SCIRC Announces the Emeritus Transition of Dr. Lyle Moldawer and the Appointment of Dr. Robert Maile as Co-director Alongside Dr. Philip Efron.

SCIRC Announces the emeritus Transition of Dr. Lyle Moldawer and the Appointment of Dr. Robert Maile as Co-director Alongside Dr. Philip Efron.

Dr. Moldawer

Gainesville, FL 05.28.24 — Leadership Changes at Sepsis & Critical Illness Research Center (SCIRC)

The Sepsis & Critical Illness Research Center (SCIRC) is pleased to announce changes in its leadership team, marking a significant milestone in the organization’s evolution.

After 31 years of dedicated service to the Department of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine, Lyle L. Moldawer, Ph.D. will transition to Professor Emeritus in November 2024. Dr. Moldawer’s profound influence on SCIRC’s mission and achievements cannot be overstated, and his transition to emeritus status reflects his lasting impact within our organization and the broader academic medicine community.

Since 1987, Dr. Moldawer’s educational focus has been on training the next generation of surgeon-scientists and preparing them for leadership roles in American Surgery. Throughout his entire professional journey, he has been affiliated with departments of surgery, initially at Weill Cornell Medicine and, since 1993, at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Moldawer has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for 36 years.

In addition, Dr. Moldawer was previously the Director of the Sepsis and Critical Illness Research Center (2019-2024), the Robert H. and Kathleen M. Axline Basic Science Endowed Professor of Surgery (2014-2019), Vice Chairman of Research (2004-2018), University of Florida Research Foundation Professor (2009 & 2014), and Professor of Surgery (1996). Dr. Moldawer has over 500 peer-reviewed publications and, according to, he is the second most influential immunologist (behind his colleague and friend, Mark Atkinson) and the 5th most influential active medicine faculty at the University of Florida with over 15,000 citations since 2019 (57,652 total). Notably, in 2022, Dr. Moldawer achieved the rank of 12th most highly NIH-funded investigator nationally in surgery from the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

As a tenured faculty member, his main teaching responsibility has been to prepare surgical house officers, including general surgery residents and fellows in surgical specialties, to engage in and lead peer-reviewed funded research in the surgical sciences. Over the past 31 years, Dr. Moldawer has been supported by the Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Award as Program Director, sponsoring three to four surgical trainees for 2-4 years of mentored research under his guidance. In total, Dr. Moldawer has mentored 30 trainees through this mechanism. Several of these trainees have pursued advanced degrees (M.S., M.P.H., and Ph.D.). Over 90% of the graduates of this program have remained in academic surgery, and approximately 22% have obtained peer-reviewed funding on their own. Six surgical house officers have gone on to be chairpersons of Departments of Surgery.

In addition to his mentorship of students and faculty, Dr. Moldawer has been a champion for center and laboratory staff, encouraging several of them to pursue advanced graduate programs, licensures, certificates, and professional development opportunities to advance the trajectory of their careers within the university.

Throughout his tenure, Dr. Moldawer has been a leading figure in research, particularly in understanding the immunological response to severe trauma and sepsis. His groundbreaking contributions include the initial description of endogenous inhibitors of inflammation (IL-10, IL-1ra, sTNFR, sIL1RII) in severe trauma and sepsis (1990s), identification of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (2007), later confirming this finding with Dr. Efron in humans (2016), and the characterization of the Persistent Inflammation, Immune Suppression, and Protein Catabolism (PICS) syndrome with Professor Emeritus Frederick Moore, M.D. (2012).

Between 2001-2011, as an executive committee member and core director of the NIGMS-funded “Glue Grant,” he was one of the first to describe the human host response to severe trauma and burns as a “genomic storm,” demonstrating in the blood leukocyte that 70% of the leukocyte transcriptome changed in response to trauma. Earlier in his career at Weill Cornell Medicine with Professor Stephen F. Lowry (deceased), he was among the first to report the appearance of the cytokines IL-6, IL-1ra, sIL-1R, and sTNFR in the blood of septic patients. He was also part of the group at Weill Cornell Medicine and Rockefeller University who first cloned the chemokine, MIP-1, further solidifying his central role in the development of clinical trauma and sepsis research programs.

Dr. Moldawer’s legacy remains profound, with his work continuing to shape the field of critical care medicine, resonating in advancements such as personalized medicine approaches to treating sepsis and trauma patients, and employing AI to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics.

I feel fortunate to have collaborated with a number of brilliant and innovative clinicians and scientists who provided the framework for my contributions. I have had the continuous and uninterrupted support of chairs who understood the importance of research and training the next generation of surgeon-scientists. I have to acknowledge the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and its Directors for their commitment to sepsis, trauma, and burn research over the past four decades,” Professor Moldawer reflected.

Concurrently, SCIRC welcomes Robert Maile, Ph.D. as its new Co-director, joining Philip Efron, M.D., in guiding the organization’s future direction. Dr. Maile’s extensive experience in surgical critical care research positions him as a valuable addition to SCIRC’s leadership team. Dr. Maile is an Associate Professor within the University of Florida Department of Surgery in the Division of Acute Care Surgery with affiliation to the UF Shands Burn Center (SBC) and has served on SCIRC’s Internal Advisory Board since he joined UF. His NIH and Department of Defense-funded research program has spanned multiple areas attempting to define our understanding of innate and adaptive immune regulation during health and disease, with a major emphasis on burn injury, inhalation injury, and irradiation injury. Dr. Maile’s focus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 20 years, and now with SCIRC, is to develop a translational and collaborative immunology research program to tease apart the immunopathologic mechanisms of the acute and chronic immune effects of burn injury and resultant chronic critical illness, and to mentor clinical, basic, and translational science trainees at all levels involved with this program.

Over the last two decades, the integration and synergy of basic scientists and physician-scientists within the Department of Surgery at UF was always an inspiration to my work from afar, with Dr. Moldawer and SCIRC being the successful model I tried to emulate,” said Dr. Maile. “It was a tremendous honor to join SCIRC and now join Dr. Efron to further build on Dr. Moldawer’s legacy and further elevate SCIRC’s impact and growth,” added Dr. Maile.

We express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Moldawer for his leadership, mentorship, and dedication,” said Dr. Efron. “It was an honor to train under Dr. Moldawer as a T32 resident, and now to be his successor as Director of SCIRC,” said Dr. Efron. “His contributions have been instrumental in shaping me as a physician-scientist and SCIRC’s trajectory as a leading research hub. Additionally, we are thankful for his continued support.” Dr. Maile’s appointment underscores SCIRC’s commitment to advancing research excellence in critical care. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Maile to our leadership team,” added Dr. Efron. “His expertise will undoubtedly contribute to SCIRC’s continued growth and impact in the field, and his directorship will be key to our future success.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Lyle Moldawer on his transition to emeritus and welcoming Dr. Robert Maile to his new role as Co-director of SCIRC.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

Amanda Reifenrath, Program Manager

Sepsis & Critical Illness Research Center (SCIRC)

Phone: (352) 594-5144