Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAHA, a nationally recognized leader in emergency medicine and critical care research who has served as interim dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson since February 2015, was appointed dean of the college, effective April 11, 2016.
"As interim dean, Dr. Cairns has provided outstanding leadership stability and played a critical role in the transition of the college’s clinical practice group under the University’s Academic Affiliation Agreement with Banner Health,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences. “His leadership skills and passion for academic excellence have been recognized and embraced by everyone at the college and by our colleagues within the University and from Banner Health.”
“It is an exceptional honor to be asked to serve as the eighth dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson, following in the leadership footsteps of such icons as Merlin DuVal and James Dalen,” said Dr. Cairns. “The faculty, staff and trainees of the college are an incredibly talented group who demonstrate daily a passion for discovery and excellence across our tripartite mission. It is my privilege to be a part of the outstanding University of Arizona Health Sciences leadership team and to contribute to the further advancement of the College of Medicine – Tucson."
Dr. Cairns joined the UA Health Sciences in November 2014 as assistant vice president for clinical research and clinical trials, vice dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, and professor in the UA Department of Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Cairns’ research interests include the host response to acute infections, illness and injury; trauma, cardiac and pulmonary resuscitation; and systems of emergency and critical care. He has served as the principal investigator of the National Collaborative for Bio-Preparedness, funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He currently is the director of the U.S. Critical Illness and Injury Trials (USCIIT) Group, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Prior to joining the UA, Dr. Cairns was professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). At UNC-CH, Dr. Cairns served in leadership roles in medical education and curriculum reform, health information technology strategy, university system campus security and health-care system strategic planning. Prior to joining UNC-CH, Dr. Cairns served as associate chief of emergency medicine at Duke University Medical Center and director of emergency medicine research at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Dr. Cairns has published more than 160 scientific articles and reviews. His work has appeared in such prestigious journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Circulation, Chest, Journal of Trauma, Academic Medicine and Science Translational Medicine.
He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF) Established Investigator Award, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Outstanding Contribution in Research Award and the 2014 John Marx Leadership Award, the highest award of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). He also has served in leadership positions in emergency and critical care medicine organizations, including co-chair of the ACEP-SAEM Research Working Group, SAEM program chair, ACEP Research Committee chair, ACEP Scientific Review Committee chair, on the EMF Board of Trustees, the Leadership Committee for the American Heart Association Council on Cardiopulmonary and Critical Care, the Steering Committee for the Critical Care Societies Collaborative Task Force on Critical Care Research, the Coordination Committee for the NIH National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, and as a co-chair of the NIH Roundtables on Emergency Research. He has served on the editorial boards of Academic Emergency Medicine, the Annals of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Cairns is an honors graduate of Dartmouth College and was a Holderness Medical Fellow at the University of North Carolina (UNC), where he received the Medical Faculty Award as the outstanding graduating medical student.
He completed an emergency medicine residency and EMF Research Fellowship at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He received post-graduate training in the Program in Genetics of Complex Diseases at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, and the Health Care Leadership Academy at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC. Dr. Cairns is board-certified in emergency medicine, a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a fellow of the American Heart Association.