The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson
March 2017

Dean Charles Cairns, MDI’m excited to announce the recent Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Robert Califf, MD, MACC, will serve as the keynote speaker at our 2017 Convocation, and he will be joined by Volker Sonntag, MD, a member of our first class of medical students, as our featured 50th anniversary speaker.
Dr. Califf is the Donald F. Fortin, M.D. Professor of Cardiology in the Duke University School of Medicine. He was the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from February 2016 to January 2017 and Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco at the FDA from February 2015 until his appointment as Commissioner. His leadership has improved methods and infrastructure for clinical research. It’s an honor to have such an internationally influential leader address our Class of 2017 as they move on to their residencies and begin their medical careers.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary, Dr. Sonntag, student president of the Class of 1971 – the College’s first graduating class, will speak about the early years of the College. Dr. Sonntag came to the U.S. as an immigrant and worked his way through medical school. He is an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and served as president of the AANS Professional Conduct Committee, the North American Spine Society and American Academy of Neurological Surgery, in addition to having made significant contributions to the treatment and understanding of spinal disorders.
Please join me at Convocation at 7 p.m. on May 11 in UA Centennial Hall to welcome Dr. Califf and Dr. Sonntag and to send the Class of 2017 off with best wishes for rewarding and impactful careers in medicine.
Successful start to 2017
Congratulations to the fourth-year students who made their match during Match Day, and thank you to everyone who’s taken part in the successful events we’ve already held to celebrate our 50th anniversary. I’m proud to say that we had a full house for each of the Doc Talks in Tucson and a great turnout for the spring 2017 Buffmire Lecture, part of the Dean’s Distinguished Anniversary Lecture Series, with Nobel Laureate Randy Schekman, PhD.
Packed spring schedule
April and May bring many more events and celebrations to the College:

  • April 12: UAHS Awards of Excellence, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in DuVal Auditorium
  • April 18: The James E. Dalen MD, MPH Distinguished Lecture for Health Policy with Dr. Carrell G. Kirch, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 5:30 p.m. in DuVal Auditorium (this event is hosted by the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health)
  • April 19: Annual Faculty Social, 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the UACC First Floor Lobby
  • April 20-21: Second Look
  • April 28: Innovations in Education: Medical Education Research Day, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Kiewit Auditorium
  • May 11: Class of 2017 Convocation, 7 p.m. in UA Centennial Hall

I look forward to seeing you at many upcoming events!


Charles B. Cairns, MD
Dean, College of Medicine - Tucson

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Celebrating 50 Years
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