Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, is Senior Vice President of Medicine and Dean of the University of Alabama School of Medicine, one of the ten largest public academic medical centers and the third largest public hospital in the USA. He is a world-renowned surgeon, pancreatic cancer researcher, and pioneer in health disparities research. Dr. Vickers is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (Institute of Medicine) and of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. He has served on the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Board of Trustees and Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees. In addition, he has served as president of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract and of the Southern Surgical Association.
As dean of the University of Alabama School of Medicine since October 2013, Dr. Vickers leads the medical school’s main campus in Birmingham as well as the regional campuses in Montgomery, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa. He serves as chair of UAB Medicine’s Joint Operating Leadership Committee (JOLC) as well as the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation Board.
Dr. Vickers earned baccalaureate and medical degrees from the Johns Hopkins University and completed surgical training there, including a chief residency. He completed two summer post-graduate research fellowships with the National Institutes of Health and training at John Radcliffe Hospital of Oxford University, England and was an instructor of surgery at Hopkins for one year. In 1994 he joined the UAB faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery. From 1995 to 1999 he was a Robert Wood Johnson Research Fellow. From 2000 to 2006 he directed the section of gastrointestinal surgery. During his first tenure at UAB, Dr. Vickers received numerous honors, including the Argus Society for Excellence in Teaching Award numerous times, the Best Clinical Professor award, and the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2000 he became the first member of the faculty chosen by students as commencement speaker. In 2006 Dr. Vickers became the Jay Phillips Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he served until his return to UAB in 2013.
While at Minnesota, Dr. Vickers’ lab was instrumental in the development of an injectable cancer drug, Minnelide, which entered phase 1 testing in September 2013. Dr. Vickers has a financial interest in the pharmaceutical company licensed to develop the drug, Minneamrita Therapeutics LLC.
Dr. Vickers continues to see patients and conduct research. He has had continuous NIH extramural funding for the last 25 years. His major research interests include: gene therapy as an application in the treatment of pancreatobiliary tumors, the role of growth factors and receptors in the oncogenesis of pancreatic cancer, the implications of FAS expressions and Tamoxifen in the growth and treatment of cholangiocarcinoma, assessment of clinical outcomes in the surgical treatment of pancreatobiliary tumors, and the role of death receptors in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Vickers was born in Demopolis, Alabama, and grew up in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. He and his wife Janice Vickers, who also is from Alabama, have been married since 1988; they have four children: Lauren, Adrienne, Lydia, and Benjamin.