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Sally E. Wenzel, M.D.


As director of the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute since 2006, Wenzel has worked to move the clinical practice of asthma treatment from a structured regimen of medication adherence as the ultimate solution, to a more personalized medicine approach that seeks to understand each patient’s type of asthma, its causes and the ideal treatment. Her laboratory research examines the variations of asthma and lung disease, and the underlying genetic and molecular causes. 


In her role as chair of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, one of the four original departments from the school’s founding in 1949, Wenzel directs faculty in studying and elucidating the health effects of exposure to various chemicals and pollutants in workplaces and the general environment. This research is used to guide recommendations and policy to protect health. 


Prior to her positions at Pitt, Wenzel was on the faculty at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She earned her bachelor’s and medical degrees at the University of Florida, and completed her internship, residency and fellowship training at Wake Forest University and the Medical College of Virginia. She is board certified in internal and pulmonary medicine. 


Wenzel has authored or co-authored more than 275 medical and scientific peer-reviewed articles and 35 book chapters and reviews. She is a recipient of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Elizabeth Rich Award and the ATS Foundation Breathing for Life Award, the highest award of the Foundation. This past year, Wenzel received the European Respiratory Society’s Presidential Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to respiratory medicine worldwide.