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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 24, 2005

Ronald Weigel To Head UI Department of Surgery

Ronald Weigel, M.D., Ph.D., has been named professor and head of the Department of Surgery in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He also will serve on the executive committee of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI. The appointments will be effective Sept. 1.

Weigel currently is vice chairman and professor of surgery and the Francis E. Rosato Professor of Surgical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College, part of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. At Thomas Jefferson University, Weigel also holds an appointment in microbiology and immunology, directs the Breast Health Institute and is chief of surgical oncology for the Kimmel Cancer Center. He is the current director of the American Board of Surgery. This past spring, he earned a master of business administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

"We are thrilled that Dr. Weigel accepted the position and will bring an impressive combination of training, skills and experience to lead the department," said Jean Robillard, M.D., dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine, which organized the hiring committee. "We are confident that he will continue the department's track record of excellence in all missions -- education, research and patient care."

"Dr. Weigel's clinical proficiency and demonstrated leadership skills ensure that we will continue providing the best surgical care to all patients. In addition, we look forward to drawing on his expertise in breast cancer and other areas to expand some of our current programs as well as capitalize on new opportunities his appointment may bring to us," said Donna Katen-Bahensky, director and CEO of UI Hospitals and Clinics. "We are delighted to welcome him to our team."

G. Patrick Kealey, M.D., UI professor of surgery and a staff physician with the Veterans Affairs Iowa City Health Care System, has served as interim head of the department since Sept. 1, 2004. At that time, the previous department head, Carol Scott-Conner, M.D., Ph.D., stepped down to return to full-time clinical, teaching and research duties. Kealey will return to full-time duties as a professor and practicing physician.

"Dr. Kealey has provided excellent leadership for the department during this transition," Robillard said. "We greatly appreciate Dr. Kealey's extra commitment, including his key role in the search process, and know he will ably pass the leadership on to Dr. Weigel."

The recipient of National Institutes of Health and other major grants, Weigel studies the role of genes and hormones in breast cancer. He has published more than 50 papers and serves on editorial boards or review committees for several medical journals. He holds four patents (two jointly) related to breast cancer research.

Weigel earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He earned a medical degree and doctorate in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University School of Medicine. His graduate and postdoctoral training included positions at MIT, Yale University and Duke University Medical Center, where he served as chief resident of surgery.

Prior to joining Thomas Jefferson University, Weigel was an associate professor of surgery with Stanford University School of Medicine, a staff physician with Stanford University Medical Center and a physician consultant with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

Weigel's salary will be $475,000.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT: Media: Becky Soglin, 319-335-6660,

PHOTO: For an electronic photo of Dr. Ronald Weigel, send your email request to

PRONUNCIATION NOTE: Weigel is pronounced "WHY-gull."