the highest distinction the alumni association can bestow, this award honors alumni who have enhanced the prestige of the university by virtue of their character, integrity, and nationally recognized personal accomplishments.
Name: Mark Wedel
Home: Temecula, California
Employer: (Retired) Isis Pharmaceuticals
Job Title: Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer
MARK WEDEL ’68 graduated from VU with a bachelor's degree in chemistry before earning his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1972. Upon completion of an internship and residency in internal medicine, as well as a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at the University of California in San Diego, Wedel began practicing at the Methodist Hospital in Minneapolis, where he eventually became the director of Respiratory Care Services and later the head of the Division of Pulmonary Medicine of the Park-Nicollet Center. Under his leadership, the respiratory care department was developed and the sleep center became the first non-academic center of its kind to be certified. In 1987, Wedel became the medical director of the Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, Calif., where he developed an intensive care unit coverage program that became known within the field as The West Coast Model. While holding this position, he became executive director of Clinical Development at Alliance Pharmaceuticals. In 2008, Wedel left Alliance to become the vice president of Clinical Research at Isis Pharmaceuticals in Carlsbad, Calif., where he led the development strategy and execution of drugs in the early stages for the treatment of macular degeneration, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and hypercholesterolemia. He rose to the position of senior vice president of clinical development and chief medical officer, wherein he managed the clinical research organization of 13 drugs, the flagship being a compound that was licensed in a $2 billion transaction. In addition to his professional endeavors, Wedel has been involved in numerous medical mission trips in remote areas of the world and has shared these experiences as a guest lecturer at a Christ College Symposium.