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A Passion for Inquiry and Teamwork

Date: October 27, 2014

New Department of Medicine Director Mark Anderson says he hopes to “gain a more nuanced understanding of how to implement our goals.”
New Department of Medicine Director Mark Anderson says he hopes to “gain a more nuanced understanding of how to implement our goals.”

Mark Anderson thought he would become a lawyer because he likes to debate. But the lure of science won out. Now Anderson, a cardiologist known for his research studies of a key protein involved in heart failure and arrhythmias, has brought his passion for inquiry to Johns Hopkins, where, as of Aug. 15, he became the William Osler Professor of Medicine, director of the Department of Medicine and physician-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He succeeds Myron “Mike” Weisfeldt, who held these positions with distinction since 2001.

Anderson, a third-generation physician, came from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, where he worked with Paul Rothman, now dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. There, Anderson served as chair and department executive officer of internal medicine since 2009 and as director of the Cardiovascular Research Center since 2012.

Anderson says he was thrilled to join “the country’s premier department of medicine.”

“When you put together the scope of the department—indexed for the talent of the faculty and opportunities to make a difference for the future of academic medicine—with a strong portfolio of research, technology transfer opportunities and an innovative curriculum,” he says, “it’s a really alluring position. It’s also humbling.”

An honors graduate in biology from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, Anderson earned his M.D. and a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Minnesota. He completed his internal medicine residency and fellowships in cardiology and electrophysiology at Stanford before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt in 1996. In October 2005, he accepted a position as professor and director of cardiovascular medicine at Iowa.

Anderson is widely known for his research on the protein calmodulin kinase II as a central signal contributing to heart dysfunction and arrhythmias. He has published myriad journal articles, book chapters and reviews, and has lectured throughout the United States and overseas. Anderson moved his lab to the fourth floor of the Rangos Building, where he says he looks forward to collaborating with Johns Hopkins investigators.

Of about 70 national applicants for the position, Anderson best embodied leadership skills and a record of accomplishments in clinical activities, educational programming, research and administration, says Landon King, executive vice dean for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-chair of the search committee. Anderson also had a history of addressing diversity, entrepreneurship and commercialization of intellectual property, King says. 

“On a personal level,” he adds, “we all very much enjoyed interacting with Mark.”

Anderson “has a great sense of where medicine is going and is really good at working to get the resources to achieve that vision,” says Rothman. “He also appreciates all parts of our mission and is very balanced in making sure they all are successful.” 

Anderson says he’ll first focus on the department’s role throughout Johns Hopkins Medicine’s campuses and look for opportunities to increase efficiency and work across divisions to strengthen multiple service lines. “I look forward to meeting as many people one-on-one as possible and hearing their aspirations for their careers, the department and their patients very soon.” 

Articles in this Issue

Director's Column

Intensive Care Insights

Pulmonology Research

Recognizing Clinical Excellence