Dr. Deborah Johnson has been named dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine.
She joins BCM from the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, where she has served as associate dean for graduate affairs since 2007. She will begin transitioning to BCM in July.
"Dr. Johnson has an excellent track record as an educator and academic leader," said Dr. Paul Klotman, BCM President and CEO. "She will provide visionary direction for the Graduate School, building on its excellent programs to meet the needs of the academic science community of the future."
She succeeds Dr. Hiram "Gil" Gilbert, who will transition to a leading role in establishing the College’s accreditation process, as well as developing enterprise and information technology solutions to academic issues, working with the Office of the Senior Dean of Education and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Faculty Development.
"BCM has an exceptionally strong research environment and commitment to graduate education and post-doctoral training," said Johnson. "I am excited to begin working with my new colleagues towards our mutual goal of bringing the very best to BCM and providing them a highly rewarding and productive experience."
Johnson has served on the faculty of USC since 1985. Active in academic affairs throughout her career, Johnson has most recently focused on developing mentoring programs. Other positions she has held at USC include professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, director for the Program in Biomedical and Biological Sciences, vice chair for graduate education in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and professor of molecular pharmacology and toxicology. She has been a member of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center since 1985.
Her research program is defining the molecular events that lead cells to undergo oncogenic transformation. Her recent work has identified a unique transcription factor, Maf1, which negatively co-regulates the expression of genes involved in cell growth and metabolism. Her current studies are aimed at further characterizing Maf1 function and its deregulation in human cancer and metabolic disease. Her work is funded by two grants from the National Cancer Institute.
She received a bachelor’s of science degree in biochemistry from Albright College, a doctorate in chemistry from Georgetown University and was a post-doctoral fellow in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University.