Dr. Ray Penn joins the Lung Center as director of research

Friends and Colleagues:
I am quite pleased to announce that Raymond Penn PhD will be joining the Department of Medicine effective May 1, 2013 as the Director of the Center for Translational Medicine and Director of Pulmonary Research within the Korman Lung Center.
This major recruit was made possible through the generous support of the Jane and Leonard Korman Foundation and the combined efforts of Dr. Mani Kavuru (Division Director for the Division of Critical Care, Pulmonary, Allergic & Immunologic Diseases), Dr. Shey-Shing Sheu (Associate Director of The Center for Translational Medicine), and Dr. Jeffrey Benovic (Chair of the Department of Biochemistry at Jefferson).
Allow me to highlight Dr. Penn's background and accomplishments.
Dr. Penn received his PhD in Physiology from Temple School of Medicine in 1988, having worked on tissue mechanics of developmentally immature airways under Dr. Thomas Shaffer. He subsequently studied molecular biology and G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) biology as a postdoctoral fellow under Dr. Jeffrey Benovic at Thomas Jefferson University. In collaboration with TJU's Division of Critical Care, Pulmonary, Allergic & Immunologic Diseases, Dr. Penn established a research program which fused his interests in lung physiology and GPCR biology, and in 1995 became faculty at Thomas Jefferson University, reaching the level of Associate Professor in 2002. In 2003 he relocated to Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Center for Human Genomics to oversee airway biology and functional genomics research. He relocated to University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) in 2009 as Professor of Medicine where he teamed with Dr. Stephen Liggett to expand GPCR biology research within UMB's Cardiopulmonary Genomics Program. Dr. Penn's return to Thomas Jefferson University reunites him with long-time collaborators in the Department of Medicine and Kimmel Cancer Center.
Dr. Penn has received continuous NIH funding since 1997 to study GPCR regulation and function in airway biology, obstructive lung diseases, cancer, and the genetics of complex diseases. His major research accomplishments include demonstrating roles for multiple GPCRs in airway cell biology/physiology, demonstrating the mechanisms and impact of GPCR (including beta-2-adrenergic, cysteinyl leukotriene, prostanoid, and adenosine receptor) desensitization in airway cells, integrative lung function and disease, and advancing concepts in airway pharmacology enabling the development of more effective drugs for the treatment of obstructive lung diseases. His current work includes the identification of novel beta-2-adrenoceptor and other GPCR ligands with restrictive signaling properties that enable improved therapeutic efficacy in asthma.
Dr. Penn has also played pivotal roles in developing educational and research initiatives into translational research at the institutional, national, and international level. At Wake Forest University he developed the Tinsley R. Harrison Translational Research Training Program, as well as an NIH Roadmap course for facilitating cross-disciplinary research among investigators in Genetics, Biochemistry, and Imaging Sciences.
We are delighted to welcome Dr. Ray Penn to the Department of Medicine, to the Center for Translational Medicine, and to the Jane and Leonard Korman Lung Center. He joins us effective May 1, 2013.

Published: 04-12-2013

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