Dean and Chief Academic Officer
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
BiographyHenri R. Ford, M.D., MHA is dean and chief academic officer of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Dean Ford is pediatric surgeon who has long been an international leader in the specialty. He has conducted groundbreaking research on a variety of medical issues, including necrotizing enterocolitis, a deadly gastrointestinal condition that affects premature infants. He has received numerous grants to support his work from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others, and has published more than 300 research papers.
During his accomplished career, Dean Ford has consistently focused on addressing health care inequality. Born in Haiti, Dean Ford moved to the U.S. with his family as a teenager. In 2010, he traveled back to his home country on an emergency mission to care for survivors following a devastating earthquake. In 2015, he performed the first successful conjoined twins’ separation in Haiti. He regularly returns to teach, lead surgical teams, and provide crucial medical assistance.
He has received countless honors, including the Gold Humanism in Medicine Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). He serves as chair of the AAMC Council of Deans, and as the 2022-2023 president-elect of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). As president-elect, Dean Ford advances the organization’s mission of improving care of surgical patients and upholding the highest ethical standards of practice. Following a year-long term as president-elect, Dean Ford will be installed as the ACS president in October 2023. He was inducted into the ACS’ Academy of Master Surgeon Educators for consistently demonstrating the highest level of leadership and excellence in surgical education. He is past president of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, the Association for Academic Surgery, the Surgical Infections Society, and the American Pediatric Surgical Association.
Most recently, Dean Ford has been accepted into the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service.
Dean Ford earned his bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University, received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and was trained in general surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. He completed pediatric surgical training at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
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Research InterestsI have spent most of the past 3 decades studying the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). My lab has been instrumental in defining the molecular mechanisms by which upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase leads to gut barrier failure in NEC. In 2018, I transitioned from Chair of the Department of Surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and Professor of Surgery and Vice Dean for Medical Education at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine to become the Dean and Chief Academic Officer of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. As a result, I closed my research lab to focus on developing the next generation of transformative leaders who will shape the future of medicine, direct health systems to deliver value-based health care, and champion discovery and its translation into clinical interventions to improve the health of humanity. Over the past 3 decades, I have mentored numerous clinician-scientists who are now successful, independent NIH-funded investigators and leaders in academic surgery. I have an excellent track record of mentoring underrepresented minorities in medicine to become successful academic surgeons. In fact, the Association for Academic Surgery recently honored me by establishing the “Henri Ford Fellowship Award” to support underrepresented minority researchers. The FIRST grant is a great vehicle to help promote health equity by ensuring a more diverse medical and research work force.
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