UArizona Announces $5 Million Endowment to Honor Dr. Fayez Ghishan

In honor of Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan‘s 25th anniversary as director of the Steele Children’s Research Center at the University of Arizona, members of the Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center have contributed $5 million to establish an endowment in his name. The endowment celebrates and honors Ghishan for his life’s work to improve treatment and seek cures for childhood diseases.

The Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, PANDA Endowed Directorship will provide support to further pediatric research and leadership at the Steele Children’s Research Center. Funded by grateful patient families and admirers, it seeks to acknowledge in perpetuity Ghishan’s research, his dedication and connection to pediatric patients, his passion for educating future physicians and his ability to make people feel heard and respected.  

The Phoenix Women’s Board is known as PANDA, or People Acting Now Discover Answers.

“Dr. Ghishan’s achievements in pediatrics have transformed the lives of children and their families, and this is well-deserved recognition of his important work,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “This endowment will play an essential role in continuing this research and training of future pediatricians at the Steele Children’s Research Center. I am incredibly grateful for the extraordinary support from PANDA and donors around the state that made this possible.” 

The $5 million endowment is made up of $1.5 million from PANDA, $1.5 million from two anonymous PANDAs, and $2 million from the Dorrance family as part of a matching challenge grant. Ghishan was surprised with the news during an Aug. 29 event held over videoconference.  

“The women of PANDA created this endowment to show our love and admiration for Dr. Ghishan,” said Tammy Ryan, president of the Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center. “For 20 years, PANDA has been supporting Dr. Ghishan’s important work and is proud to be able to ensure his legacy through this directorship.”

“Over the past 25 years, as one of the most accomplished physician-scientists at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, Dr. Ghishan has been a passionate advocate for children’s health,” said Dr. Michael D. Dake, senior vice president for UArizona Health Sciences. “This distinguished honor reflects an illustrious career dedicated to improving pediatric care for young patients and their families.”

“Endowments are unique and special gifts because they live in perpetuity, honoring the generosity and, more importantly, the vision and passion of the donors,” said Michael Abecassis, dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson. “The Fayez K Ghishan, MD, PANDA Endowed Directorship is even more unique and special, as in addition, it honors an individual, Dr. Ghishan, who embodies the very essence of this passion and vision, recognizing his lifelong and distinctive commitment to the advancement of research and training in pediatrics.” 

“I’m grateful to everyone who made this endowment possible,” said John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO of the University of Arizona Foundation. “Steele Children’s Research Center would not be the leading institution it is today without PANDA or Dr. Ghishan, and this endowed directorship is now a permanent tribute to that shared and ongoing legacy.”

Ghishan and his team of researchers and physician-scientists conduct research in many areas, such as autism, autoimmune disorders, cancer and blood diseases, Type 1 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders and lung disease, among others. This new endowed directorship will ensure ongoing support to further the important mission and work of the Steele Children’s Research Center.

About the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center

The University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center is one of the prestigious Centers of Excellence in the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. It is the state’s only academic pediatric research center designated by the Arizona Board of Regents, and the only facility in Southern Arizona where researchers and physician-scientists are dedicated to advancing medical knowledge through basic and translational research to improve children’s health. As researchers, they seek to discover answers to children’s medical mysteries. As physician-scientists, they provide compassionate care to hospitalized patients at Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center and pediatric outpatient clinics throughout Tucson and the state. And, as faculty members with the UArizona Department of Pediatrics, they teach and train the next generation of pediatricians and researchers. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

About the University of Arizona Foundation

Now in its 63rd year, the University of Arizona Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the University of Arizona through philanthropy. Since its inception, the foundation has helped generate more than $3 billion in private funding to support and elevate the university’s global leadership position in experiential and interdisciplinary education, research and entrepreneurial partnerships. The University of Arizona is ranked No. 92 on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of America’s Favorite Charities, the 100 American organizations that raise the most money annually.


The Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center, affectionately known as PANDA, supports the advancement of medical knowledge to improve treatments and cures for devastating childhood diseases. The strong and unique partnership between the members of PANDA and the researchers and physicians at the Steele Children’s Research Center have made it possible for us to embody our name, People Acting Now Discover Answers. Since 1999, PANDA has funded the Steele Children’s Research Center’s internationally recognized physician-scientists as they investigate a range of pediatric illnesses including those involving cancer, autoimmune disorders, genetics, gastroenterology, and developmental and behavioral pediatrics.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button