Sally E. Wenzel, MD
Department Chair, Environmental and Occupational Health
Dr. Sally Wenzel completed her MD degree at the University of Florida and spent 19 years at National Jewish and the University of Colorado before moving to the University of Pittsburgh. She received numerous awards from the American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society. She is currently Director of the University of Pittsburgh Asthma and Environmental Lung Health Institute at UPMC, and Chair for the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, at the School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Wenzel has a passion for improving the understanding of the prevention and treatment of asthma, in particular severe asthma, where both genetic and environmental factors are likely to be playing a role. She has performed research bronchoscopies on hundreds of asthma patients, studies critical to identifying the heterogeneity of asthma, including the influence of T2, T1 and innate immunity. Her current bench-lab interests include the role of epithelial cells in the modulation of redox balance, inflammation, mucus production and clearance in the airways. She now chairs the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is leading efforts to address the effects of the environment, and its various pollutants to impact oxidative stress in airway epithelial cells of asthmatic patients. She has authored more than 350 publications and is the recipient of numerous awards including the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Presidential Award in 2017, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Foundation Breathing for Life 2016 Award, and the ATS Amberson Lecture in 2021 for her career work in all aspects of asthma. As Chair of Environmental and Occupational Health, she is dedicated to improving the air and water quality of our region and its disproportionate impact on the health of people of color.