September 28, 2001
MEDIA CONTACT: Joanna Downer
J. Brooks Jackson, M.D., M.B.A., an internationally recognized researcher in HIV diagnostics, prevention and treatment, is the new director of the department of pathology at Johns Hopkins. Jackson succeeds Fred Sanfilippo, M.D., Ph.D., who was the department's director for seven years.
coming to Hopkins in 1996, Jackson has been a professor of pathology and the
deputy director of pathology for clinical affairs. In September 2000, he was
named interim director of the department and pathologist in chief of Johns Hopkins
Hospital. Jackson, a clinical pathologist, and his colleagues have revolutionized
prevention of HIV infection in developing countries by identifying a low-cost,
simple and effective strategy to prevent transmission of the virus from women
to their infants during childbirth. He is currently principal investigator of
federal and private grants totaling more than $26 million. In addition to his
ground-breaking HIV research, Jackson is an active clinician, teacher and administrator.
"Dr. Jackson brings considerable experience to the position of director
and has served the department and Johns Hopkins Medicine well as interim director,
demonstrating exceptional leadership skills and garnering the respect of his
colleagues and others," says Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean of the Johns
Hopkins School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
The Department of Pathology, one of the largest and most active in the United
States, is a complex combination of pathology laboratories and services, research,
and education and training of medical students, graduate students, residents
and fellows. In 1993, the decision was made to consider these seemingly disparate
efforts as an integrated whole and to optimize productivity simultaneously rather
than independently. The risky decision appears to have been the right one, as
the department thrived under the leadership of Sanfilippo and under the temporary
directorship of Jackson. Jackson possesses the right combination of experience,
skills and personality to ensure the department's continued financial and scientific
success, according to the committee appointed by Miller to select a new director
Jackson received his bachelor's degree in history from Kenyon College in 1975, and his master's degree in business administration from Dartmouth in 1977. After a brief stint in his family's business, Jackson returned to Dartmouth, where he received his M.D. in 1982. During his residency in clinical pathology at the University of Minnesota Hospitals (1982-1985), he also was a blood bank fellow in the hospitals' department of laboratory medicine and pathology (1984-1985). Jackson then served as chief of clinical chemistry at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Minneapolis (1985-1986), while he was an assistant professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Minnesota Medical School (1985-1989). From 1989 to 1996, Jackson was director of clinical pathology for the University Hospitals of Cleveland, and also during this time progressed to the rank of professor of pathology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
In 1999, a landmark clinical trial in Uganda, led by Jackson and his colleagues,
showed that a drug called nevirapine could reduce the infection of infants to
just 13 percent of births, compared to 25 percent for AZT. Better yet, nevirapine,
an antiretroviral agent used as part of a drug cocktail to treat HIV infection
in the United States, provided this dramatic protection with just a single dose
for mother and a single dose for baby -- and for just $4 per mother-infant pair.