Published September 16, 2022
Anette B. Wysocki, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNYAM, has been appointed dean of the University at Buffalo School of Nursing.
A. Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Allison Brashear, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, say Wysocki brings to this role “extensive leadership experience, exceptional research accomplishments and teaching record, a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the field of nursing, and strong vision for enhancing the impact and reputation of the school.”
In 2019, Wysocki was appointed dean of SUNY Stony Brook’s School of Nursing. Prior to this role, she served as associate dean for research and professor in University of Massachusetts Amherst’s College of Nursing.
At UMass Amherst, Wysocki was instrumental in establishing the UManage Center, an interdisciplinary research center focused on developing technologies to manage symptoms of chronic illness. Wysocki also worked with campus leaders to secure $95 million to establish the Institute for Applied Life Sciences. Additionally, she was on the statewide Life Science Task Force to develop a five-year plan for the UMass system that obtained $300 million in economic development funds.
Wysocki previously was the first permanent scientific director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) and chief of the Wound Healing Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). At NINR she started the Summer Genetics Institute, one of the most successful programs ever established at NINR.
She also served on the board of governors of the NIH Clinical Center, broke ground and was on the design team for the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, and helped to initiate the NCI All Ireland Cancer Consortium.
Wysocki’s research focuses on the pathophysiology of delayed healing in chronic wounds. She discovered that fibronectin, the major extracellular matrix adhesive glycoprotein in the body required to heal wounds, is degraded. Her research also showed matrix degradation results from both the activation and overexpression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP2 and MMP9) and an imbalance of urokinase plasminogen activator- plasminogen activator inhibitor (uPA-PAI), and that colonizing bacteria in open skin wounds can express proteinases capable of degrading extracellular matrix proteins required for healing.
Together these findings led to the development of dressing products to promote healing as well as diagnostic tests to detect whether wounds are properly healing.
Wysocki has authored more than 50 scholarly publications and presented her research findings nationally and internationally. She has been funded by the NIH, National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the American Nurses Foundation.
Wysocki says UB’s “Top 25 Ambition” – the University’s endeavor to become a Top 25 public research university in the U.S. – was a major driving force behind her decision to join the UB community.
“Since joining UB, I have found that there is an air of excitement in the School of Nursing and across the entire campus,” she says. “There is a common focus on knowing that we can achieve more through our collective energies, and we ask ourselves, ‘How can we innovate and create flagship success across our academic units for the faculty, staff and students?’ – and all with a focus on improving the health of our fellow New Yorkers and Americans.”
Wysocki is excited to work with a growing roster of nationally and internationally recognized faculty who have worked diligently to improve the School’s research portfolio over the past several years, including grant awards from NIH, HRSA, PCORI and AHRQ.
“This provides a wonderful runway of opportunity to continue to advance science to support nursing practice,” Wysocki says. “[Faculty] who are working either collaboratively or independently provide testimony to the intellectual capability that is the foundation of the future efforts we will pursue with robust effort to further advance the rankings of the School of Nursing in research funding.”
Wysocki aims to continue to advance the national prominence of the School through increasingly higher national rankings and continuing to produce graduates with licensure and certification examination pass rates that exceed national benchmarks.
She also highly values leadership in service through national organizations that advance nursing research, education and practice.
“[This] is at the heart of what nurses do every day when they practice across acute, chronic and community settings – whether that is a hospital, assisted living, school, community center, mobile health initiative, health department, cancer center, urgent care center or other setting where nurses are at the forefront of care,” Wysocki says.
“The ideas, energy and excitement have provided infectious enthusiasm for the present and create the perfect context to continue to lead the School to national prominence. This is the right time and the right place with the right people.”
-CHARLES ANZALONE & SARAH GOLDTHRITE