Vice Chair for Research Announcement

I am pleased to announce Chris Wendt, MD, as the incoming Vice Chair for Research for the Department of Medicine, starting June 1, 2024. Chris succeeds Peter Crawford, MD, PhD, who has assumed the role of Vice Dean for Research for the University of Minnesota Medical School in June 2023. 

Chris has a long-standing commitment to the University of Minnesota, completing virtually all of her postsecondary education on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus before joining the Medical School as a faculty member. After completing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, she went on to complete her doctorate in medicine, residency in internal medicine and chief residency before completing a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Immediately thereafter, she joined the faculty of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep. After building a successful research program and clinical practice at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Chris relocated her clinical practice and research program to the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center (“VAMC”). She is currently a Professor of Medicine and Section Chief for Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep for the Department of Medicine at the VAMC.

Chris is a national leader in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) research and has a passion for team science, collaboration, and mentorship. Her individual research focuses on translational research in COPD and associated contributors, including tobacco, HIV, air pollution, and COPD as a causal pathway to lung cancer. She is currently the site PI for a large VA cooperative study (SHADE) to determine if there is an association of air pollution exposure to respiratory symptoms, lung function and the incidence of airflow obstruction and is PI of a VA Merit award to identify biomarkers of exposure in this population. Chris is also a Co-PI for a multi-center Lung Precision Oncology Program. Chris brings together diverse, cross-discipline research teams to answer key questions related to chronic obstructive lung disease, with a commitment to nurture the next generation of researchers. Her mentorship crosses many levels of training, from graduate students to post-doc fellows to early- to mid-level faculty investigators. She is a past recipient of the CTSI Mentor of the Year Award. She has active collaborations with investigators in the Center for Metabolomics and Proteomics and the Biostatistics Division in the School of Public Health, as well as Mayo Clinic and other academic institutions.

We look forward to her leadership as we continue to expand our research contributions and nurture the next generation of researchers. We also look forward to increased opportunities to collaborate with our faculty located at VAMC and other affiliate sites.

Please join me in congratulating Chris and thanking Peter for his continued leadership during a lengthy search process. Thank you, as well, to members of the search committee.


Betsy Seaquist, MD
Nesbitt Chair and Head
Department of Medicine