Noted Researcher Joins Medical School

Joan Shapiro Named Associate Dean for Research at College of Medicine -- Phoenix

Joan Rankin Shapiro, PhDPHOENIX – Joan Rankin Shapiro, PhD, former vice president of clinical and translational research at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, has been named associate dean for research for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University.


“Having Dr. Shapiro join our team will help us realize our goal to bring world-class medical education and research to the Phoenix Biomedical Campus,” said Stuart D. Flynn, MD, dean of the College of Medicine – Phoenix. “She brings an impressive list of accomplishments to this growing biomedical campus, which features outstanding students and an innovative curriculum to produce the best physicians for Arizona.”


After 20 years with St. Joseph’s, Dr. Shapiro joined the College of Medicine – Phoenix to oversee the growing research program. Dr. Shapiro will remain on the research faculty at St. Joseph’s with responsibility for overseeing compliance of the hospital’s research enterprise.  


The medical school is part of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which includes Arizona State University’s Department of Biomedical Informatics, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative building.


Having spent more than three decades in research in New York and Arizona, Dr. Shapiro brings a wealth of experience to the research mission of the medical college, which includes more than 20 full-time faculty members who also conduct studies in the ABC1 building. The College of Medicine – Phoenix also has more than 600 volunteer faculty members throughout the Greater Phoenix area.


For much of the decade, Dr. Shapiro was vice president of research and development for St. Joseph’s while developing a neuroscience program leading to a PhD at ASU and engaging in K-12 education of students through the local metropolitan area. In the 1990s, she was director of neuro-oncology research at Barrow Neurological Institute and instrumental in developing the Ina Levine Brain Tumor Center of Excellence which is currently one of the largest centers in the nation for the treatment of central nervous system malignancies.


“Dr. Shapiro has been a superb mentor and role model,” Dr. Flynn said. “She has been instrumental in building statewide research collaborations and has been a leader in the development of Phoenix as a research hub. We are very fortunate to have her assume this critical leadership role.”


Dr. Shapiro serves as a member of the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission and until recently the Battelle Steering Committee of the Flinn Foundation as well as numerous boards statewide. She is a past chair of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Research Consortium.

The University of Arizona, Arizona State University and the Arizona Board of Regents agreed to expand the Phoenix campus of the UA College of Medicine to a full, four-year program in 2004. The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University admitted its first class of first-year medical students in August 2007. The College of Medicine – Phoenix has 120 students training to be physicians. The college seeks to promote health and improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease for the people of Arizona and beyond through education, research and patient care.