Joe G. N. "Skip" Garcia, MD, is senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Arizona, an endowed UA professor of medicine, and an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. An internationally noted physician-scientist, health administrator, scholar and educator, Dr. Garcia also is a leading authority on the genetic basis of lung disease and the prevention and treatment of inflammatory lung injury.
A key member of the UA’s senior executive team, Dr. Garcia provides academic leadership for the Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) colleges: the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, the UA College of Pharmacy, the UA College of Nursing and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. He also has direct leadership oversight of the UA Cancer Center.
Before joining the UA, Dr. Garcia served as vice president for health affairs at the University of Illinois and as the Earl M. Bane Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As vice president for health affairs, Dr. Garcia oversaw the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health), a $1.2 billion health sciences and clinical enterprise. He also provided oversight of the University of Illinois Hospital and the University’s federally qualified community health centers.
His prior leadership positions include director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University (1998-2005), chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago (2005-2009), and vice chancellor for research at UIC (2010-2012).
Dr. Garcia is internationally recognized for his genetic-based research on lung disease and for development of novel therapies for critically ill patients with acute inflammatory lung disease. He has nearly 400 peer-reviewed publications. He has an expansive portfolio of NIH-sponsored research and continues to direct large federally funded programs.
Dr. Garcia is a passionate advocate for the training of physician-scientists and is an active supporter of minority medical and science students. He has nurtured many minority students at UIC, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago, guiding them into MD and PhD programs.
Dr. Garcia earned his Bachelor of Science in biology at the University of Dallas in 1976 and received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1980. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (1980-1983) and completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Albany Medical College (1983-1985).
The Garcia laboratory is a state of the art pulmonary research lab focusing on the genetics and proteomics of lung biology and disease. Our goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms of lung inflammatory processes, particularly those producing lung edema or vascular leak. The laboratory encompasses a mosaic of specialized talents to investigate all aspects of research including gene discovery, protein function assessment, SNP discovery, genetic manipulation, in vivo testing, and candidate gene and biomarker identification. Using this bench-to-bedside approach, we hope to translate our basic research into potential novel clinical therapies.