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The UNC School of Medicine is conducting a national search to fill the position of department chair.

The UNC School of Medicine is conducting a national search to fill the position of department chair.

William Goldman, PhD

William Goldman, PhD, will step down from his position as Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, a position he has held for 10 years. A national search has commenced to find a replacement.

Under Goldman’s leadership, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology has gained international prominence. In this year’s U.S. News & World Report “Best Global Universities” rankings, UNC ranked 5th among peer public institutions in the area of microbiology and 4th in the area of immunology. In February, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology was recognized as the 3rd highest in NIH funding among its peer departments at public universities. This represents a nearly 50 percent increase in NIH funding during the last 10 years, which Goldman credits to “a remarkably talented faculty who think creatively, collaborate broadly, and are committed to excellence.”

More than half of the department’s primary faculty members have been recruited in national searches during the last 10 years. The department now offers graduate research training opportunities in more than 60 labs, and the predoctoral program has become one of the most popular at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“Thank you to Dr. Goldman for his decade of leadership which has generated outstanding scientific discovery and enriched our institution,” said Wesley Burks, MD, Executive Dean of the UNC School of Medicine.

Goldman was recruited to UNC after serving 25 years on the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis. During his time at UNC, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as the President of the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs. His laboratory’s research focus has been on the molecular basis of pathogenesis of respiratory infections, including pneumonic plague, histoplasmosis, and pertussis. Much of this research has been dedicated to understanding how microorganisms avoid or subvert the host immune response and how lung cells are damaged during infection. He plans to remain on the UNC faculty and continue this research, which has important implications for the prevention and treatment of pulmonary infections.