UArizona Steele Children’s Research Center Announces $5M in Gifts Honoring Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan

Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan, director of the Steele Children’s Research Center, will hold the Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, PANDA Endowed Directorship.

TUCSON, Ariz. — In honor of the 25th anniversary of Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, as director of the Steele Children’s Research Center at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, members of the Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center have contributed $5 million to establish an endowment in his name. The endowment celebrates and honors Ghishan for his life’s work to improve treatment and seek cures for childhood diseases.

Dr. Fayez Ghishan, UArizona Department of Pediatrics chair, at a fundraiser hosted by the Phoenix Women’s Board, also known as PANDA, or People Acting Now Discover Answers. (Photo: University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center)

The Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, PANDA Endowed Directorship will provide support to further pediatric research and leadership at the Steele Children’s Research Center. Funded by grateful patient families and admirers, it seeks to acknowledge in perpetuity Ghishan’s research, his dedication and connection to pediatric patients, his passion for educating future physicians and his ability to make people feel heard and respected.

The Phoenix Women’s Board is known as PANDA, or People Acting Now Discover Answers.

“Dr. Ghishan’s achievements in pediatrics have transformed the lives of children and their families, and this is well-deserved recognition of his important work,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins, MD. “This endowment will play an essential role in continuing this research and training of future pediatricians at the Steele Children’s Research Center. I am incredibly grateful for the extraordinary support from PANDA and donors around the state that made this possible.”

The $5 million endowment is made up of $1.5 million from PANDA, $1.5 million from two anonymous PANDAs, and $2 million from the Dorrance family as part of a matching challenge grant. Ghishan was surprised with the news during an Aug. 29 event held over videoconference.

“The women of PANDA created this endowment to show our love and admiration for Dr. Ghishan,” said Tammy Ryan, president of the Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center. “For 20 years, PANDA has been supporting Dr. Ghishan’s important work and is proud to be able to ensure his legacy through this directorship.”

“Over the past 25 years, as one of the most accomplished physician-scientists at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, Dr. Ghishan has been a passionate advocate for children’s health,” said Michael D. Dake, MD, senior vice president for UArizona Health Sciences. “This distinguished honor reflects an illustrious career dedicated to improving pediatric care for young patients and their families.”

“Endowments are unique and special gifts because they live in perpetuity, honoring the generosity and, more importantly, the vision and passion of the donors,” said Michael M.I. Abecassis, MD, MBA, dean of the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson. “The Fayez K Ghishan, MD, PANDA Endowed Directorship is even more unique and special, as in addition, it honors an individual, Dr. Ghishan, who embodies the very essence of this passion and vision, recognizing his lifelong and distinctive commitment to the advancement of research and training in pediatrics.”

“I’m grateful to everyone who made this endowment possible,” said John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO of the University of Arizona Foundation. “Steele Children’s Research Center would not be the leading institution it is today without PANDA or Dr. Ghishan, and this endowed directorship is now a permanent tribute to that shared and ongoing legacy.”

Dr. Ghishan, who also is chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the College of Medicine – Tucson, and his team of researchers and physician-scientists conduct research in many areas, such as autism, autoimmune disorders, cancer and blood diseases, Type 1 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders and lung disease, among others. This new endowed directorship will ensure ongoing support to further the important mission and work of the Steele Children’s Research Center.

In addition, he is the Horace W. Steele Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research and the Alan and Janice Levin Family Endowed Professor of Pediatrics at the UArizona Health Sciences.

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A related story to this article appears on the UArizona Health Sciences Connect website.

NOTE: Photos available upon request.

About the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center
The University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center is one of the prestigious Centers of Excellence in the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. It is the state’s only academic pediatric research center designated by the Arizona Board of Regents, and the only facility in Southern Arizona where researchers and physician-scientists are dedicated to advancing medical knowledge through basic and translational research to improve children’s health. As researchers, they seek to discover answers to children’s medical mysteries. As physician-scientists, they provide compassionate care to hospitalized patients at Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center and pediatric outpatient clinics throughout Tucson and the state. And, as faculty members with the UArizona Department of Pediatrics, they teach and train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric researchers. For more information: steelecenter.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram).

About the University of Arizona College of Medicine –Tucson
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, stvisit medicine.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).