Ribosome Expert Rachel Green Selected to Direct Molecular Biology and Genetics Department at Johns Hopkins Medicine


Rachel Green promotion
Rachel Green, Ph.D.

Rachel Green, Ph.D., a 25-year faculty member at Johns Hopkins Medicine, has been tapped to lead its Molecular Biology and Genetics department.

Green is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics and holds a joint academic appointment in the Department of Biology in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University. She has been an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 2000.

Her area of research focus is the function of a cellular structure called the ribosome. Shaped like a hamburger bun, this ultra tiny structure travels along a piece of genetic material called messenger RNA (mRNA). The ribosome’s job is to decode the mRNA, which carries the instructions for making a protein.

Green has been studying how ribosomes recognize damage in the mRNA and activate and tune quality control and cellular signaling pathways. She is establishing new connections between ribosome function and key pathways central to human health and disease.

Green earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in biological chemistry at Harvard University. She completed postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1998 as an assistant professor.

Over the past 25 years, she has made numerous contributions to Johns Hopkins in research, teaching and training. Green was named the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Teacher of the Year in 2005, and she has served as director of the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB) Graduate Program since 2018.

In her own laboratory and through the graduate program she directed, Green has taught and mentored scores of students and postdoctoral fellows as part of her commitment to train the next generation of scientists.

Green is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. Early in her career, she received a prestigious Packard Fellowship Award and a Searle Scholarship award.

She served on the scientific advisory board at Moderna, and now serves on the scientific advisory boards at Alltrna, Initial Therapeutics and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and consults for several other biotech companies.

Her goals for the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics include strong support of the current scientific community in molecular biology and genetics and the hiring of exciting new colleagues. She succeeds Jeremy Nathans, M.D., Ph.D., who served as interim director after the previous director, Carol Greider, Ph.D., moved to the University of California, Santa Cruz.