Mark Yeager Named Chair of the U.Va. Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics

Sept. 21, 2007 — The University of Virginia has appointed distinguished researcher and cardiologist Mark Yeager, M.D., Ph.D., as chairman of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics.

"We are excited about the breadth of experience that Dr. Yeager brings to our renowned physiology department," said Sharon Hostler, interim vice president and dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. "We know that he will develop and foster an enhanced culture of collaboration with other scientists and physicians across Grounds."

Yeager's hire is a part of a $126 million Board of Visitors initiative to enhance research in key areas of science and technology. This plan includes the recruitment of top investigators to lead pan-University research groups, accelerating construction of new research space and retaining prominent and up-and-coming faculty members.

"Mark Yeager brings superb leadership to one of our top biomedical departments and his own research complements existing strengths at the University in structural biology and cardiology," said R. Ariel Gomez, vice president for research and graduate studies. "Recruiting Dr. Yeager is another success story in the Board of Visitors' Distinguished Senior Scientist Recruitment Program."

Molecular physiology is the study of the functions of cells in an organism and how they are changed by disease. Biological physics is the combined study of physics, chemistry and biology. Its core focus is the study of physics and chemistry as they are applied to study and explain the structures of living organisms and the mechanisms of life processes.

"I am excited to be at the University of Virginia and am very impressed with the people and patient care, teaching and research," Yeager said. "I look forward to creating new collaborations and bridging the gap between the laboratory and the bedside by developing innovative new treatments to improve the care of our patients."

Yeager comes to U.Va. from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., where he was a professor with a primary appointment in the Department of Cell Biology and a joint appointment in the Department of Molecular Biology. Additionally he is a staff cardiologist at the Scripps Clinic, director of research in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and director of research for the internal medicine residency program.

Yeager earned his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and his Ph.D. from Yale University. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiology at Stanford University. Yeager went on to train in interventional cardiology at the Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City.

Yeager has more than 90 peer-reviewed publications and more than 30 grants, with active research interests in structural virology, understanding major medical conditions such as heart attack on a molecular level and clinical trials of new medicines. Yeager is a member of many professional societies, including the American Heart Association Council on Basic Science, the Biophysical Society and the American Society of Cell Biology.