2019 Hall of Fame Inductee
Graduating from the University of Alberta medical school in 1978, Dr. Richard Fedorak was a proud alumnus and an integral member of the University of Alberta academy for more than 30 years. During that time, he served the University of Alberta as a clinical investigator, as professor and director in the Division of Gastroenterology, as associate vice president (research), and as dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry from early 2015, first as interim and then with a full appointment. He was also a member of the medical staff at both the University of Alberta Hospital and the Cross Cancer Institute and a consulting physician at the Stollery Children’s Health Centre of Northern Alberta and the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
Dr. Fedorak led the development of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry’s ambitious five-year strategic plan in 2016—and then worked with the faculty to complete most of their objectives within 24 months. Characteristic of his leadership, the plan took a strong focus on people: Dr. Fedorak was an ardent supporter and champion of his exceptional community of faculty, students, alumni and staff. He could envision and then follow through on a wide range of programs, opportunities, and partnerships. He was committed to innovation in the U of A’s health sciences curriculum, resulting in a more inclusive and culturally-competent approach, and was instrumental in fostering international partnerships for medical education and training.
A firm believer in the power of collaborative work, as dean he built closer ties with Alberta Health Services and other key partners such as the University Hospital Foundation, helped guide the City of Edmonton’s Health City initiative and drove the launch of the University of Alberta Health Accelerator program in partnership with TEC Edmonton.
He was also instrumental in helping the UofA secure several major gifts, including a combined $54.4 million gift from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation to the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute – the largest gift in the university’s history.
In addition to his administrative leadership and entrepreneurship, Dr. Fedorak was an internationally respected scholar. The recipient of numerous awards, research fellowships, and grants, he was a recognized expert in inflammatory bowel disease. As dean, he maintained an active basic gastrointestinal research laboratory in the area of mucosal immunology, inflammation, and membrane function and structure. He led a large gastrointestinal disease clinical research group, and served on multiple national and international scientific advisory boards and organizations.
In recognition of his many academic contributions, in 2017, Dr. Fedorak was appointed a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh. He was a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and the Royal Society of Canada.