Susan M. MacDonald, M.D. is currently a Professor of Medicine, the Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine and the Interim Director of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, cum laude, from Regis College in 1972. She received her M.D. Degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1980. She did her residency training in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1980-1983; a Fellowship in Clinical Rheumatology, 1983-1984; Assistant Chief of Service on the Osler Medical Service at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1984-1985 and a second postdoctoral research fellowship in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Hopkins, 1985-1987.
Dr. MacDonald joined the Faculty of the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in 1987 and has remained at Johns Hopkins ever since.
Dr. MacDonald has enjoyed a distinguished career in academic internal medicine. Her laboratory was the first to clone a novel cytokine termed histamine releasing factor (Science 1995;269:688-690). In vitro, her laboratory has demonstrated that this histamine releasing factor activates basophils, eosinophils and inhibits T cells. It is also found in vivo in biologic fluids in the late phase of an allergic reaction. Additionally, her laboratory uncovered a molecular basis forhyperreleasability of basophils from allergic and asthmatic subjects. She demonstrated that basophils from these subjects have decreased levels of the intracellular signaling molecule, SHIP, a phosphatase. These molecular studies define unique signal transduction events in the basophils from this population of patients. Her work also focused on producing an HRF inducible transgenic mouse that exacerbates signs of human allergic disease (PloS One: 2010, Jun 11; 5(6)e11077:1-12). Throughout all of this work she maintained her status as an active, NIH-funded investigator.
Dr. MacDonald is a Fellow of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (AAAAI), a Member of the American Association of Immunologists and was named to the Executive Council of the Collegium Internationale Allergolicum, a prestigious international allergy and immunology society with limited, elective membership. She has served as a Guest Editor for Springer Seminars in Immunopathology , a Guest Editor for Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America and has been a Guest Author for a chapter in Current Opinion in Immunology. She has served as a Scientific Program Chairperson for the AAAAI. Her accomplishment in academic allergic disease research was recognized by being one of the first recipients of the AAAAI Women Physician in Allergy Awards. Additionally, she received the Women’s Involvement in the AAAAI Committee Award and in 2008, she was the recipient of the Gail G. Shapiro Honorary AAAAI Special Recognition Award. She served on the FDA Allergenic Products Advisory Committee and the Academic Advisory Board for Pfizer’s Visiting Professorships in Allergic Diseases and Asthma. She was also elected to the prestigious Interurban Clinical Club a scientific club with limited membership that was started by William Osler in 1905.
Dr. MacDonald’s scientific accomplishments are impressive enough, but they stand out especially in light of the fact that she has been able to build her scientific momentum while devoting substantial amounts of time, energy and creativity to issues of faculty development for both men and women. She was a key charter member of the Task Force for Women’s Careers in Academic Medicine. When she chaired this Task Force, she implemented a Mentoring Program for women fellows that was extended to all faculty in the Department of Medicine. She became Deputy Director for Faculty Development under Dr. Edward Benz, then Chairman of the Department. During that time, she developed the Career Development Guide for the Department of Medicine that described the steps in the process of academic promotion and the trajectory for junior faculty. That document was extended to the level of the School of Medicine and, working with Vice Dean, Dr. Janice Clements, developed the Professional Development Guide (The Silver Book) for the entire School of Medicine. She was also instrumental in reinitiating the Orientation for all new Faculty Members at the School of Medicine. She has subsequently assumed the position as the first woman Associate Chair in the Department of Medicine under Chairman, Dr. Myron Weisfeldt. In that position, she is responsible for faculty development and recruitment and retention.
Susan’s passion is mentoring junior faculty and fellows, both men and women. To this end, she has been awarded the Women in Leadership Award from the Johns Hopkins University Women’s Network and is a recipient of the Department of Medicine’s David M. Levine Excellence in Mentoring Award. More recently, she has been named the first recipient of the Vice Dean’s Award for the Advancement of Women. This award recognizes the faculty member who has demonstrated commitment to recruitment, mentoring and advancement of women faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and will be presented in March 2009.
In April 2013 she became the Interim Director of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunolgy. This is one of the largest free-standing Allergy Divisions in the country and is nationally and internationally known for its focus on human allergic diseases.
With respect to the community Dr. MacDonald was one of 10 women leaders in the City of Baltimore and the only physician to receive the YWCA of Greater Baltimore Academy of Leaders Award for Science and Education.
Dr. MacDonald and her husband, David R. Herron, Ph.D. live in Severna Park, Maryland. Dr. Herron is the Editorial Assistant at the Maryland State Archives.