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UM SOM Names Deputy Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for its Graduate Program in Life Sciences

August 09, 2017 | Joanne Morrison

Peixin Yang, PhD

OB-GYN Research Scientist, Dr. Yang, Will Help Enhance Grant Writing, Training and Recruitment

Dudley K. Strickland, PhD, Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM), along with UM SOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced that Peixin Yang, PhD, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences (OB-GYN), has been named Deputy Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in UM SOM’s Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS).

In this new role, Dr. Yang will focus on enhancing the skill sets of trainees in grant writing, develop internal peer review mechanisms, assist in recruitment of postdoctoral fellows, and develop approaches to increase T32 training grants on campus.

“Dr. Yang is an extremely successful scientist, and well-versed in grant writing. He will be a tremendous asset to the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars and to our Postdoctoral fellows,” said Dr. Strickland, who is also Professor of Surgery and Director of the Center for Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases.

Dr. Yang, who serves as Professor and Associate Chair in UM SOM’s Department of OB-GYN, has been a long-time research collaborator with Dean Reece. He joined the SOM with Dr. Reece in 2006. He is principal investigator on six active NIH R01 and other NIH grants totaling more than $23 million covering a range of areas primarily focused on diabetes research. Recently, he was named Director of the Center for Birth Defects Research, of which Dean Reece also serves as Co-Director.

“Training the next generation of biomedical scientists is an important task in a stringent funding environment. I am very exciting to be part of this process in assisting UM SOM’s trainees,” said Dr. Yang.

Dr. Yang has done extensive research on diabetes and pregnancy. Recent papers examined neural tube defects in diabetic pregnancies, embryonic stem cell differentiation into cardiac muscle cells and embryonic heart development in diabetic pregnancies. He received his PhD in Biophysics at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan and Zhejiang University in the People’s Republic of China.

“This prestigious appointment accomplishes two important goal,” said Christopher Harman, MD, who is the Sylvan Frieman, MD Endowed Professorship in Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. “It recognizes Dr. Yang’s scientific advances, which no doubt will lead to a remedy for diabetic embryopathy. At the same time, his teaching and mentorship, which have propelled our Department forward, will now be shared across the School of Medicine. We are very proud of Dr. Yang.”

Dean Reece, who is also the Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, added: “It has been particularly rewarding to watch Dr. Yang grow from being a young junior faculty member to now a full professor who is directing a major laboratory and research center,” said Dean Reece “His new additional role will be critical as the School of Medicine continues to recruit and train top scientists in biomedical research,” said Dean Reece.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and nearly $450 million in extramural funding, with more than half of its academic departments ranked in the top 20 among all public medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has a total budget of $5 billion and an economic impact of nearly $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th-highest public medical school in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit

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Joanne Morrison
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