Catalyst Magazine
Mark T. Gladwin, MD
Leading heart, vascular, and lung physician-scientist Mark T. Gladwin, MD, will become dean of the School of Medicine effective Aug. 1, 2022.

‘Exceptional Choice’: Mark Gladwin, MD, Named Dean of UMSOM

University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, has appointed leading heart, vascular, and lung physician-scientist Mark T. Gladwin, MD, as the new dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and vice president for medical affairs.

The selection, which was made after a rigorous national search, is effective Aug. 1, 2022. Gladwin is the Jack D. Myers Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) and founder of the Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, Blood, and Vascular Medicine Institute.

“I could not be more pleased to announce Dr. Gladwin as the next dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine,” Jarrell said. “I am confident he will continue to enrich the legacy of our School of Medicine and position our world-class institution to meet the challenges of the future.”

“I am very honored to have been selected as dean of one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country,” said Gladwin, who also serves as associate dean for physician-scientist mentoring and associate vice chancellor for science strategy, health sciences at UPSOM.

“Everything I learned during my visit to UMB furthered my desire to join the University of Maryland School of Medicine,” he continued. “I was already well aware of its reputation for excellence in education, research, clinical care, and community outreach. I look forward to listening to and learning from UMB faculty, staff, and students as we continue the crucial work of carrying the school’s mission forward in Baltimore, around the state, and around the world.”

Extensive National Search

Gladwin’s appointment follows a comprehensive search process led by a committee that included faculty, staff, administrators, and student. The committee sought the best candidates to lead the school in its academic and clinical missions, to work closely with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), and represent UMSOM effectively with its many stakeholders, especially those in the Baltimore community.

“Dr. Gladwin is an exceptional choice to lead the School of Medicine,” said Claire M. Fraser, PhD, Dean’s Endowed Professor of Medicine, director of the Institute for Genome Sciences, and chair of the search committee. “I’m extremely excited and looking forward to Dr. Gladwin’s arrival. The search committee was impressed by not only his experience, but also his vision for the future of medicine and the role of the medical school in today’s society.”

“Being the leader of the School of Medicine is a challenging, multifaceted job,” added search committee co-chair Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MSL, MPA, provost and executive vice president, UMB, and dean of the University of Maryland Graduate School. “With his wide range of experience, it was evident to the committee that Dr. Gladwin will excel in every aspect of what this job entails.”

One of the two student members of the selection committee, Aishwarya Iyer, an MD/PhD student at UMSOM and president of the University Student Government Association, agreed. “I thought his research portfolio was phenomenal,” she said. “He comes from a strong institution and has a lot of experience managing his position very well and very efficiently. I am excited to welcome this new dean.”

Key Focus on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

As dean, Gladwin will be responsible for sustaining a culture that embodies UMB’s core values and promoting and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the school while leading advances and innovations in the areas of education, research, and clinical care.

Gladwin has been committed to promoting diversity throughout his career, informed by a lifelong commitment to the care and development of new treatments for patients with sickle cell disease. As department chair, he created a vice chair position for diversity and inclusion with significant financial resources to create and administer new and innovative programs. Working with the vice chair and residency director, he developed specialty tracks that aimed to attract accomplished underrepresented minority faculty into the research residency, linked to scholarship programs with novel micro-credential MBA and MPH training opportunities and financially supplemented with T32 and philanthropic support, Burroughs Wellcome Foundation physician-scientist incubator support, and departmental investments.

He established an underrepresented minority advisory committee, consisting of underrepresented minority faculty leaders at all levels, who work together to identify challenges and provide insight, expertise, and a forum for improvement. Under his leadership, the Department of Medicine has aggressively recruited, retained, and promoted fellows and faculty who are underrepresented in medicine, and recruited a diverse leadership team at the divisional and vice chair level.

History of Accomplishment

Born in Palo Alto, Calif., and raised in the U.S. as well as Ghana, Mexico, and Guatemala, Gladwin earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of Miami’s six-year honors program in medical education. He completed his internship and chief residency in internal medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University, followed by a critical care medicine fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md., and a pulmonary fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Gladwin’s career has included serving in the roles of physician-scientist, clinician, educator, and academic leader at two institutions, the University of Pittsburgh and NIH. At both institutions, he was consistently promoted to greater responsibility and leadership, building new programs and improving existing ones. At NIH, he served as critical care fellow, senior research fellow section head for the Sickle Cell Nitric Oxide Therapeutic and Vascular Therapeutics sections, director of the functional genomics core, and chief of the Pulmonary and Vascular Medicine Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

In 2008, Gladwin was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh to serve as chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine (PACCM) and the inaugural director of the Vascular Medicine Institute. He assumed the role of department chair in 2014, overseeing more than 800 faculty and combined clinical and research revenues approaching $300 million. During his tenure, the department’s NIH funding increased by more than 25 percent, and it has been among the top 10 funded departments of medicine in NIH funding for the last four years, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

At the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Gladwin worked to establish clinical programs to increase patient access to quality care and supported the development of signature programs in clinical analytics, telemedicine, e-consultation, critical care, specialty and hospitalist services, and multidisciplinary Clinical Centers of Excellence across 10 divisions. As the Department of Medicine chair, he also supported the development of a long list of research centers of excellence, including in aging, vascular biology, the microbiome, metabolism, mitochondrial biology, antibody therapeutics, and sickle cell research, the latter of which has been a focus of Gladwin’s research for more than 20 years. Gladwin credits his leadership success to careful listening and fact finding, recruitment of and partnership with strong leaders, the use of analytics to measure performance and provide feedback, and the thoughtful alignment of incentives to galvanize stakeholder support and sustainability.

Research Impact and Mentoring

From a research standpoint, Gladwin has published more than 470 manuscripts since 1996 that have had a significant impact on the fields of vascular and nitric oxide biology. Among his major scientific discoveries is the finding that the nitrite salt is a biological signaling molecule that regulates physiological and pathological hypoxic responses, blood pressure and flow, and dynamic mitochondrial electron transport. He characterized the role of hemoglobin and myoglobin as signaling nitrite reductases that regulate NO production under hypoxia. His seminal publication on this topic in 2003 has been cited more than 1,800 times and is listed by Nature Medicine in its top 10 Classic Collection. This work has led to the development and licensing of intravenous, oral, and inhaled nitrite as a human therapeutic.

A central passion of Gladwin’s is to train the next generation of physicians and scientists in translational research. He has trained students at all levels and been very successful at mentoring these trainees to independent careers in academic medicine. His publications include more than 150 with current or past trainees as first author.

“I’m beyond ecstatic that Dr. Gladwin will be the new dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine,” said Andrea R. Levine, MD, assistant professor at UMSOM who served a pulmonary, allergy, and critical care fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with Gladwin in 2018. “Dr. Gladwin was instrumental in recruiting me to Pittsburgh, where he personally served as my research, clinical, and professional mentor. He was foundational in my becoming the doctor, physician-scientist, and person I am today. He taught me how to be a critical care doctor. I cannot wait to see the impact he has on the growth and development of the University of Maryland School of Medicine including the students, trainees, and faculty.”

Engagement with UMB Community

The search process at UMB included a series of town halls where members of the community gathered to listen to the leading candidates present their views on various topics and to ask questions afterward.

During Gladwin’s Feb. 14 town hall presentation, “A Perspective on Values and Vision for Academic Medical Centers,” he discussed his values; challenges and opportunities for progress in medical education, research, and clinical care; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and his initial priorities for UMSOM.

“The first thing that would be the absolute top priority for me on Day 1 will be to listen and learn. I look forward to hearing all about the science, the successes, and challenges of all the research, clinical, and training programs,” he said. “I understand the challenges our physicians and all health care workers face, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, and appreciate the needs of the communities and patients that we serve. So, first and foremost, I intend to be a student and will invest and put enormous effort into knowing the faculty, students, community, and health care needs of the state, and engaging our campus in facing our many generational challenges in medicine.”

Jarrell announced in August 2021 that a national search would begin for the next UMSOM dean to succeed E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, executive vice president for medical affairs and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. Reece announced in March of that year that, after 16 years of leadership, he would transition from his role as dean and return to the UMSOM faculty as director of a new Center for Advanced Research, Training, and Innovation and co-direct the UMSOM Center for Birth Defects Research.

“On behalf of the School of Medicine, I’m delighted to extend heartiest congratulations and a warm welcome to Dr. Gladwin on his decanal appointment,” Reece said. “I’m most pleased to ‘pass the baton’ to him and look forward to his leadership in the years to come.”

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Alex Likowski

Alex Likowski is the executive director of media relations in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

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