Gordon L. Archer, M.D., our valued founding Senior Associate Dean for Research & Research Training will be retiring at the end of August.
Dr. Archer joined the faculty at the Medical College of Virginia (now VCU School of Medicine) in 1975 and has been here for his entire career. His early research interest was in infective endocarditis and he was one of the first developers and users of the rabbit model of endocarditis. He has been continuously NIH-funded for his research since 1975, including an NIH MERIT grant from 1995 to 2005.
He was the Chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases from 1992 until 2005 when he became the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Research Training in the VCU School of Medicine. In this position he not only coordinated research programs in the SOM but also directs both the M.D./Ph.D. combined degree and the Ph.D. predoctoral programs.
He has consulted for and been on the Scientific Advisory Board of a number of pharmaceutical companies including, most recently, Achillion, Cubist and Spero Pharmaceuticals and from 1998 to 2003 was the recipient of a Bristol Myers Squibb unrestricted research grant. He has been on the Board of Scientific Counselors at the NIH for the NIDCR, the NIAID and, currently, the NIH Clinical Center. He is on the Editorial Board of the ASM journal, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. He has published 99 articles in peer-reviewed journals, on 86% of which he was the first or senior author. He has written 26 reviews and book chapters, including the chapter on Antibacterial Chemotherapy for four editions of Harrisons’ Textbook of Internal Medicine. He has also been the editor for two editions of the book, Staphylococci in Human Disease.
In addition to his research interests, Dr. Archer has been involved with student education throughout his career. He was the Director of the M3 Clerkship and then the M3 and M4 medical school years; the Councilor of the medical school honor society AOA for 20 years; and taught Antimicrobial Agents and Antimicrobial Therapy to M1, M2 and M3 medical students as well as graduate students in Microbiology and Immunology. He has been the graduate thesis advisor for eight Ph.D. and two Masters students and the research mentor for 20 Ph.D. and M.D. postdoctoral fellows. As Senior Associate Dean for Research he is also responsible for coordinating research opportunities for medical students and, in 2012, with Kate Lapane, began the summer program Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Public Health Epidemiology (MIDPH) which provides research opportunities for both VCU medical students and college students throughout the country. Finally, as noted above, he has been the Director of the combined M.D./Ph.D. predoctoral training program for 13 years.
Please join me in thanking Gordon for his many years of service at the School of Medicine.
I am pleased to announce that Dr. Ross Mikkelsen will serve as Interim Director of the M.D./Ph.D. program. Dr. Mikkelsen joined the Department of Radiation Oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1988. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After obtaining his degree, he held a Damon Runyon post-doctoral fellowship at Tufts University School of Medicine with Dr. Donald F.H. Wallach and then continued at Tufts as a faculty member. His research investigates mechanisms of how cells sense cytoplasmic ionization events due to radiation or chronic inflammation and modulate cell survival mechanisms. Dr. Mikkelsen is presently Chief of the Molecular Radiobiology and Targeted Imaging Division of the Department. He has been on the Medical School Admissions Committee since 1993, a member of the M.D./Ph.D. Steering Committee since 2003 and Associate Director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program since 2007.
Jerome F. Strauss, III, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System