Frank Cerra, MD

Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems

Frank Cerra

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-4731

Fax 612-626-2111

Office Address:
Children's Rehabilitation Building, Room 650

Mailing Address:
University of Minnesota
College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems
7-159 Weaver-Densford Hall
308 Harvard St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

M.D., Northwestern University, 1965-1969

Residency, Buffalo General Hospital, State University of New York, 1969-1975

Fellowship, Texas Medical Center, Cardiovascular Surgery, 1972

Master's, Northwestern University, 1965-1969


Frank Cerra, senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Minnesota, leads one of the largest and most comprehensive academic health centers in the United States. The U of M Academic Health Center, which encompasses schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and veterinary medicine, as well as interdisciplinary programs in bioethics, spirituality and healing, cancer, and genomics, prepares two-thirds of the state's health professionals, supports biomedical research and industry, and receives nearly $300 million a year in government and private grant awards.

Since assuming leadership in 1996, Dr. Cerra has guided many changes to enable the AHC to respond more nimbly to the evolving health care marketplace, to advance science and technology, and to translate those advances into new treatments.

These include:

  • interdisciplinary, community-based education programs
  • a successful partnership with Fairview Health Services
  • creation of University of Minnesota Physicians, a practice plan that unified physicians in 18 Medical School departments
  • a faculty-led strategic planning process that incorporated suggestions from Minnesota's health systems and government, business, and community leaders
  • interdisciplinary research programs
  • a University-wide initiative to expand molecular and cellular biology research
  • creation of the Research Services Organization, which promotes collaboration between faculty researchers and biomedical industry
  • creation of the Center for Biomedical Genomics and the Stem Cell Institute

He firmly believes that the key to the AHC's vitality is being responsive to the communities it serves.

Dr. Cerra came to the University of Minnesota in 1981 as director of surgical critical care. In 1995 he was named dean of the Medical School after serving briefly as head of the Department of Surgery. An accomplished researcher as well as administrator and clinician, he is co-developer of the bioartificial liver, a device similar to a kidney dialysis machine.

A native of Buffalo, New York, Dr. Cerra received his B.A. degree in biology from the State University of New York at Binghamton and his M.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Medicine. He and his wife, Kathie Krieger Cerra, PhD, have three children.


Research Summary/Interests

  • General Surgery
  • Surgical Critical Care
  • Surgical Nutrition
  • Bioartificial Liver
  • Cytokines and Lymphocytes


Clinical Interests

General Surgery; Surgical Critical Care; Surgical Nutrition