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May 2008 Issue

Litsa Kranias, PhD, chair of UC’s department of pharmacology and cell biophysics
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Medicine Fills Two Posts, Creates New Position

Published May 2008

The College of Medicine recently filled two key department chair positions and added a new post in the Dean’s Office—associate dean for strategic initiatives.


Cancer and Cell Biology

Jorge Moscat, PhD, was named chair of the newly formed department of cancer and cell biology. His appointment became effective March 15, and is pending approval by the UC Board of Trustees.

This represents the first appointment to the joint cancer program and has also sparked the merger of the departments of molecular oncogenesis (formerly genome science) and cell and cancer biology—bringing together nearly 40 faculty with research expertise in genetics, immunology and nutrient signaling.

Moscat, whose lab investigates molecular and cellular events underlying asthma, cancer and obesity, was recruited to UC in 2006 and has served as interim chair of molecular oncogenesis since July 2007.

He has authored and/or coauthored more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has held research positions at the Hospital Clinico San Carlos and the Hospital Gregorio Marañón, both in Madrid, and the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Moscat replaces Peter Stambrook, PhD, who has led the cell and cancer biology department as the Francis Brunning Chair and Professor since 1996. Stambrook will remain at UC as a professor of cancer and cell biology.


Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics

Litsa Kranias, PhD, will lead the pharmacology and cell biophysics department. Her appointment became effective April 1 and is pending approval by the UC Board of Trustees.

Kranias, professor of pharmacology and cell biophysics and director of cardiovascular biology, has been on UC’s faculty since 1978. She has made significant advances in identifying key genes associated with heart failure and sudden death.

Kranias has also distinguished herself internationally as a molecular cardiac researcher and has received continuous funding and recognition from the Na-tional Institutes of Health.

Kranias has replaced Robert Highsmith, PhD, who has served as interim chair since March 2007. Highsmith is the associate vice president for research at UC and the senior associate dean and director of the office of research and graduate education. He will return to his full-time administrative duties in addition to being a professor in the molecular and cellular physiology department.


Strategic Initiatives

Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD, has been named associate dean for strategic initiatives.

Wills-Karp will play an essential role in identifying collaborative opportunities, especially in the college’s “Centers of Excellence and Emerging Programs,” which include cancer, cardiovascular, neuroscience, metabolic disorders, digestive diseases and immunology-inflammation-infectious diseases.

She will be pivotal in aligning the college’s missions in research, education and clinical care more
closely with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Wills-Karp serves as professor of pediatrics at UC and director of the division of immunobiology at Cincinnati Children’s. She received her doctorate in physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and held postdoctoral fellowship positions at both Yale and Johns Hopkins universities.

She also directs the immunobiology graduate program at UC and the Center for Immunological Research at Cincinnati Children’s.

In 2005, Wills-Karp won
the Distinguished Immunology Professor Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She was named a Ledwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine fellow for 2007–08.

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