At the time she received the Chang-Lin Tien Education Leadership Award, Phyllis M. Wise was Interim President of the University of Washington. In August 2011, Wise was named vice president of the University of Illinois and chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus.
At the University of Washington, she had responsibility for all programs and operations of the University, reporting directly to the Board of Regents. The University of Washington is an AAU research university with an annual operating budget of near $4 billion and nearly 35,000 full and part-time employees. The University educates 47,000 regular students and 31,000 extension students and is the national leader among all public universities (2nd among all universities, public and private) in research funding, attracting more than $1 billion in grants and contracts per year.
Prior to assuming the role of Interim President, Wise served as Provost and Executive Vice President. As the University’s chief academic and budgetary officer, the Provost and EVP provides leadership in educational and curriculum development, formulation and allocation of budget and space, long-range strategic planning, and management of the University’s research programs.
Wise, who is a professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Biology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington, previously served as dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California at Davis, from 2002 to 2005. Prior to that, she was professor and chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington from 1993 to 2002. Wise was a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, from 1976 to 1993, promoting through the ranks to full professor of physiology in 1987.
She holds a bachelor’s degree (1967) from Swarthmore College in biology and a doctorate (1972) degree in zoology from the University of Michigan. In 2008 she received an honorary doctorate from Swarthmore College and was elected to the National Academy’s Institute of Medicine. She was also selected by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of its 2008 Women of Influence.
Wise continues an active research program in issues concerning women’s health and gender-based biology. She has been particularly interested in whether hormones influence brains of women and men during development, during adulthood and during aging.
She has served on a number of scientific advisory committees, including NIH study sections and the Council of the National Institute on Aging. She currently serves on the RAND Health Board of Advisors, the Bullitt Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. In 2008 she was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and was inducted into the Institute of Medicine.
Wise has received many awards, and is particularly proud of those that have acknowledged her lifelong dedication to mentoring students and junior investigators, particularly women. She received the Excellence in Science Award from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in 2002 and the Women in Endocrinology Mentor Award in 2003.