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Paul Rothman: Biographies

Paul Rothman

Paul B. Rothman

Paul B. Rothman is the Frances Watt Baker, M.D., and Lenox D. Baker Jr., M.D., Dean of the Medical Faculty, vice president for medicine of The Johns Hopkins University, and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. As dean/CEO, Rothman oversees both the School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Health System, which encompasses six hospitals, hundreds of community physicians and a self-funded health plan.

Rothman was born in New York City in 1958 and grew up in Bayside, Queens. He began his research career as an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied E. coli DNA repair under Dr. Graham C. Walker. He was also captain of the varsity crew team. He completed his B.S. in biology in 1980 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then entered medical school at Yale University. While attending Yale, Rothman had the opportunity to study T cell subsets in the lab of Dr. Leonard Chess at Columbia University. He received his medical degree in 1984, earning a place in the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

He went on to a medical residency and rheumatology fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City before joining the medical faculty of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1986. There, he also completed a postdoctoral biochemistry fellowship with Dr. Frederick W. Alt, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, studying immunoglobulin class-switch recombination. At Columbia, Rothman rose to become the Richard J. Stock Professor of Medicine (Immunology) and Microbiology and chief of the pulmonary, allergy and critical care division.

A molecular immunologist, Rothman's research focused on immune system molecules known as cytokines. Specifically, he investigated the role these molecules play in the normal development of blood cells, as well as the abnormal blood-cell development that leads to leukemia. He also studied the function of cytokines in immune system responses to asthma and allergies. His work was consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health.

In 2004, Rothman accepted a position as head of internal medicine at the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. In 2008, he was named dean of the Carver College of Medicine and leader of its clinical practice plan, a role in which he served for four years. In July 2012, he became the 14th dean of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and just the second CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Rothman’s honors include a James S. McDonnell Foundation Career Development Award, a Pfizer Scholars Award, a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences Award, a Leukemia Society of America Scholar Award and the Pharmacia Allergy Research Foundation International Award. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and as a member of the American Clinical and Climatological Association. He is serving as President of the Association of American Physicians for 2014–15.

Rothman is married to Dr. Frances Meyer, a gastroenterologist. They live in Baltimore County and have three children: Alissa, Daniel and Eric. 

Read more insights from Dr. Rothman.