Chair, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

UF College of Medicine

  • Academic Faculty - Tenured
Job Type/Arrangement:
  • Full Time

Title: Chair, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Location: University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL

Salary: Commensurate with Qualifications and Experience

Timeline: Formal review of applications will begin on October 20, 2021 and will continue until a viable applicant pool is established. The anticipated start date for this position is Spring 2022.


The University of Florida, the flagship university in the state of Florida, is a top-tier research institution with a long history of training outstanding undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. UF is currently ranked #6 among U.S. public universities by U.S. News and World Report. The University of Florida’s academic health center, is the country’s only academic health center with six health-related colleges located on a single, contiguous campus. The colleges, major research centers and institutes, and clinical enterprise focus on building collaborative, specialized clinical services centered on quality and innovation. Its current enrollment is 58,000 students, 17,000 of whom are in graduate or professional programs. UF has annual research funding of more than $900 million, two-thirds of which is awarded to components of the Health Sciences Center. It is thus not surprising that UF provides fertile ground for biomedical research.

The Opportunity

The University of Florida College of Medicine invites applications and nominations for the position of Department Chair of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.

Reporting to the Dean of the UF College of Medicine, the Department Chair will be responsible for directing the educational, research and service missions of the department with a major focus on further development of departmental research efforts.

Key Responsibilities:

• Provide exceptional leadership and vision for education, research, and service missions

• Prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion within our faculty, staff, and students

• Build on current departmental strengths, recruit new faculty and promote new research initiatives and funding opportunities

• Pursue innovative departmental education (undergraduate, graduate and medical students), research and service opportunities

• Supervise faculty and staff

• Prepare annual evaluation reviews and mentor junior faculty with an emphasis on fostering their career development

• Advocate and support faculty for awards and other recognition

• Enhance interdisciplinary interactions with other basic and clinical science Departments, and with Centers and Institutes, many of which include MGM faculty

• Articulate the board range of the departmental research portfolio to local, national, and international stakeholders

• Work with the College of Medicine Dean and the Senior Vice-President for Health Affairs to further departmental, college and university goals

• Over the next several years, it is anticipated that the new Chair will recruit additional faculty to the department in response to university-wide initiatives in artificial intelligence (AI) that include HiPerGator 3.0/AI and NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD architecture that enables high-performance data analysis

Qualifications and Requirements:

• Must have a current academic rank of Associate or Full Professor

• Possess a strong record of innovative science supported by a well-funded research portfolio which complements the departments strengths

• Possess prior experience in directing research and educational programs and administrative experience leading an academic unit of comparable size and scope

• Strong leadership and administrative experience in leading an academic unit of comparable size and scope

The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (MGM) at the University of Florida College of Medicine faculty and staff are highly interactive and engaged leaders in the basic science fields of genetics (bacterial, viral, and mammalian) and host-microbe interactions. There are 21 primary tenured or tenure-track faculty who are highly collaborative both within the department and across centers, departments, and colleges on campus. MGM is a research-intensive department supported by NIH (R01, P01, P50, U01, K99/R00) and foundation awards of $12 million/year. We have a rich history in both genetics and microbiology.

Molecular Genetics

The department has extensive expertise in both developmental and molecular genetics. Current research areas include the molecular basis of disease (age-related macular degeneration, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, retinitis pigmentosa, cancer, neurofibromatosis type 1, tandem repeat expansion orders, spinocerebellar ataxias, Prader-Willi Angelman syndromes), genetic models (Drosophila, mouse) of development/disease/regeneration, blood cell development, RNA processing, RNA localization, canonical and noncanonical regulation of protein translation, genomics and transcriptomics, genomic imprinting, pro-apoptotic gene regulation, and computational biology. MGM houses the Center for NeuroGenetics and the Center for Regenerative Medicine, both of which serve to foster cross-disciplinary campus-wide interactions in these areas. We also have a NIH T32-supported training program in Regenerative Medicine (2006-present).


MGM has been home to leaders in the field of virology since the 1970s, from pioneering AAV-based gene therapy to defining influenza immunogenicity to making seminal discoveries about poxvirus biology. Current strengths include mechanisms of viral pathogenesis, host-virus-microbiota interactions, viral vectors for gene therapy, viral oncology, and development of novel antiviral therapies and vaccines. MGM also maintains a focus on bacteriology with current research programs on molecular pathogenesis, antibiotics and resistance. Virology and bacteriology research at UF is supported by numerous established programs, including the Emerging Pathogens Institute, Institute for Therapeutic Innovation, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Cancer Center Mechanisms of Oncogenesis Program, and the NIH Southeast Center for Integrated Metabolomics. We also have a long-standing NIH T32-supported training program in Basic Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (1978-present).

Regarding the educational mission, the department administers the College of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs in Genetics and Immunology/Microbiology. In conjunction with the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MGM collaboratively participates in the distance education Master’s program in Microbiology and Cell Science with a concentration in Medical Microbiology and Biochemistry through the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. MGM has received final approval for a distance education graduate certificate in medical microbiology that should be available in the Spring of 2022.

The University of Florida’s College of Medicine

The University of Florida’s College of Medicine (COM) is the largest among the six academic health centers within UF Health. Boasting just over 1,500 faculty members, COM is paving the way to improve healthcare in Florida, the nation and the world through excellence and leadership in education, clinical care, discovery, and service.

With $220 million in total research funding, the COM strives to improve our understanding of human health and disease through groundbreaking research and to translate these discoveries into new solutions that improve health outcomes and quality of care.

The City of Gainesville

Gainesville ( is home to Florida's largest and oldest university, and so is one of the state's centers of education, medicine, cultural events and athletics. The University of Florida and UF Health Shands Hospital are the leading employers in Gainesville and provide jobs for many residents of surrounding counties. Gainesville is also the largest city in Alachua County and is the county seat, with approximately 269,000 residents county-wide. It serves as the cultural, educational, and commercial center for the north central Florida region.

The city provides a full range of municipal services, including cultural and nature services and necessary administrative services to support these activities. Additionally, the city owns a regional transit system, a regional airport, and a 72-par championship golf course. Known for its preservation of historic buildings and the beauty of its natural surroundings, Gainesville's numerous parks, museums and lakes provide entertainment to thousands of visitors. Because of its beautiful landscape and urban "forest," Gainesville is one of the most attractive cities in Florida. The city is in a central location to both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, providing easy access within a day’s drive to beaches, nature preserves, and water-based activities. Explore Gainesville in 60 Seconds.

Nomination and Application Instructions

Nominations and applications are invited for the position of Chair of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Florida. The Chair reports directly to the Dean of the College of Medicine.

Candidates must apply online at Faculty Jobs at UF ( and should include a letter of interest outlining their special qualifications for this position and a current curriculum vitae. Review of applications will begin on October 20, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled. Inquiries and nominations can be sent to Leah Benn, Talent Consultant with the Strategic Talent Group at or 352-273-1713.

If accommodations due to a disability are needed to apply for this position, please call (352) 392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at (800) 955-8771 (TDD). Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. Searches are conducted in accordance with Florida’s Sunshine Law.

Our Commitment

The University of Florida College of Medicine is committed to diversity, inclusion and heath equity through the efforts of actively finding, developing and including the best talent to support our vision of being “a premier institution focused on promoting health and alleviating human suffering through exceptional education, discovery, innovation and patient-centered health care of the highest quality.”

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, the University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in also aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotion, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits and training.

We welcome nominations of and applications from anyone who would bring additional dimensions to the university’s research, teaching and clinical mission, including women, members of underrepresented groups, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

The “government in the sunshine” laws of Florida require that all documents relating to the search process, including letters of application/nomination and reference, be available for public inspection.

Education Requirement:
Terminal Degree; Must have a current academic rank of Associate or Full Professor
Gainesville, FL
Office of the Dean
1600 SW Archer Road
Gainesville , FL 32610
Leah Benn,