June 25, 2010

Richmond to leave BRET role to focus on research

Richmond to leave BRET role to focus on research

Ann Richmond, Ph.D., professor and vice chair of Cancer Biology, will step down from her role as assistant dean of Biomedical Research, Education and Training (BRET) effective July 1 to focus on her research.

“During the past five years that she has served as assistant dean, Ann has been an incredible advocate for our postdoctoral fellows,” said Susan Wente, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research and senior associate dean for Biomedical Sciences. “Her energy and commitment in this area have had a huge impact. We greatly appreciate her contributions.

Ann Richmond, Ph.D.

Ann Richmond, Ph.D.

Working with Wente, Roger Chalkley, Ph.D., senior associate dean for BRET, and David Raiford, M.D., senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs, Richmond helped implement several programs benefiting postdoctoral fellows and research track faculty.

They include:
• Clearly defined the criteria for appointment and promotion of research track faculty;
• Established a staff scientist track for Ph.D. investigators;
• Set consistent salary guidelines for postdoctoral fellows, and
• Improved mentoring for postdoctoral fellows.

In partnership with the Postdoctoral Association, Richmond also helped launch the annual Postdoctoral Research and Shared Resources Symposium and, this spring, the first-ever postdoctoral fellow recruitment event.

“We have made some significant strides in improving the status of postdoctoral fellows and research track faculty and this has been very rewarding,” Richmond wrote in announcing her decision.

“However, my laboratory is doing some very exciting research that has important translational potential,” she explained. “Hopefully we will make important contributions that will result in improved and personalized treatment of melanoma and breast cancer patients. For this reason, I want to devote more time and energy to this ongoing research effort.”

Richmond, who is also Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and professor of Medicine, is exploring the role of chemokines and the NF-kB family of transcription factors in tumor progression associated with inflammation.

She and her colleagues are testing the utility of targeting the IKKß kinase that regulates NF-kB and two other kinases, BRAF and Aurora Kinase A, as therapeutic approaches for the treatment of malignant melanoma.

Wente said a search for a new faculty director of postdoctoral affairs will be launched in late summer.