Medical School Appointments T his summer, Thomas Hecker, PhD, was appointed executive vice dean, Thomas Hecker, PhD Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Hecker will provide senior administrative leadership and be responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating the school’s strategic plan across all mission areas. He will have oversight of the organizational structure and will work to expand partnerships across the continuum, including Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Rutgers University, and the State of New Jersey. Previously, Dr. Hecker served as associate dean and chief of staff to J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, executive vice president, University of Pennsylvania for the Health System, and, since 2011, dean, Perelman School of Medicine. A magna cum laude graduate of Elizabethtown College, Dr. Hecker earned his PhD in clinical psychology from Temple University. He was recruited to the University of Pennsylvania in 2005, first serving as special assistant to then EVP/Dean Arthur Rubenstein, MBBCh, and then as assistant dean for administration. Prior to his arrival at Penn, he served as assistant dean for administration and planning in the College of Liberal Arts at Temple University. I Research News By Kate O’Neill COURTESY OF THOMAS HECKER, PHD STEVE HOCKSTEIN Research Grants The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded grants of $1 million or more to the following members of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School faculty: • Jeffrey L. Carson, MD, Richard C. Reynolds Professor of Medicine and provost, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, a five-year, $16.1 million U01 grant for the Myocardial Ischemia and Transfusion study, which Dr. Carson will oversee at up to 80 clinical centers in the United States and Canada. • Jerome Langer, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology, and Beatrice Haimovich, PhD, associate professor of surgery, a five-year, $2,365,247 R25 multi-principal investigator (PI) research education program grant for the Rutgers Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Pipeline Program for undergraduate and graduate students. • Smita Patel, PhD, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, a five-year, $3,615,232 R35 Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for “Mechanistic Studies of Nucleic Acid Enzymes Involved in DNA Replication, Transcription, and Innate Immunity.” • Daniel Pilch, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology, a five-year, $1,956,391 R01 grant for development of new antibiotics against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). • Monica Roth, PhD, professor of pharmacology, a new four-year, $1,507,320 R01 grant to study “Interactions of MuLV IN with Host Proteins and DNA.” —Continued on page 34 joined the Department of Communications and Public Affairs as Jillian Prior manager of alumni affairs. Her primary responsibility is to oversee and grow alumni involvement. Her first project was the alumni phone-a-thon. Prior is the editor of Robert Wood Johnson Medicine and From the Dean’s Desk, and she helps produce the medical school’s e-newsletter, the Weekly View. “I am eager to work with faculty and staff and learn more about the J illian Prior great research and patient care taking place at the medical school and medical group,” she says. Prior is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management at Rutgers’ School of Public Affairs and Administration. A passionate traveler, she visited South Africa earlier this year and is planning a trip to Machu Picchu in 2017. I Interested in becoming involved as an Alumni? Reach out to Jillian at or 732-235-6310. Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE 33