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Prestigious Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program builds pipeline of women leaders

Chapel Hill, NC – Wendy R. Brewster, MD, PhD and Nancy E. Thomas, MD, PhD have been chosen 2011 ELAM fellows. Both are faculty in the UNC School of Medicine and members of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® Program for Women is the only in-depth national program dedicated to preparing senior women faculty at schools of medicine, dentistry, and public health to move into positions of institutional leadership where they can effect sustained positive change. The intensive one-year fellowship program encompasses executive education, personal leadership assessments and coaching, and networking and mentoring activities.

“It is rare for one university to have two faculty members chosen for this highly-selective leadership program in a given year,” said Shelley Earp, MD, Director of UNC Lineberger, “Drs. Brewster and Thomas are distinguished by their patient care, laboratory and population cancer research excellence. It is gratifying that two such accomplished clinician scientists have gravitated toward medical school leadership. It is a tribute to both of these women as well as UNC and the cancer center that both have been recognized for their national leadership potential in academic medicine.”

Brewster is Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Epidemiology in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also Director of the Center for Women’s Health Research. Her research focuses on cancer epidemiology including prevention and early detection of gynecological cancers. She is also interested on the factors that promote disparities in the treatment and outcome of women.

Brewster earned her BA in Mathematics at Rutgers University. She earned her MD at the University of California, Los Angeles and completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She went on to complete a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of California, Irvine where she also completed her PhD in Epidemiology. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology with a subspecialty certification in gynecologic oncology from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Thomas is a Professor in the Department of Dermatology and co-director of UNC’s multidisciplinary melanoma program. Her research focuses on improving the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma through improved imaging techniques and the detection of biomarkers that may indicate the spread of the disease. She also conducts research into genetic variations that may be associated with environmental and genetic risk factors and could be used to better predict prognoses and survival for melanoma patients.

Thomas earned her BA in Chemistry at the University of Chicago. She earned her PhD at Rockefeller University in New York and her MD at Cornell University Medical College. She went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in skin biology and molecular biology at the University of Rochester and a residency in Dermatology at Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.