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Chair, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston
Houston, Texas (US)
Commensurate with exprience
Closing date
Jan 10, 2022
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The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG) at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) seeks a dynamic leader dedicated to advancing the research and educational missions of the department. Located in the world’s largest medical center, the Department’s principal goal is to continue to build upon its international reputation for leadership in research and education in the field of microbiology and molecular genetics.

Since its founding in 1989 by Dr. Samuel Kaplan and chaired since 2011 by Dr. Theresa Koehler, the MMG Department has a proven record of excellence in research and education. MMG research focuses on mechanisms of fundamental life processes as well as pathogenesis, using a variety of bacterial and eukaryotic microbial model systems. The core interests of the MMG faculty include gene regulation and stress responses; cell division and differentiation; macromolecular machines; molecular mechanisms of bacterial, fungal, and parasite pathogenesis; and host-pathogen interactions.

MMG is a vibrant group of talented and successful faculty, trainees, and staff. There are currently 22 faculty members, of whom 18 are tenured or tenure-track (8 full, 5 associate, and 5 assistant professors). This is a result of a recent period of expansion, with seven tenure-track faculty added in the last five years.  Nearly all the faculty have new and renewing grants from the NIH, NSF, and the Welch Foundation, continuing the Department’s long-standing tradition of strong financial support.  This is evident in the $7.8 million in grant funds awarded to MMG faculty in the fiscal year 2021.

In addition to developing and nurturing their research programs, MMG faculty have embraced the institution’s educational mission. They teach medical students, train numerous postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and serve prominent roles in the MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. MMG houses the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (MID) Graduate Program and the NIH-supported Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease (MBID) research training program that also includes faculty from other institutions within UTHealth: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Institute for Biosciences and Technology, and Rice University. This proximity to numerous high-caliber research institutions promotes a highly collaborative atmosphere for MMG faculty with Houston’s broader microbiology and infectious disease community.

The stature of the Department and its high impact on microbiology research and education have been recognized at the national level. Multiple MMG faculty have been elected Fellows in the American Academy of Microbiology. MMG faculty serve as leaders of professional societies, journal editors, conference organizers, and members and chairs of NIH study sections. Two years ago, an external review committee that included chairs of prominent microbiology departments at U.S. medical schools voiced high praise for the accomplishments of the Department and enthusiasm for a continued trajectory of success. 

A successful candidate for the Chair position will have a compelling vision that incorporates diversity, equity, and inclusion for the future of microbiology and provide leadership of the highest quality for this distinguished Department to push forward its research, educational, and service missions.

A candidate for the Chair position should have a Ph.D. degree in Microbiology or a related field, have served in an academic leadership role, and be qualified for appointment as a senior-level faculty member. The ideal candidate will have strong leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills, and will have a successful track record of accomplishments leading research, training programs, and interdisciplinary teams.


For consideration, please include a CV, cover letter, and a statement of research. To express personal and/or obtain additional information please contact Gwendolyn Smith-Jenkins by email at or by phone at (O) 713-500-3166. Or use the job apply link listed below.

UTHealth is committed to providing equal opportunity in all employment-related activities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by law or university policy. Reasonable accommodation, based on disability or religious observances, will be considered in accordance with applicable law and UTHealth policy. The University maintains affirmative action programs with respect to women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and eligible veterans in accordance with applicable law.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Established in 1972 by The University of Texas System Board of Regents, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) is Houston’s health university and Texas’ resource for health care education, innovation, scientific discovery, and excellence in patient care. The most comprehensive academic health center in the UT System and the U.S. Gulf Coast region, UTHealth is home to the John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School, Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing, and schools of public health, biomedical informatics, biomedical sciences, and dentistry.

UTHealth is committed to providing health professional education and training for students and is dedicated to providing excellence in research and patient care.  UTHealth’s primary teaching hospitals are Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, and Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital

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