College of Medicine Appoints Two Department Chairs
Published November 2007
The College of Medicine has named chairs for the departments of psychiatry and of molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology.
Stephen Strakowski, MD, who will lead the psychiatry department, has served as interim chair since May 1, 2006. He holds secondary appointments as professor of biomedical engineering and psychology, and also is a member of the neuroscience graduate
Malek Kotb, PhD, who will head up molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology, will come to UC from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis, where she is the C. Mullins Professor of Translational Research.
David Stern, MD, dean of the College of Medicine, made the appointments, pending approval by the UC Board of Trustees. Strakowski’s appointment is effective Nov. 1. Kotb will join the college May 1, 2008.
“These are two outstanding clinicians, researchers and academic leaders,” says Stern.
“Dr. Strakowski has been a valuable member of the college for 15 years, and has done a tremendous job of leading the psychiatry department as interim chair.
“I’m thrilled that he has agreed to assume the responsibilities on a permanent basis. I’m also delighted to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Kotb,” Stern adds. “Her high energy, enthusiasm and desire to include all faculty in her plans to move forward make her an ideal person to lead the department.”
In addition to his academic responsibilities, Strakowski serves as attending clinical chief of psychiatry at University Hospital and as a consulting psychiatrist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.
Strakowski has served in numerous leadership positions for the department and college and in the psychiatric profession.
An experienced researcher, Strakowski is the director of the Center for Imaging Research, a core facility for the medical college, and is the principal investigator of
a large National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) center award.
He has served on several NIMH and VA federal grant review subcommittees and is a reviewer for most major psychiatric journals. He has received a number of awards, most notably the Gerald L. Klerman Award from the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association. He has been named among the “Best Doctors in America,” and has nearly 200 peer-reviewed publications and a number of chapters, published abstracts and solicited reviews.
Kotb established and directs the immunogenetics, translational and biodefense research programs at UTHSC. She also is a senior research career scientist and chief of the Lymphocyte Research Program at the VA Medical Center in Memphis.
Additionally, Kotb directs the Mid-South Center for Biodefense and Security, a multidisciplinary research and education center dedicated to improving preparedness in natural or deliberate biological crises and pandemics. She represents the University of Tennessee for the Southeast Regional Center of Excellence for Emerging Infections and Biodefense and is on the partners’ board of the Southeastern Center for Emerging Biological Threats.
A native of Cairo, Egypt, Kotb runs a systems biology, translational research program and has expertise in immunology, immunogenetics, microbial pathogenesis, molecular biology, genomics, proteomics, protein chemistry, biochemistry and enzymology.
She has collaborated with many physicians, nationally and internationally on clinically applied research, particularly in the areas of infectious diseases and solid organ or cellular transplantation.
Recently, she has been developing novel models to better define the effect of host genetic variability on disease susceptibility and identify interactive molecular pathways that control disease outcomes. She is a strong advocate of individualized medicine.
A 1997 Fulbright Scholar, Kotb will replace Jerry Lingrel, PhD, who has chaired the department since 1981. Lingrel will remain chair until Kotb arrives.
“Dr. Lingrel has been a tremendous leader for the department, and his service to college has been extraordinary,” says Stern. “Fortunately for us, he will remain at UC as professor to continue his research and education responsibilities.”