Phyllis I. Hanson, M.D., Ph.D., named chair of Department of Biological Chemistry

September 21, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

The U-M board of regents has approved the appointment of Phyllis I. Hanson, M.D., Ph.D., as chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry, effective Nov. 1.

Hanson is the Gerty T. Cori Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at the Washington University School of Medicine. She earned a B.A. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University, and Ph.D. and M.D. from the Stanford University School of Medicine. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology at Yale.

She joined the Washington University faculty in 1997 as an assistant professor of cell biology and physiology. She was promoted to associate professor in 2005, professor in 2010, and bestowed the Cori Professorship in 2016.

Her research focuses on protein-protein and protein-membrane interactions involved in membrane trafficking and organelle structure. Her research has led to insight into the pathogenesis of diseases that involve defects in membrane trafficking, including dystonia (a movement disorder in which muscles contract uncontrollably), neurodegenerative disease and cancer.

Her current work is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Institute of Aging.

Hanson is highly visible in the research community. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and a member of the American Society of Cell Biology, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders at Washington University. She recently served as chair of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Membrane Biology and Protein Processing Study Section, and earlier as chair of the NIH Synapses, Cytoskeleton and Trafficking Study Section. Among her honors, she was a W.M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research and also received Searle, McKnight and Sloan scholar awards. She was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2016, and will be serving as vice chair and then chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Lysosomes and Endocytosis.

Please welcome Hanson to the U-M Medical School and thank Daniel J. Goldman, Ph.D., for his outstanding leadership as interim chair of the department.