Nov. 1, 2021 — Azra Bihorac, M.D., M.S., FCCM, FASN, has been named senior associate dean for research affairs at the University of Florida College of Medicine.
Bihorac is the R. Glenn Davis Professor of Medicine, Surgery and Anesthesiology at UF, with multidisciplinary training in internal medicine, nephrology, critical care medicine, informatics and data science.
Her new role was previously held by Stephen P. Sugrue, Ph.D., a professor of anatomy and cell biology at the UF College of Medicine, who was appointed to the position in 2009. During that time, he has overseen a doubling of National Institutes of Health funding, from $60 million to $120 million. Sugrue will now serve full-time as associate vice president for UF Health’s academic health center.
“I look forward to working with Dr. Bihorac, an exceptionally talented investigator and leader, as we advance scholarly work within the UF College of Medicine,” said Colleen Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., dean of the UF College of Medicine. “I thank Dr. Sugrue for his excellent leadership and his commitment to strengthening the College of Medicine’s research enterprise over the last decade.”
Throughout her career as a physician-scientist, Bihorac has engaged in transdisciplinary clinical, translational and data science research in perioperative and critical care medicine and nephrology. She is co-director of the Intelligent Critical Care Center at UF, a collaboration with the UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering focused on ethical applications of artificial intelligence and pervasive sensing in acute and critical care medicine. Bihorac also founded UF’s Precision and Intelligent Systems in Medicine Research Partnership, or PRISMAp, a collaborative research partnership for the design, development and implementation of intelligent health care systems. Since its founding in 2010, the research portfolio at PRISMAp includes more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts with more than 10,000 citations. Bihorac’s broad training spanning multiple disciplines will allow her to lead UF College of Medicine teams as they collaborate on innovative research in the digital age.
Bihorac had an extraordinary pathway to academic success that is a testament to her resilience, intellectual curiosity and inherent leadership skills. She arrived in Gainesville in 1999 as a refugee from the genocide in Bosnia after completing her medical degree at the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and an internal medicine residency at Marmara University in Turkey. At UF, she completed an internal medicine residency, fellowships in critical care medicine and nephrology and a master’s degree in clinical science.
“I look forward to continuing my work with the exceptional faculty, students and staff in the Office of Research Affairs as it makes strides toward improving the lives of patients and improving health care efficiency using leading-edge tools,” Bihorac said.
In her role as senior associate dean for research affairs, Bihorac will leverage her experience as a nationally and internationally recognized expert in medical AI, data science, informatics and translational research to support the innovative research performed by UF College of Medicine faculty, researchers and students each year. In addition to promoting the research mission of the college by fostering alliances with granting agencies and mentoring faculty and staff on practices and policies, Bihorac will facilitate collaboration within the college and across the university, inspiring the next generation of scientists and investigators. UF College of Medicine faculty research programs extend across nine research institutes centers and supported with $349 million in total extramural funding.