Patricia Winokur

Leadership

Patricia Winokur

88R – Internal Medicine, 91F – Internal Medicine

As executive dean of the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Patricia Winokur plays a key leadership role in spearheading efforts that shape the academic medicine mission of research, education, and patient care. Over the course of her distinguished career, she has served the college and university as senior associate dean for clinical and translational science, and as a board member for the UI Research Foundation. A nationally recognized leader in the field of infectious diseases, Winokur created the UI Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU), one of the leading vaccine research programs in the country and one of only nine in the nation funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

In 2016, Winokur was named executive dean and now oversees the mission of the UI Carver College of Medicine as a whole. She is deeply committed to ensuring that the college rises to the challenges ahead for the next generation of medical professionals.

“The pace of health care has escalated dramatically. So much has moved to outpatient care, and there is more attention to quality, while the quantity of care each health care professional is providing has increased significantly as well,” she says. “We have to teach students how to find and synthesize information, because the amount of new data is vast and the rate the new data is being generated is staggering. We all have to focus on lifelong learning to keep pace.”

An Iowa City native, Winokur’s work has garnered national recognition, and her career has been one of perpetual reinvention.

“I have developed a breadth of experience and expertise that has helped me to succeed in both bench and clinical work,” she says. “Each change required that I reinvent myself.”

Winokur marks 2007 as a turning point in her career, when she was awarded the VTEU contract from NIAID. This brought national attention, and in 2013 her team was awarded a new NIAID VTEU 10-year contract. Under her leadership, this program has had an enormous impact on the development and testing of new vaccines against a wide range of viral and bacterial pathogens. Managing this unit has required Winokur to merge her many talents and abilities.

“Running the VTEU brought everything together that I had been learning. My clinical expertise was invaluable,” she says. “But it requires scientific inquiry and administrative strengths as well.”

Winokur has long valued the relationship between teachers and students, going back to when her father, George Winokur, MD, was chair of the UI Department of Psychiatry.

“When I was a resident and fellow, I would occasionally run into my dad in the hospital. We would compare notes on psychiatry and internal medicine. I learned from his perspective of leadership, and he learned from my experience as a trainee,” she says.

In nominating her for the Distinguished Alumni Award, Winokur’s colleagues note the scope of her talents.

Donna L. Hammond, PhD, UI professor of anesthesia and pharmacology, says, “Dr. Winokur is an exemplar of the physician scientist. She is passionate about research, highly creative, a strategic thinker, and driven to succeed. She brings these assets not only to her research program, but to the college as a whole.”