Author, physician, microbe stalker
Richard Wenzel, MD, MSc, is emeritus Chairman and Professor of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center in Richmond, VA, and former President of the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) Physicians, a clinical practice for more than 600 physicians. These posts reflect the dual paths of Wenzel’s career in medicine: research-driven exploration of infectious microbes and the thoughtful treatment of the people they impact. Wenzel now pursues the volatile intersection of these two worlds in his medical thriller book series, which follow the work of three renowned experts –microbiology professor Chris Rose, Jake Evans, an American infectious disease specialist, and Elizabeth Foster, a senior agent with M15 – who meet at ground zero of some of the world’s most complex terror plots. He is the author of over 550 scientific publications and since 2001, the Editor-at-Large of The New England Journal of Medicine.
Born in Philadelphia, Wenzel earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Haverford College, in Haverford, PA, an MD from Jefferson Medical College, now Thomas Jefferson University,in Philadelphia, and an MSc from the University of London at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Epidemiology). He started his career as a resident and then fellow in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore. Following a stint with the U.S. Navy Reserve as Lt. Commander in the Virology Division, Wenzel held medical and teaching leadership positions at the University of Virginia, the University of Iowa and Virginia Commonwealth University, where he remains active in teaching. Wenzel has served as a consultant to the U.S. Congress and the National Institutes of Health. He is former President of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, currently Editor-at-Large of The New England Journal of Medicine and an invited keynote lecturer to conferences around the world. He was recently awarded the Presidential Medallion from VCU for his contributions, talent, leadership, and vision and the Simon Gratz Award from the Jefferson Medical College for significant medical research initiatives. In 2010, Wenzel received the prestigious Maxwell Finland Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases for Scientific Achievement. Previous awardees include former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and Nobel Laureate Joshua Lederberg. The author of numerous medical textbooks and works of non-fiction, Wenzel now combines his expertise in microbial behavior with plots of international intrigue. Inspired in part by a meeting with Ken Alibek, a former Soviet physician, microbiologist and biological warfare expert, Wenzel writes complex, plausible stories based on combining evil intent with the power of the invisible world.