Green named director of new program in gene function and expression

September 24, 1999

Michael R. Green, MD, PhD, professor of biochemistry & molecular biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), has been named the first director of the new Program in Gene Function and Expression. In this role, Dr. Green will be responsible for recruiting approximately 14 new faculty members who will participate in a program designed to enhance the university's research capability in the growing area of genetics, the science of genes and their functions.

"Science changes rapidly and creates new areas of opportunity and we want to be there to capitalize on these," said Dr. Green, also a member of the UMMS Program in Molecular Medicine. "Genetics is one such field, and, in that regard, it's my primary responsibility as director of this new program to expand this area of research at the Medical School."

The new program will concentrate on the molecular and genetic basis of human diseases, particularly cancer, as well as the mechanisms that regulate how these disease-related genes are expressed.

The appointment of Dr. Green was announced by UMMS Chancellor and Dean Aaron Lazare, MD, who said, "Michael Green is internationally known for his expertise in molecular biology and gene expression. This experience gives him the stature necessary to recruit researchers who will not only make the Program in Gene Function and Expression a success, but will also help UMMS achieve its goal of becoming one of the top 25 academic research institutions in the country."

One of two Howard Hughes Medical Investigators at UMMS, Dr. Green joined the medical school's faculty in 1990 and was named director of the MD/PhD program in 1994. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and earned his MD and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Green completed his postgraduate training, including a fellowship, at Harvard University, and joined the faculty there in 1983.

Dr. Green has published more than 170 papers in leading scientific journals including Cell, Nature and Science. He also has six patents in collaboration with other researchers at UMMS including his most recent with

Maria L. Zapp, PhD, assistant professor of molecular genetics & microbiology, for the discovery of a class of small molecules and their interaction with RNA.

"Because research is my top priority, I consider very carefully any additional responsibilities," said Dr. Green. "However, this is a really exciting opportunity that will benefit the university. It is also personally gratifying for me to be given the means to help build a world

class program in this evolving area of biomedical science."

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. UMMS and its clinical partner, UMass Memorial Health Care, attracts more than $92 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. Research funding enables UMMS researchers to explore human disease from the molecular level to large-scale clinical trials. Basic and clinical research leads to new approaches for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.