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March 31, 2015

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Names New Department Chair

Arturo Casadevall to lead Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has named Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD, MS, as the new Alfred and Jill Sommer Professor and Chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.

In addition, Casadevall has also been awarded a Bloomberg Distinguished Professorship, funded by Michael R. Bloomberg to enable Johns Hopkins to assemble world-class faculty from diverse fields to promote interdisciplinary scholarship.

Casadevall, an infectious disease specialist, is internationally recognized for his work in biological systems. He comes to the Bloomberg School from Albert Einstein Medical College at Yeshiva University in New York where he has spent his career, most recently as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and director of the Center for Immunological Sciences.

Casadevall joined the Bloomberg School on January 1, replacing Diane Griffin, MD, PhD, who stepped down as department chair after 20 years in the position.

“We are very fortunate to recruit Arturo Casadevall to the Bloomberg School,” says Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Bloomberg School. “He is a visionary scientist and proven leader who will enrich our school and university.”

Arriving in the U.S. from Cuba as an 11-year-old, Casadevall became a citizen at 18 and went on to earn his MS, PhD and MD degrees at New York University. He is a scientist with many interests. His expertise is not only in the laboratory: He has been a leading voice on competition for government research grants, academic misconduct, retraction of publications and other issues facing the scientific community. Among many other honors, Casadevall was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine.

“The Bloomberg School has a world-class group of investigators who are taking on major problems in microbiology and immunology at a time of great opportunities in science and unprecedented challenges to the scientific enterprise,” Casadevall says. “I am looking forward to joining them. Together, we will identify areas for collaboration to maximize our scientific assets and to innovate in the area of graduate education.”

A major focus of Casadevall’s research laboratory is the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, a ubiquitous environmental microbe and a frequent cause of disease in individuals with impaired immunity. He has also worked with other microorganisms including Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium that causes anthrax and is a major agent of biological warfare. 

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Media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Stephanie Desmon at 410-955-7619 or sdesmon1@jhu.edu and Barbara Benham at 410-614-6029 or bbenham1@jhu.edu.