology, has been named interim chair of the Department of Pharmacology, effective Jan. 1. The appointment was announced by Steven Scheinman, M.D., senior vice president and dean of the College of Medicine.

Wojcikiewicz will succeed Jose Jalife, M.D., who has been appointed professor and co-director of the Center for Arrhythmia Research at the University of Michigan Health System. Joining Jalife at UMHS will be Mario Delmar, M.D., Ph.D., who also will serve as co-director of the center.

Wojcikiewicz's research focus intracellular signaling and proteolysis and has relevance to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. He has been a member of the SUNY Upstate faculty since 1993, having earned his doctorate from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

Wojcikiewicz's work has been published in dozens of journals, including the Journal of Neurochemistry, Developmental Biology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

"Dr. Wojcikiewicz provides us with continuity and sound leadership as interim chair," said Scheinman. Scheinman said a national search for a permanent chair for pharmacology is under way.

Jalife, a leading researcher on cardiac arrhythmia, will depart in January for his new appointment. Joining Jalife will be members of his research team. "Dr. Jalife has been a dedicated faculty member and research leader at SUNY Upstate," Scheinman said. "His contributions to his field and to our institution have been outstanding. We wish him and his team well, and are pleased that his association with SUNY Upstate will continue."

Scheinman said that Jalife and his team will continue to collaborate with research colleagues at SUNY Upstate, will continue to supervise SUNY Upstate graduate students, and will return on occasion to teach.

In recognition of his work, Jalife will be named an emeritus professor, Scheinman said.