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University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean Appoints New Associate Director for Basic Science at the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center

Friday, February 21, 2014

Richard L. Eckert, Ph.D.
 Richard L. Eckert, Ph.D.
 

Richard L. Eckert, Ph.D. Promoted to Associate Director

University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., and Kevin Cullen, M.D., the Greenebaum Distinguished Professor in Oncology and Director of the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, have appointed Richard L. Eckert, Ph.D. to serve as Associate Director for Basic Science at the Greenebaum Cancer Center (GCC). Dr. Eckert is also the John F.B. Weaver Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He replaced Amy Fulton, Ph.D., who had served as interim Associate Director of Basic Sciences at the GCC following the departure of Alan Tomkinson, Ph.D. in 2011.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Fulton for her excellent work and support over the last two years, and I look forward to the scientific leadership of Dr. Eckert as he assumes this new role,” said Dr. Cullen.

“Dr. Eckert is an outstanding scientist,” said Dean Reece, who also is Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor at the School of Medicine. “He has demonstrated excellent leadership skills in his seven years with the School of Medicine, and we are delighted to have him serve in this new capacity.”

Dr. Eckert will continue his departmental leadership as he takes on oversight of basic science for the Greenebaum Cancer Center. “I look forward to serving in this capacity as our outstanding cancer center continues to build new research programs that will hopefully lead to tomorrow’s cancer treatments,” he said. Dr. Eckert’s own research focuses on understanding how normal surface epithelial cells function to protect people from illnesses and how those cells are altered during disease states, including skin cancer.

Dr. Eckert received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He then completed post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Cell Biology, and at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, as an assistant professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Dermatology, Reproductive Biology, Oncology, and Biochemistry. He was subsequently promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1992 and professor in 1996. Dr. Eckert joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine as Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in January 2007.

Dr. Eckert has published more than 150 journal articles and over 130 meeting abstracts. He also serves as an editorial board member or reviewer for numerous scientific journals, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Endocrinology, Cancer Research, and the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Dr. Eckert has been continuously funded as a primary investigator since 1989. He is presently principal investigator on multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health and has been supported by the Department of the Navy, the American Cancer Society, the Dermatology Foundation, the American Institute for Cancer Research and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Breast Cancer Research Program.

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, a distinction that places it in the top tier of cancer centers throughout the country. Established in 1981, the University of Maryland Cancer Center has an academic base in the School of Medicine’s Program in Oncology. In 1996, Baltimore-based real estate developer Stewart Greenebaum and his wife, Marlene, made a $10 million gift to the University of Maryland Medical System and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The Cancer Center was renamed The Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center on November 13, 1996.

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