Al Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., has been named associate professor and chief of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care Medicine and will assume the role July 1.
Dr. Fisher succeeds Jane Potter, M.D., who served for 36 years as chief of the UNMC Division of Geriatrics. Dr. Potter will continue as director of the geriatric medicine fellowship program and as medical director of the Nebraska Medicine Geriatric Medicine Clinic.
"Dr. Fisher will continue the focus on high-quality care, world-class education and will help us further our aging-related investigations," said Deb Romberger, M.D., Henry J. Lehnhoff Professor and chair of the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine. "We are formally adding palliative care medicine to the Geriatrics Division. Dr. Fisher will partner with Nebraska Medicine to help us develop a more comprehensive program in this area."
Dr. Fisher said in medical school he was drawn to geriatrics because it’s both primary care and a specialty, and because of the complex clinical challenges presented by the intersecting medical, social, and functional needs and resources of each patient.
"It is necessary to understand and consider each of these needs -- plus appreciate the patient’s goals of care -- and engage in creative problem solving to be a good clinician. Underlying all of this is one of the biggest mysteries, the aging process, which has endlessly fascinated humans," Dr. Fisher said. "I am excited to join the division with its strong reputation, beautiful clinical facilities and opportunities to build new research programs, both in the division and with other groups on campus."
For the past five years, Dr. Fisher has worked in the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (UTHSCSA), most recently serving as interim division chief and associate professor. He served as associate director of the M.D.-Ph.D. program and of the Center for Healthy Aging at UTHSCSA and as associate director of research for the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital, which is located on the UTHSCSA campus.
From 2005 to 2013, he was an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Division of Geriatric Medicine, and from 2004 to 2005, he was an adjunct assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco Division of Geriatrics.
Dr. Fisher has published more than 50 articles, reviews, and abstracts, and has presented at more than 20 scientific conferences. He has received 10 awards for his mentoring, and in 2013 was awarded recognition by the University of Texas Rising STARS program.
His research interests include the biology of aging, frailty and factors that influence aging. Since 2004, he has continually received grant funding, including five grants from the National Institutes of Health, the nation’s leading medical research agency for making important discoveries that improve health and save lives.
Dr. Fisher earned his undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in 1991 in biochemistry, where he also was named University Scholar of the Year. He earned a Ph.D. in cell biology and genetics in 1998 and a doctor of medicine degree in 1999 from Cornell University. He did post graduate training in geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco and at Buck Institute in Novato, Calif.
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