Vice Dean for Faculty
Professor of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology, Neurology and Pathology
Why did you decide to join Johns Hopkins Medicine?
The opportunity to have postdoctoral training in the basic sciences at Hopkins was an extraordinary opportunity for me.
Why have you decided to stay at Johns Hopkins Medicine?
I have had outstanding mentors, starting with Richard T. Johnson, director of the neurovirology lab and then department director of neurology. I was given the opportunity to join the faculty in 1980, and because of outstanding mentors (too many to name), I received the first NIH R01 application that I submitted.
Once I had a lab of my own, the outstanding graduate students contributed to my success. I have mentored 30 students who have received a Ph.D., and I have a current student in my lab. Finally, I had many opportunities besides my research; I worked with Elias Zerhouni and Cathy DeAngelis and two deans.
Do not internalize being overlooked for your accomplishments; find a sponsor who will help you be recognized.
Please tell us about how you reached your leadership position.
In 1990, when I became the 24th female professor, I was singled out by Dr. DeAngelis to be on department director search committees and introduced to leaders in the school of medicine such as Michael Johns and Elias Zerhouni. When Dr. DeAngelis became the first woman to be the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, she stepped down as vice dean for education and faculty. She and Elias Zerhouni nominated me to Dean Edward Miller to be the first vice dean for faculty.
Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of at Johns Hopkins Medicine?
There are two! First, mentoring an impressive group of graduate students receiving Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. degrees. One of my first students, Jay Hess, M.D., Ph.D., is now the dean of the medical school at the University of Indiana. Second, creating an infrastructure at the school of medicine to develop, mentor and promote our faculty as well as the recruitment and promotion of underrepresented individuals in medicine and women faculty.
What advice would you give a woman who is aspiring to grow in her leadership responsibilities?
Keep your focus on accomplishing your goals, have the self-confidence to pursue your goals despite “occasional” setbacks. Do not internalize being overlooked for your accomplishments; find a sponsor who will help you be recognized. Lastly, do not underestimate your accomplishments and your contributions, and keep your focus on leadership goals.