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College of Medicine names new department chair

Penn State College of Medicine has named Donald L. Gill, PhD, its new chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, effective January 1. Gill joins the College of Medicine from Temple University School of Medicine, where he is professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry.

“Dr. Gill brings with him an impressive combination of highly productive and innovative research, a deep commitment to teaching and mentorship, and extensive service to the academic and scientific community,” Harold L. Paz, MD, M.S., chief executive officer of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, Penn State's senior vice president for health affairs, and dean, College of Medicine. “I am pleased to welcome him to Penn State Hershey and look forward to the strong leadership I know he will bring to his new department and the campus as a whole.”

Gill's research on calcium entry signals is supported by two National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grants. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, many of them in top-tier journals; in addition, he has served on the editorial boards of Science Signaling and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and is a reviewer for these and numerous other journals. Gill has served extensively on NIH study sections and review panels, and he is a sought-after speaker nationally and internationally. A dedicated teacher and mentor, he has trained numerous pre- and post-doctoral trainees, and his academic service reflects a strong commitment to graduate and medical education.

Gill received his undergraduate education at the University of Sussex, England, and then earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of London. He completed postdoctoral training as a Fogarty International Visiting Fellow at the NIH, where he studied signal transduction mechanisms under the mentorship of Leonard Kohn, MD, and Nobel laureate Martin Rodbell, Ph.D.  Before joining Temple University in 2007, Gill served on the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine for 25 years; during that time, he also served for one year as a visiting professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Gill will succeed Leonard “Jim” Jefferson, PhD, who plans to step down after 26 years as department chair to focus on his research. During that time, he also served as senior associate dean (now vice dean) for research and graduate studies for 11 years, from 1990 to 2001.

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