Blossom Damania, PhD, has been named the vice dean for research at the UNC School of Medicine. Damania, the Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, has served as assistant dean for research since 2014.
As one of the world’s leading virology investigators, Damania’s research focuses on the pathogenesis of oncogenic viruses. Her achievements include more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, many in top journals including Science, PNAS, Cell Host Microbe, and Cancer Research.
Damania has been awarded a number of honors over the years. She was named a Kavli Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, an American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Gertrude B. Elion Research Scholar, a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar, a Burroughs Wellcome Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease, a V Foundation for Cancer Research Scholar, a Dolph O. Adams awardee of the Society for Leukocyte Biology, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. She also received a 2005 Jefferson-Pilot Award in Faculty Medicine and the 2008 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. Damania serves as a senior editor on multiple scientific journals and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences across the United States and abroad.
In her role as vice dean for research, Damania will be responsible for the direction and oversight of the School of Medicine’s research programs, centers, and resources. She will work closely with leaders from across the School of Medicine, UNC Health Care, UNC-Chapel Hill and surrounding institutions to expand research in the areas of basic, clinical, mechanistic, and translational research. Damania, herself, is a highly funded researcher who has collaborated with multiple scientists across campus.
Damania has long worked to bring awareness to the need for more federal funding for medical research, traveling to Washington, DC, last year to meet with North Carolina Senators Burr and Tillis.
She is also a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and co-directs both the UNC Lineberger Global Oncology Program and the UNC Lineberger Virology Program.
Prior to joining the UNC School of Medicine faculty in 2000, Damania completed her doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania and a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard.