JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs

September 28, 2001
MEDIA CONTACT: Joanna Downer
PHONE: 410-614-5105
E-MAIL: jdowner1@jhmi.edu

Brooks Jackson Named New Director of Hopkins Pathology

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.

Since 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 of pathology.

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.


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