Story Tip: Bumpus Named Director of Pharmacology Department at Johns Hopkins Medicine


Namandjé Bumpus, Ph.D., has been appointed director of the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the first African American woman to become a department director at the medical school, as well as currently being the only African American woman chairing a department of pharmacology at any medical school in the United States.

Bumpus joined the medical school faculty in 2010 as an assistant professor of medicine. During her tenure, she held two key positions in the Office of the Dean of the School of Medicine: the school’s first associate dean for institutional and student equity and, later, as the associate dean for basic research.

Known for her research on HIV drugs, particularly her work on the impact of genetics on the way these drugs are processed in the body, Bumpus has been widely recognized as a leader in pharmacological research. She has received many awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2016 from President Barack Obama.

As director, Bumpus hopes to grow the department’s expertise in studying drug effects in living organisms, or in vivo pharmacology, and understanding drug effects on interconnected biological systems, or systems pharmacology, through the recruitment of new faculty.

“We’ll be improving our research capabilities in drug design, defining how drugs impact the body from cellular levels to organ systems, and understanding variability in patient response to drugs,” says Bumpus. “There is a lot of opportunity for us to grow and bring in faculty with exciting research in these broad areas. This also will provide the opportunity to expand and diversify the educational experiences that we provide students and postdocs.”