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Willard H. Dere, M.D., to Lead Program in Personalized Health


(SALT LAKE CITY)—An internationally regarded medical researcher and leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, and former University of Utah School of Medicine faculty member and medical resident, Will H. Dere, M.D., FACP, will return to the University to lead the Program in Personalized Health beginning Nov. 1.

Dere comes to the University from Amgen, one of the world's largest biopharmaceutical companies, where he has served in numerous executive positions, including head of global development; head of international medical; corporate chief medical officer; and international chief medical officer over an 11-year period. Before that, at Eli Lilly, he served in numerous senior positions in endocrine research and development, regulatory affairs, and translational medicine. During his 25 years in the pharma industry, Dere had the opportunity to lead the clinical development of three bone-active medicines, raloxifene, rPTH 1-34, and denosumab, and several others in the oncology, inflammation, and nephrology therapeutic areas.

"There are immense opportunities with ongoing and planned initiatives here at the University of Utah to enhance our understanding of the genome and molecular biology, and to use this knowledge in a wise manner to individualize health care interventions," Dere says. "I am delighted and honored by this opportunity to participate in these initiatives, and to work again with smart, collaborative colleagues at the University of Utah."

Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., University of Utah (U of U) senior vice president for health sciences, said Dere's expertise in pharmaceutics, as well as his experience at the University, position him well to lead the personalized health program. "As a recognized leader in translation of genomic discovery to improved clinical care, Dr. Dere can build on our strengths to develop a personalized health initiative that will transform the way we practice health care," she says.

Accepting the position in personalized health represents a homecoming for Dere, who received his internal medicine residency training at the U of U School of Medicine. After further training in endocrinology and metabolism at the University of California, San Francisco, he returned to the U of U to join the medical school faculty where he held a hospital appointment at the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health System.