Your primary source of information for news from and about the University of Arizona.

Aug. 29, 2020

UArizona Steele Children's Research Center Announces $5M in Gifts Honoring Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan

TUCSON, Ariz. — In honor of Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan's 25th anniversary as director of the Steele Children's Research Center at the University of Arizona, members of the Phoenix Women's Board of the Steele Children's Research Center have contributed $5 million to establish an endowment in his name. The endowment celebrates and honors Ghishan for his life's work to improve treatment and seek cures for childhood diseases.

The Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, PANDA Endowed Directorship will provide support to further pediatric research and leadership at the Steele Children's Research Center. Funded by grateful patient families and admirers, it seeks to acknowledge in perpetuity Ghishan's research, his dedication and connection to pediatric patients, his passion for educating future physicians and his ability to make people feel heard and respected.

The Phoenix Women's Board is known as PANDA, or People Acting Now Discover Answers.

"Dr. Ghishan's achievements in pediatrics have transformed the lives of children and their families, and this is well-deserved recognition of his important work," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "This endowment will play an essential role in continuing this research and training of future pediatricians at the Steele Children's Research Center. I am incredibly grateful for the extraordinary support from PANDA and donors around the state that made this possible."

The $5 million endowment is made up of $1.5 million from PANDA, $1.5 million from two anonymous PANDAs, and $2 million from the Dorrance family as part of a matching challenge grant. Ghishan was surprised with the news during an Aug. 29 event held over videoconference.

"The women of PANDA created this endowment to show our love and admiration for Dr. Ghishan," said Tammy Ryan, president of the Phoenix Women's Board of the Steele Children's Research Center. "For 20 years, PANDA has been supporting Dr. Ghishan's important work and is proud to be able to ensure his legacy through this directorship."

"Over the past 25 years, as one of the most accomplished physician-scientists at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, Dr. Ghishan has been a passionate advocate for children's health," said Dr. Michael D. Dake, senior vice president for UArizona Health Sciences. "This distinguished honor reflects an illustrious career dedicated to improving pediatric care for young patients and their families."

"Endowments are unique and special gifts because they live in perpetuity, honoring the generosity and, more importantly, the vision and passion of the donors," said Michael Abecassis, dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson. "The Fayez K Ghishan, MD, PANDA Endowed Directorship is even more unique and special, as in addition, it honors an individual, Dr. Ghishan, who embodies the very essence of this passion and vision, recognizing his lifelong and distinctive commitment to the advancement of research and training in pediatrics."

"I'm grateful to everyone who made this endowment possible," said John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO of the University of Arizona Foundation. "Steele Children's Research Center would not be the leading institution it is today without PANDA or Dr. Ghishan, and this endowed directorship is now a permanent tribute to that shared and ongoing legacy."

Ghishan and his team of researchers and physician-scientists conduct research in many areas, such as autism, autoimmune disorders, cancer and blood diseases, Type 1 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders and lung disease, among others. This new endowed directorship will ensure ongoing support to further the important mission and work of the Steele Children's Research Center.

NOTE: Photos available upon request.

# # #

Media contacts:
Liz Warren-Pederson
University Alumni and Development Program

Ashley Hammarstrom
Steele Children's Research Center