Antonellis named chair of Department of Human Genetics

July 19, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

Professor of Human Genetics Anthony Antonellis, Ph.D., has been named chair of the Department of Human Genetics and the James V. Neel Collegiate Professor of Human Genetics, effective Aug. 1. The board of regents approved both appointments Thursday.

In addition to his Human Genetics appointment, Antonellis is a professor of neurology in the U-M Medical School, and serves as associate chair for education in the Department of Human Genetics and associate director of the Genetics Training Program. He joined the U-M faculty in 2008 as an assistant professor of human genetics and neurology, and earned promotion to associate professor in 2014 and professor in 2018.

He is a leader in peripheral nerve development and disease research, with a focus on defining the molecular mechanisms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) — the most-common hereditary neuropathy, affecting 150,000 patients in the U.S. alone.

His laboratory has made major contributions to the finding that loss of enzymatic function is a common feature of all synthetase-related genetic disease. Additional research in his lab is aimed at understanding how gene expression in Schwann cells dictates myelination in the peripheral nerve and how this process is dysregulated in disease states.

After earning a Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1992, he served as a laboratory technician at Genzyme Genetics. From 1996-2000, he was a senior research associate in the Department of Genetics and Epidemiology at the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School. He earned a Ph.D. from the George Washington University and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Joint Program in Genetics and then embarked on a research fellowship in the physical mapping section of the Genome Technology Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute within the NIH.

The U-M Medical School honored him with the Basic Sciences Teaching Award in 2012, and Basic Science Research Award in 2017.

Please congratulate Antonellis on his new leadership role and thank David T. Burke, Ph.D. (2016-19), and Sally A. Camper, Ph.D. (since March 2019), for their respective terms of service as interim chair.