Chair of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky (US)
Not Specified
Closing date
Feb 4, 2023

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Life Sciences, Molecular Biology
Organization Type


The University of Kentucky College of Medicine invites applications and nominations for the position of chair to lead the highly ranked department of molecular and cellular biochemistry.

The UK College of Medicine seeks a visionary chair with a successful record of achievement in academic research in biochemistry or appropriately related fields. Exceptional accomplishments as a researcher and academician are a must as the chair’s duties will include continuing their own research program as well as supervising and maintaining academic activities.

The predominant criteria for appointment as chair include a national reputation for research, and the proven ability to mentor faculty while training future leaders in biochemistry. A successful candidate will be a nationally-prominent academic leader and role model with an established record of excellence in research, education, and mentorship.

The successful candidate should demonstrate strong leadership skills as a listener, decision-maker, humanist, and an effective advocate for the department and its faculty. The candidate should have experience developing collaborative initiatives and the personal characteristics needed to promote, foster, and facilitate the trust of colleagues and the broader University faculty. The successful applicant should demonstrate impeccable integrity and be an effective communicator. Prior extensive administrative experience as a department chair, vice chair, or director of graduate studies or equivalent is preferred.

Professional Experience/Qualifications:

  • PhD, MD, MD/PhD, or
  • National recognition as demonstrated through involvement in academic and professional societies at a national
  • Demonstrated leadership in administrative positions in medical school or an academic medical center setting.
  • Proven record of recruitment, mentorship, and retention of
  • Demonstrates a good track record of teaching undergraduate and medical students and research training for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

The College of Medicine seeks qualified applicants who value its missions and share its commitment to creating an environment in which diversity is valued, inclusion is imperative, and belonging is foundational. As an Equal Opportunity Action Employer, we strive to foster a community in which individuals of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives can feel secure and welcome.

For a full description about the Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry position, please visit:

Interested applicants should apply through the University of Kentucky Chair in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry job posting:

Questions and inquiries can be directed to Lisa Tannock, MD, vice dean for faculty affairs and development, at All applications will be handled in a secure, sensitive, and confidential manner.

The position is open until filled. The University of Kentucky is an Equal Opportunity University that values diversity and inclusion. Individuals with disabilities, minorities, veterans, women, and members of other underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.


This position is established in keeping with the mission statement of the UK College of Medicine.

Mission Statement

The College of Medicine promotes a diverse and inclusive environment that provides excellence in education, equitable health care, and transformative research to improve the health and wellness of Kentuckians and beyond.

Scope of Role

As a position of oversight, the chair of molecular and cellular biochemistry will ensure that department faculty work in conjunction with one another and with other groups across the college and campus, sharing research resources whenever possible. This will also include administrative, teaching, laboratory, and mentoring support. The chair will work closely to maximize the net yield of each project and avoid segregation or duplication of work in multiple isolated units.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Provide oversight for the research portfolio of the
  • Facilitate faculty mentoring in
  • Facilitate an environment of collaborative research and conduct including maintaining records of accomplishments and facilitating acquisition of external
  • Continue their independent research in line with the goals of the
  • Publish in peer-reviewed literature as an author and co-
  • Provide oversight for the educational portfolio of the
  • Participate in and advocate for quality teaching programs for all learners within the
  • Assign faculty to teaching roles and manage distribution of educational assignments among
  • Mentor faculty in various professorial series and oversee the academic development and productivity of the department.

Ideal Candidate Experience and Attributes:

  • A strong visionary and inspirational leader who can artfully convey a long-term vision for the department, yet is equally skilled at implementing a detailed plan to achieve that Highly approachable and compassionate; a record of promoting a culture of innovation, collaboration, teamwork, respect, and honesty; a professional and personal demeanor characterized by integrity, graciousness, humility, genuineness, empathy, and sincerity; and a passion for the

organization’s mission and objectives.

  • Exceptionally team-oriented; skilled at working well and partnering with scientists across the college and University to identify, build, and negotiate “win-win” relationships and collaborations; politically astute yet apolitical with an ability to break down silos and ensure a collegial and productive work
  • Highly adept and at ease managing the day-to-day operational details with the ability to make strong and decisive decisions when needed while at the same time creating unity within a diverse
  • Able to conceptualize and analyze complex business opportunities and to understand the finances of an academic department and apply that knowledge to appropriately manage the all aspects of the
  • Actively develop the department’s mission, strategies, and practices to support a diverse and inclusive
  • Actively embody, encourage, and support the five College of Medicine DIReCT values to help guide actions, behaviors, and decision making to foster a cohesive work culture focused on patient-centered The DIReCT values are
  • Diversity: We foster a people-centered environment that is inclusive of
  • Innovation: We embrace continual learning and improvement to drive positive
  • Respect: We value our patients and families, our community, our co-workers, ourselves, and the resources entrusted to
  • Compassion: We express empathy for the needs, thoughts, and feelings of those we serve and with whom we
  • Teamwork: We cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships to create positive


The department of biochemistry at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine was founded in 1960 when the Medical Center first opened. The department changed its name in 1989 to the department of molecular and cellular biochemistry to reflect the changing spectrum of faculty research interests.

Currently the research in the department is funded by a wide variety of agencies, including over $12 million in research awards from the National Institutes of Health, ranking the department as one of the top ten NIH-funded biochemistry departments at public medical schools.

The department consists of 31 outstanding faculty and their exceptional teams of research scientists, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers are key to the department’s success. The faculty members are highly collaborative and have a wide array of scientific approaches, which contributes to the exciting research environment. Cutting-edge work in the department includes focus on cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, aging, and neurodegenerative disorders.

The department houses a PhD program, which provides a strong foundation in biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology in addition to high quality mentorship and research experiences. Alumni from this department have gone on to positions in a range of scientific areas including academic research and teaching positions, industry positions, government positions, and careers in science policy.

The department also teaches a significant number of undergraduate students in the classroom and in independent research.


Established in 1960, the College of Medicine produces highly qualified, caring physicians and biomedical scientists to serve the people of Kentucky and the nation. In 2021, the college tallied 718 medical students among its main campus and three regional campuses, along with 807 ACGME-accredited program residents and fellows, and 300 graduate students. It is one of six health-related colleges at the University (Dentistry, Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health), encompassing a combined 25 basic science and clinical departments and more than 1,100 full-time faculty members.

In the past two years, the college has expanded its educational and research efforts, adding two new regional campuses in Bowling Green and Northern Kentucky with educational opportunities that complement those offered at the main campus in Lexington. The college also has a campus in

Morehead, a component of its effort to address the Commonwealth’s physician shortage by offering

third- and fourth-year medical students a curriculum that emphasizes rural medicine.

In recent years the College of Medicine has put a heavy focus on research. In fiscal year 2021, the

college’s research funding totaled more than $232.7 million, with its National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding doubling since fiscal year 2017. This has allowed, and will continue to allow, UK researchers to dedicate more time and resources to alleviate the health issues Kentuckians face.


Charles H. “Chipper” Griffith, III, MD, MSPH, leads the University of Kentucky College of Medicine as acting dean following a long, honorable career as a champion for medical education in the Commonwealth. His career of advancing education, providing exceptional clinical care, and conducting transformative research at the University of Kentucky spans more than three decades.

Along with serving as acting dean, Dr. Griffith is vice dean for education, overseeing all aspects of the college’s educational programs and initiatives, as well as a professor of medicine and pediatrics. Dr. Griffith’s passion for teaching and commitment to patient care is leading the College of Medicine into the next phase of medical education.

Dr. Griffith holds more teaching honors than any faculty member in the history of the College of Medicine, including the Alpha Omega Alpha/ Association of American Medical Colleges Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award (2004), which is the most highly regarded medical school teaching award in the country. In 2006, the Clerkship Directors of Internal Medicine national organization honored him by renaming its educational research award the Charles H. Griffith Educational Research Award.

Dr. Griffith has published multiple articles and served on numerous national committees including the Alpha Omega Alpha Board of Directors (the national medical honor society) and numerous committees for the National Board of Medical Examiners, including the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 2 Committee.

He received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine followed by a residency at the University of Kentucky, where he also earned his Master of Science in Public Health.


UK HealthCare, the College of Medicine’s clinical enterprise, is an award-winning, nationally recognized health care system dedicated to patient-focused care. Its designation as a Level 1 trauma center and its reception of Magnet status means its team of more than 9,000 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals is heavily qualified to treat Kentucky’s sickest patients. The hospital system, which includes more than 80 specialized clinics and 140 outreach programs, reported more than 41,500 discharges of patients and 1.8 million outpatient visits in fiscal year 2019. Under the leadership of Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Dr. Mark Newman, and the Chief Physician Executive, Dr. Jay Grider, UK HealthCare has been named the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky by U.S. News & World Report for the past five years.


The University of Kentucky is a public, land grant university and Kentucky’s flagship institution with a mission to serve the Commonwealth through excellence in education, research, creative work, service, and health care.

The University has been named a “Great College to Work For” and is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Employers.” Those who work here enjoy competitive employee benefits, along with a variety of enriching arts and entertainment experiences including concerts, museum visits, and spirited athletics events.

For more information about UK’s campus, watch:


Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and home to a welcoming, open-minded, and diverse community full of Southern hospitality. The city is a blend of scenic beauty from its rural countryside and a vibrant nightlife with campus happenings and downtown attractions. It also maintains a thriving economy thanks to its abundance of various industries. Large worldwide companies such as Lexmark and Valvoline are headquartered in Lexington, and other major employers such as Amazon and UPS have large warehouses here. For more information and an engaging video overview, click


Also known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” the city is located in the heart of the Bluegrass, surrounded by beautiful horse farms. The region’s fertile, limestone-enriched soil and vast green grasslands are major components of its capability to raise title-winning horses.

While Lexington is large enough to host a variety of events and maintain a bustling downtown scene, it also holds a number of large parks and greenspaces. When it’s time for a weekend escape, popular

areas for outdoors activities such as Natural Bridge State Park and Red River Gorge trails are just a short drive away.

For additional information on the city of Lexington, visit:


Follow this link for the application:

Upon offer of employment, successful applicants must undergo a national background check and pre- employment drug screen as required by University of Kentucky Human Resources. The University of Kentucky is an Equal Opportunity University that values diversity and inclusion. Individuals with disabilities, minorities, veterans, women, and members of other underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.


Lisa Tannock, MD at

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