WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. –Eugene R. Bleecker, M.D., has been appointed professor of genomics and personalized medicine and director of the Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine Research at Wake Forest University Health Sciences and Wake Forest University School of Medicine, effective Oct. 1, 2009. This appointment reflects an expanded leadership role for Bleecker at Health Sciences and the medical school and a widening of the scope of the former Center for Human Genomics, which he has directed since its inception in 2000, the year he joined the faculty. Deborah A. Meyers, Ph.D., continues as the co-director of the center.
Bleecker is also professor of translational science in the Wake Forest University Translational Science Institute (TSI), and his appointment continues as Thomas H. Davis Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Immunologic Diseases. His appointments as professor of pediatrics and professor of public health sciences will also continue.
“With his experience and expertise in translational medicine and the genetics of complex diseases, Dr. Bleecker is ideally suited for leadership in this developing area of medicine,” said William B. Applegate, M.D., president of Health Sciences and dean of the medical school.
Personalized medicine focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of disease on the basis of genes and environmental factors specific to an individual. A particular combination of genes and environmental factors might indicate that a disease process is likely to be more (or less) aggressive, enabling the physician to design a treatment plan with a greater likelihood of success for a particular patient.
In his role as director of the center, with its expanded scope, and his role in the TSI, Bleecker will be the leader at Health Sciences in the continued development of the science of genomics and personalized medicine, as well as the clinical application of personalized medicine, throughout Health Sciences and the School of Medicine.
Bleecker earned his bachelor’s degree from New York University and his medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate, where he also trained as an intern and resident in medicine. After completing a residency in medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, he furthered his training as a research associate at the National Institute on Aging and as a clinical fellow in pulmonary diseases and a fellow in cardiovascular research at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to joining the medical school, he served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
He holds fellowships in the American College of Chest Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the Royal College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. He is author or coauthor of more than 280 journal articles and book chapters and has had continuous funding for his research since 1978 and extending into 2016. He has served in advisory positions and as a consultant for the NIH and other agencies and numerous other national and international scientific organizations.