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Appointment of Chair, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

Monday, April 24, 2023

TO: UMMC Faculty, Staff and Students

FROM: Dr. LouAnn Woodward, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
Dean, School of Medicine

SUBJECT: Appointment of Chair, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

I am excited to announce that Dr. Michael Garrett, professor of pharmacology, has been appointed chair of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, effective July 1.

Dr. Garrett replaces Dr. Jane Reckelhoff, who took on the role in 2017 after a brief stint as interim. She is retiring June 30.

Portrait of Dr. Michael GarrettA proven leader and prolific researcher, Dr. Garrett is the founding director of the Molecular and Genomics Core and most recently the director of the Molecular Center of Health and Disease, which was funded last month with an $11.5 million Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, COBRE for short, grant from the National Institutes of Health. He also serves as director of Research Cores and Infrastructure in the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor of Research.

Dr. Garrett began his career as a research instructor of physiology and molecular medicine at the Medical College of Ohio and was promoted two years later to research assistant professor. He was later appointed assistant professor of physiology and pharmacology at the University of Toledo-College of Medicine and assistant professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

In 2010, he joined the UMMC faculty as associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology with joint appointments in the departments of Medicine, for nephrology, and Pediatrics, for genetics.

A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, he earned a PhD in Molecular Basis of Disease from the University of Toledo College of Medicine after receiving a BS and MS in biochemistry from the University of California-Riverside and an MBA from Bowling Green State University. 

Dr. Garrett, whose research focuses on the genetics of complex disease including hypertension, kidney disease and congenital birth defects, has been awarded more than $25 million in research funding, the most as principal investigator. For his efforts, UMMC has honored him with three Excellence in Research medals: silver in 2010, gold in 2012 and platinum in 2020. He is among only 30 others to receive the platinum award. 

He’s also published more than 100 refereed journal articles and three book chapters and served on five journal editorial boards. He actively serves on NIH study sections for grant review and is currently peer reviewer on 14 academic journals. 

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Garrett in this new leadership role. I am confident the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology will continue to be in good hands

I thank Dr. Reckelhoff for her selfless leadership over the last six years. In her 32-year career at the Medical Center, she has also been an innovative researcher, garnering millions in funding. A Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank at UMMC, she is also director of the Women’s Health Research Center and the Mississippi Center for Excellence in Perinatal Research. Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for 25 years, and UMMC has honored her for her dedication to its mission with numerous awards over the years, most recently the Meritorious Research Service medal at the 2022 Excellence in Research Awards. Her considerable contributions to the Medical Center are appreciated, and I wish her well in her future endeavors.

Thank you.