January 9, 2012

Marsha Wills-Karp to chair SPH’s Environmental Health Sciences

Marsha Wills-Karp, a leader in the study of the molecular mechanisms of asthma, has been selected to chair the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Wills-Karp joined the Bloomberg School on Jan. 1 and will assume her full duties as department chair on March 1.

“Marsha is an outstanding scientist and leader, and we are very fortunate to recruit her to this position,” said Michael J. Klag, dean of the Bloomberg School.

Wills-Karp was most recently a professor and the founding director of the Division of Immunobiology in the Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she also directed the Immunobiology Graduate Program. She previously was on the faculty at Johns Hopkins from 1990 to 2000, and was a postdoctoral fellow here from 1987 to 1990.

Wills-Karp is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University. She earned her doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara and completed postdoctoral training at Yale University.

Wills-Karp succeeds John Groopman, who led Environmental Health Sciences for 19 years and will now lead the department’s new Center in Epigenetics and Public Health.

“John has been a superb chair and a great colleague,” Klag said. “He has a broad and deep vision. Under his leadership, the Department of Environmental Health Sciences has had an impact in Baltimore and around the world.”

Wills-Karp was selected following a nationwide search led by Pierre Coulombe, the E.V. McCollum Professor and Chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.