Dr. David Andes appointed to Dr. William A. Craig Endowed Professorship

Dr. William Craig
Dr. David Andes

David Andes, MD (pictured at right), professor and head, Infectious Disease, is the inaugural appointee named to the Dr. William A. Craig Endowed Professorship. The professorship was made possible by the establishment of an endowment fund by colleagues, collaborators, and industry partners of the late Dr. Craig to honor his legacy.

Dr. Craig joined the Department of Medicine faculty in 1973 as a founding member of the Division of Infectious Disease. He spent his entire career at UW-Madison, remaining active in research, clinical care, and teaching until his death on March 11, 2015.

Dr. Craig’s contributions to the field of infectious disease have been recognized worldwide. Dr. Andes recalled, “He was the first to recognize and quantify the relationship between antimicrobial dosing and treatment effect. This led to his development of an entirely new field of study, termed antimicrobial pharmacodynamics. He always considered his observations as just ‘intuitive.’ However, the application of his approaches has been instrumental in the development of dozens of antibiotics, and the clinical use of his paradigms has significantly reduced mortality due to bacterial sepsis.”

With a steadfast dedication to advancing the development of life-saving antibiotics, Dr. Craig collaborated broadly with researchers in government, industry, and academia. He was personally involved in the preclinical research of most antibiotics that came to market over the span of four decades.

“I am unaware of any other person worldwide who has had greater recent impact on the pharmacotherapy of bacterial infections,” said Dr. Andes.

Dr. Craig also had a remarkable impact as a mentor. "He inspired a passion for investigation, instilled a dedication to scientific integrity, and demonstrated an unwavering support of independent work by his trainees. He humbly took the greatest joy in his students' successes," said Dr. Andes, who himself trained under Dr. Craig.

An outpouring of support and respect from Dr. Craig’s colleagues around the nation enabled creation of the endowed professorship. Additional gifts from industry partners were facilitated by Paul Ambrose, PharmD, a friend and colleague of Dr. Craig who serves as president of the Institute for Clinical Pharmacodynamics.

“Bill would have been incredibly happy to see this professorship happen for the infectious disease division and he would have been particularly pleased to know that Dr. Andes is the inaugural holder. Our family is grateful to everyone who made this professorship possible in Bill’s memory,” said his wife, Judy Craig.

Dr. Andes’ research is focused on the identification of strategies and novel therapeutic agents to combat antimicrobial drug resistance, particularly for fungal pathogens. After attending medical school at the University of Missouri, Dr. Andes completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in infectious disease at UW-Madison. He joined the faculty in 2001 and has served as head of the Division of Infectious Disease since 2009. His research program has been continuously funded by federal agencies and private foundations. He has published more than 241 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Members of the Andes laboratory have discovered new ways to combat drug-resistant fungal biofilms, furthered the field of pharmacodynamics by identifying optimal dosing strategies to combat drug resistance therapeutic failures and resistance evolution, identified hundreds of new antimicrobial compounds, and conducted translational studies in clinical mycology and epidemiology.

As a clinician, Dr. Andes has focused on infectious disease consultative services and antimicrobial stewardship. In spring 2018, he was elected as a member of the Association of American Physicians (AAP), one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious professional organizations of physicians.

Dr. Andes also continues Dr. Craig’s legacy of mentorship; he serves as a mentor to graduate students, medical students and postdoctoral fellows and is dedicated to the research, clinical and didactic education of trainees.

“Bill Craig will always be remembered by the colleagues at UW and beyond for his wisdom, loyalty, and humility as a colleague and friend. I am honored beyond measure to be appointed this endowed professorship named in his memory,” said Dr. Andes.