February 24, 2012 | last updated June 4, 2012 11:47 am

Wake Forest MD to head UConn med school

Frank M. Torti

The University of Connecticut has named a Wake Forest cancer research leader and physician as the new vice president of health affairs at the UConn Health Center and dean of the UConn School of Medicine, authorities say.

Dr. Frank M. Torti will assume the position formerly held by Dr. Cato Laurencin May 1, UConn announced Friday.

A New Jersey native, Torti will receive a base salary of $780,000 and up to $150,000 in bonus pay.

While at Wake Forest, Torti served as vice president for strategic programs and director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and chaired the medical school's Department of Cancer Biology.

He was also the former principal deputy commissioner, chief scientist, and then acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Additionally, Torti's wife Suzy V. Torti, has also secured a job at the UConn Health Center. She has been named a professor in the UConn School of Medicine's Department of Molecular, Microbial, and Structural Biology, and the Center for Molecular Medicine.

"Frank Torti is a brilliant researcher, physician, and teacher - a transformational leader who will make UConn one of the premier institutions of health care in the world," UConn President Susan Herbst said in a written statement.

According to UConn, Frank Torti has been responsible for the scientific leadership of Wake Forest's Comprehensive Cancer Center since 1993 and has more recently provided leadership to the Cancer Center's clinical programs.

He is a physician and clinical investigator who has designed and executed clinical trials in urologic cancer that have been used throughout the world.

He has been routinely selected by his peers in polls and in national magazines of "America's top doctors" and "top cancer doctors."

He is the founding and past president of the Cancer Biology Training Consortium, a national society of cancer biology chairs and program directors that now involves 70 U.S. academic medical centers.

He currently serves on the external advisory board of five comprehensive cancer centers, as well as the state of North Carolina's Drug Discovery Center of Innovation's Scientific Advisory Board.

Frank Torti received his undergraduate and masters degrees from Johns Hopkins University, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and a public health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.

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