July 31, 2020 — After providing exceptional leadership as chair of the UF Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine over the past 11 years, Michael Clare-Salzler, M.D., will step down from his position Aug. 1 and will retire from the University of Florida as a professor emeritus of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine.
Clare-Salzler joined the UF College of Medicine faculty from UCLA nearly three decades ago. An internationally known researcher, physician and educator, he held the Stetson Professorship in Experimental Pathology, as well as dual appointments in the department of surgery and the department of internal medicine as an endocrinologist. He was appointed interim chair of the department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine in 2009 and then named permanent chair in 2011. Clare-Salzler’s impactful, collaborative research activities at the UF College of Medicine include his groundbreaking efforts toward seeing a dendritic cell-based therapy used as a means to prevent or reverse Type 1 diabetes. These seminal studies have set the stage for ongoing translational efforts in this promising area for inducing immune tolerance. Additionally, he has been a leading advocate for the study of inflammation in Type 1 diabetes and the use of potent anti-inflammatory lipid molecules like omega-3 fatty acids as a means to avert Type 1 diabetes.
Clare-Salzler has served as director of UF’s Center for Immunology and Transplantation, played a key role in the development of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Precision Medicine Program, and led the development of the CAP-accredited CTSA Biorepository. He has been an active member and leader in national organizations like the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the Association of Pathology Chairs and JDRF. Throughout his career, he has trained dozens of undergraduate, medical and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral and clinical fellows in diabetes and immunology.
Under Clare-Salzler’s leadership, the UF Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine has seen substantial, sustained growth in both research funding and programming, including the development of a cancer biology program and the expansion of the UF Health Pathology Labs business enterprise. Most recently, he and his team have worked diligently to expand and innovate COVID-19 testing by creating a multi-platform framework at UF Health and championing the use of pooled testing to dramatically and efficiently increase testing capacity. He has worked closely with the Governor’s State Task Force on SARS-CoV-2 testing and has played a leading role in the statewide and national pathology community to promote pooled testing.
“As an elite physician-scientist, Mike was recruited to join what has become one of the most acclaimed Type 1 diabetes programs worldwide,” said Desmond Schatz, M.D., interim chair of pediatrics and the medical director of the UF Diabetes Institute, who was instrumental in recruiting Clare-Salzler to UF 27 years ago. “He has been a tremendous advocate and ambassador for the department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine, recognizing from the start what a great honor and privilege it was to lead the department.”
“Dr. Clare-Salzler’s willingness to articulate his candid opinions at all times has influenced many in the health care and research space to the great benefit of the UF College of Medicine’s missions,” added Interim Dean Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., M.P.H. “He has been an inspiration to many, and his contributions to the college will be cherished.”