CINCINNATI—Litsa Kranias, PhD, has been named chair of the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics at the UC College of Medicine, effective April 1, 2008 pending the approval of the UC Board of Trustees.
Kranias is currently a professor of pharmacology and cell biophysics in the UC College of Medicine. She has been the director of cardiovascular biology since 1995 and leads the multidisciplinary research effort to define calcium-regulated cellular mechanisms that are essential for maintaining a heartbeat. She has also held the title of distinguished research professor at UC since 2004.
Kranias serves on the research committee of the American Heart Association, on the executive committee of the International Society of Heart Research and as treasurer of the North American Section of the International Society of Heart research.
She is also a founding fellow of the International Society of Heart Research and is involved in a number of other organizations that promote the widespread distribution of heart information and research.
“Dr. Kranias has been an attribute to our university and the college for almost 30 years and has done a tremendous job of leading cardiovascular research within the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics,” said David Stern, MD, dean of the College of Medicine. “Her vast experience, enthusiasm and desire to help the department and the College of Medicine grow make her an ideal leader.
“We’re fortunate to have her take on this role.”
A native of Thessaloniki, Greece, Kranias received her doctorate in molecular biology and biochemistry at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
Kranias has been a faculty member of the UC College of Medicine since 1978. She has distinguished herself internationally as a molecular cardiac researcher and has received continuous funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in addition to receiving the prestigious Research Career Development Award (RCDA) and a Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) award from the NIH.
Kranias has also collaborated with many physicians, nationally and internationally, on basic research, particularly in the areas of impaired calcium homeostasis in heart failure, and has assumed many national and international leadership roles.
A 1966 Fulbright Scholar, Kranias is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed publications, has been an invited speaker throughout the world, has served on editorial boards and has participated and chaired numerous grant review panels and NIH study sections.
She was also named one of “2007’s Leading Women” for Women’s Advocacy.
“I am very honored to be appointed to this position,” she says. “I feel excited and challenged about leading the department in new dimensions of research excellence, promoting the talents of each faculty member as we move forward and making a difference within the UC College of Medicine.”
Kranias will be replacing Robert Highsmith, PhD, who has served as interim chair of the department since March 2007. Highsmith is currently the associate vice president for research at UC and the senior associate dean and director of the office of research and graduate education in the College of Medicine. He will return to full-time status with his administrative duties in addition to being a professor in the department of molecular and cellular physiology.