Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Virginia Commonwealth University

  • 7 Jun 2024 11:50 AM
    Message # 13367364

    Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology
    Richmond, VA, United States | req5440

    Mission or Goal of Unit: The mission of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology is to cultivate and educate an inclusive and collaborative group composed of faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows conducting cutting-edge research to improve human health.

    The department has a history of outstanding scientific achievement and is committed to growth in research and scholarship as indicated by extramural funding support and high impact publications. Discoveries by department faculty include basic research findings that enhance our understanding of health and disease, translational research that has clinical implications, and inventions and intellectual property that benefit human health.

    The department has a history of outstanding didactic and laboratory-based education for professional and graduate students in the School of Medicine (SOM). The faculty continue to innovate and excel in the classroom and the laboratory to provide the highest quality education for future physicians and scientists.

    Chief Purpose of this position: The VCU School of Medicine is seeking candidates for the Department Chair of Microbiology and Immunology. This position is a senior-level faculty position that has a key leadership role in the School of Medicine. The position will lead the department in all academic endeavors, collaborating with both the basic health science and clinical departments, and oversee the department’s mission, diverse faculty, and resources.

    The current department has more faculty who study microbiology than immunology.  We seek a chair with expertise in immunology to enhance existing strengths in cancer, cardiovascular, transplant, and other applied immunology disciplines.  This effort will include partnering with clinical departments to translate discoveries into clinical trials.  Enhancing immunology in the department will be paired with additional growth and support for microbiology.

    Position Responsibilities:


    Define and lead the department’s research strategy by expanding basic and translational research. Support principal investigators and other faculty within the school in efforts to secure appropriate grant funding (including NIH R, P, U, and T grants) and philanthropy to support research and academic priorities. Provide expertise or vision in promoting commercialization or entrepreneurial activity for faculty.


    Advance the education mission of the School of Medicine and the university in collaboration with the leadership of VCU. Facilitate and support the training of the next generation of scientists and physicians who will further advance microbiology and immunology and provide outstanding clinical care. Champion improvements in education of medical and graduate students.


    Provide the vision and leadership to advance the department, school, and university in its standing in the community, commonwealth, nation, and beyond. Serve on school and university committees, study sections, academic societies, and as journal editor and/or on editorial boards. Demonstrate a commitment to service within the community. Lead the department to develop and nurture relationships with key partners.


    Financial Management:  Prepare, oversee and implement the Microbiology and Immunology departmental budget that encompasses all funding sources and ensures compliance with grant, legislative and institutional guidelines. Effectively manage available resources. Ensure ethical and fiscally responsible practices within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Support all institutional compliance activities. Recruit, hire and retain outstanding, diverse faculty. Ensure an atmosphere of support and development. Encourage philanthropic gifts.  Be a highly visible collaborative leader in supporting VCU School of Medicine strategic direction in partnership with department chairs, SOM academic affairs, and research leadership.  

    Leadership: Take a highly respected microbiology and immunology department to the next level of academic excellence. Act as an exemplary role model for academic excellence. Provide a strong and impassioned vision for building excellence in all aspects of the academic mission. Understand, appreciate, and prepare for current and future trends in the sciences and help develop a vision for the future of basic science research at the SOM.  Promote members of the department to national committees and nominate them for awards.

    Relationship Building: Build strong relationships with others in an environment where the other health sciences schools and the hospital are partners and where Microbiology and Immunology faculty and staff collaborate with other departments to ensure mutual achievement. Collaborate with the VA Medical Center to build teaching, and research relationships.

    Mentorship: Mentor and develop trainees and junior faculty. Commit to and actively participate in undergraduate medical and graduate education.  Identify, recruit and retain the next generation of superior faculty members.

    Required Qualifications:

    -PhD in a relevant area

    -Eligibility to work in the United States

    -Academic rank of Professor with academic achievements

    -A distinguished record of outstanding scientific achievements as evidenced by influential publications, sustained extramural peer-reviewed research funding, and national and international recognition in immunology

    -Experience in developing intellectual property and translating research findings into products of potential benefit to human health

    -Experience and leadership in education of both professional and graduate students

    -Successful administrative and leadership experience at an academic institution, such as a Department Chair, Division Chief/Section-Head or Program Director

    -Experience developing junior faculty and academic leaders with a reputation for excellence in mentorship of students and trainees

    -Demonstrated ability to identify and recruit a diverse faculty, such as service on recruitment committees

    -Experience building or expanding a program, department or group within an organization.

    -Demonstrated successful collaborative academic leadership

    -Demonstrated managerial and business acumen

    -Experience in and demonstrated knowledge of the complex financial pressures facing academic departments

    -Ability to work well with people at all levels - university, community, faculty, and staff. A reputation as a consensus builder and someone who can resolve conflict for the betterment of the organization

    -Unimpeachable integrity and personal ethics

    -Outstanding communication skills, both oral and written

    -Strong organizational and process-management skills

    -High energy coupled with a strong work ethic and a desire to have a meaningful impact

    -Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU

    Preferred Qualifications:

    -Leadership by example with intent/desire to continue research and teaching while serving as Department of Microbiology and Immunology Chair

    -Experience with P and U grant writing and leadership

    -Demonstrated ability to collaborate with clinicians on education and research endeavors.

    -Ability to contribute in highly-matrixed academic environment as member of SOM leadership team

    -Willingness to engage broadly with VCU as an institutional leader and to be a highly visible ambassador for SOM internally, in the Richmond community, and across Virginia

    -Outgoing and personable demeanor and a track record of forging win-win relationships

    -Ability to see the bigger picture of issues and the role of the department

    -History of trainees who have developed into successful faculty members at their institution or elsewhere

    Position Type: Teaching & Research Faculty
    Full time equivalent: 100%
    Tenure: Open
    Rank: Open
    Months: 12
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology

    Salary: Commensurate

    ORP Eligible:  Yes

    Restricted: No

    Contact Name: Katherine Mulloy, Director, Faculty Affairs
    Contact Email:

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