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Chairman's Welcome

Professor & Chair

Richard Eckert
Rich Eckert, Ph.D.

Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I hope that you will take a few moments to examine our web site, which provides information on our research and education missions.

We have two equally important goals. These are to develop fundamental new scientific knowledge that reveals how biological systems work -- with an ultimate goal of advancing the diagnosis and treatment of human disease -- and to train the next generation of scientific innovators. We are absolutely committed to providing a fertile working environment that fosters innovative and interactive science that makes it possible for faculty and students to achieve their research and career objectives. We provide extensive mentoring to assist students in developing their talents as public speakers, bench scientists and writers. We want to develop outstanding future scientific innovators who excel as both scientists and mentors. We have a distinguished faculty and committed staff working hard to achieve these goals. Welcome again to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Please contact us for additional information about our department and our graduate training programs.

Sincerely,

Rich Eckert, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair

About Dr. Eckert

Richard L. Eckert, Ph.D. was appointed as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in January 2006. Dr. Eckert received a Bachelors Degree from the University of Wisconsin and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois - Urbana. He completed post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Cell Biology, and at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. In 1986 he joined the faculty of Case Reserve University School of Medicine as an assistant professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Dermatology, Reproductive Biology, Oncology and Biochemistry. In 1992 he was promoted to associate professor with tenure and professor in 1996.

Research efforts in the Eckert laboratory focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms that guide how surface epithelial cells differentiate to form the barrier that protects people from the external environment and how those cells are altered in disease states. Through the effort of outstanding post-doctoral associates and graduate students, the laboratory has published 150 articles and more than 130 meeting abstracts. Dr. Eckert has served as an editorial board member for the Journal of Biological Chemistry, International Journal of Oncology, and the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, and is a reviewer for a host of NIH panels and private foundations. Dr. Eckert holds two patents from the United States Patent Office, and has been continuously funded as a principal investigator since 1989. He is supported by four major grants from the National Institutes of Health and has been supported by the Department of the Navy, the American Cancer Society, the Dermatology Foundation, the American Institute for Cancer Research and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Breast Cancer Research Program.