UF Sepsis and Critical Illness Research Center (SCIRC) announces leadership transition: Dr. Philip Efron to take the helm as director

Drs. Moldawer & Efron

The Sepsis and Critical Illness Research Center (SCIRC) announced a significant leadership transition on Wednesday. After eight years of dedicated service, first as co-director and then as director for the past year, Lyle Moldawer, Ph.D., will be stepping down, effective Sept. 1, 2023. Following this decision, the SCIRC is proud to introduce Philip Efron, M.D., FAACS, FCCM, the current co-director, as the successor to lead the center into the next chapter of research excellence.

Moldawer assumed the director position following the retirement of Frederick A. Moore, M.D., in April 2022, stepping into the leadership role with a commitment to continue Moore’s legacy of excellence and innovation.

“Dr. Moldawer has led the Center with a vision of making the SCIRC the nation’s premier research and post-graduate medical education center,” Moore said.  “His efforts, especially with a training program funded by the NIH, have continued and expanded on the foundation I established in 2014. His dedication to the Center’s core missions has never wavered.”

Under past leadership, SCIRC earned its reputation as trailblazers in sepsis, shock, and critical illness research.  Over the years, Moore and Moldawer have fostered a culture of innovation and interdisciplinary research, attracted top-tier talent, and secured significant research grants. Their visionary leadership, unwavering commitment to academic excellence and collaborative spirit have greatly contributed to the center’s success.

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my decision to step down as Director of the SCIRC,” Moldawer said. “I am incredibly proud of the remarkable achievements Fred and I have accomplished together as a team. The time has come to pass the torch to new, younger leadership enabling the SCIRC to embark on a fresh and innovative trajectory. I am confident that Dr. Efron will establish a leadership team that will continue to expand on the current successes of SCIRC, and at the same time integrate new technologies, new approaches, and new emphasis as the Center Director. I intend to remain a SCIRC member, and on the Internal Advisory Board until the transition is complete.”

Effective September 1, 2023, Philip Efron, MD, FACS, FCCM, will assume the role of director, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the center’s mission and values. Having served as co-director alongside Dr. Moldawer, Dr. Efron has been an integral part of the SCIRC’s success, leading various research initiatives, training programs, and contributing to the center’s significant growth.

“I am honored and humbled to assume the role of director at the SCIRC. I want to express my gratitude to Dr. Moldawer for his exceptional leadership and mentorship, which have been instrumental in shaping both the center’s success and mine,” Efron said. “ I am excited about the future and committed to building upon our strong foundation, pushing the boundaries of our knowledge, and driving innovation to address the future of sepsis and critical care research.”

With both Moldawer and Efron working closely together, the leadership transition is anticipated to be smooth, ensuring a seamless handover of responsibilities.

“Drs. Moldawer and Efron have been an undefeatable team for over the past decade, and their collaborations have demonstrated what can be achieved when a unified vision is implemented,” said Gilbert R. Upchurch, M.D., Edward M. Copeland, III and Ann & Ira Horowitz Chair and Professor of Surgery. “Dr. Moldawer and SCIRC have proven that during this era of rapidly advancing technology in transcriptomics, ‘big data’ and artificial intelligence, seamless team science bringing together exceptional researchers with diverse approaches can achieve goals unattainable by individual investigators.”

The SCIRC would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to Dr. Moldawer for his invaluable contributions during his eight-year association with the Center. His vision and passion have been instrumental in establishing SCIRC as a world-renowned hub for groundbreaking research, a sought-after partner for collaboration, and a beacon of academic excellence.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

 Amanda Reifenrath

Sepsis & Critical Illness Research Center

Phone: (352) 594-5144

Email:  Amanda.Reifenrath@surgery.ufl.edu

About the Sepsis & Critical Illness Research Center (SCIRC)

The SCIRC is a leading research center dedicated to sepsis, shock, and critical illness research. With a focus on innovation, collaboration, and academic excellence, the center aims to address some of the most pressing challenges facing society. We are a diverse team of researchers and scholars who work tirelessly to push the boundaries of knowledge and drive positive change.