Leonard Hjelmeland, a biochemist and molecular biologist who has led efforts to recruit basic science researchers for key initiatives in genomics, neurosciences and membrane biology, is the new chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry.
Under Hjelmeland's guidance, a major focus for the department includes re-aligning the research mission
on human genetics and molecular medicine. Hjelmeland plans to expand the department by recruiting experts in mammalian genetics and transcription, which complements polygenetic disease research currently being conducted by researchers in the Rowe program.
Hjelmeland, whose own research focuses on the relationship of oxidative stress and aging to age-related macular degeneration, holds joint appointments in biological chemistry and in the Department of Ophthalmology.