A. Wesley Burks, MD, is CEO of UNC Health Care, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Dr. Burks oversees UNC Health Care’s statewide network of affiliate hospitals and health systems, and leads the UNC School of Medicine, a national leader in medical research and education.
Dr. Burks has spent more than 30 years taking care of patients, conducting research, helping to educate trainees, and leading institutions. He joined UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011 as physician-in-chief of the North Carolina Children’s Hospital and was named chair of the department of pediatrics in 2012, as well as the Curnen Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics. In 2015, he was named executive dean of the UNC School of Medicine, during which he oversaw the school’s focus on rural health initiatives, diversity in admissions, and primary care education.
Dr. Burks also leads a research team focusing on identifying the molecular signatures of allergens in specific foods, such as peanuts, to gain a better understanding of why some people have adverse reactions. Dr. Burks and colleagues lead several immunotherapy clinical studies, and his initial work on peanut allergies is cited as the basis for potential peanut allergy treatment regimens currently under FDA review.
Dr. Burks is a past chair and member of the NIH Hypersensitivity, Autoimmune, and Immune-mediated Diseases study section and is Past President of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Dr. Burks graduated from the University of Central Arkansas and then the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He completed a pediatric residency at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and a fellowship in allergy and immunology at Duke University Medical Center. He served on the faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Duke University Medical Center before joining the UNC School of Medicine.