The University recently announced that Damani Piggott, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Graduate Biomedical Education and Graduate Student Diversity, will become the inaugural director of the Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative and Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Diversity and Partnerships effective July 1, 2021. We know you will join us in congratulating Damani on this exciting opportunity and in expressing sincere gratitude for his tremendous accomplishments as assistant dean.
Dr. Piggott graduated from Morehouse College summa cum laude as the class valedictorian. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University, where he studied immunobiology and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Following residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics at Yale, Dr. Piggott came to Johns Hopkins where he completed his fellowship training in Infectious Diseases, with a research fellowship in Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2013, he joined the faculty in the Department of Medicine where he is now an associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, with a focus on biological, behavioral and social determinants of aging phenotypes in HIV.
During his nearly four years as assistant dean, Dr. Piggott championed a culture of inclusive excellence and worked tirelessly to support graduate student success and well-being. Dr. Piggott’s accomplishments are too numerous to list comprehensively, but include: establishing a School of Medicine Accepted Applicants Visit to share our community with prospective underrepresented graduate students; helping to strongly advance partnerships and pathway programs for diverse talented pre-graduate biomedical trainees; supporting the launch of multiple wellness initiatives to promote positive community; and partnering with graduate programs, faculty and student groups to double the proportion of matriculating students underrepresented in science from 16% in 2019 to 32% of domestic matriculants in 2021.
It is difficult to imagine finding a replacement for Dr. Piggott, yet we will soon announce a search process for this role. Meanwhile, please join us in expressing appreciation for all that Dr. Piggott has done for our graduate students and our school, and wish him the best in his new role.