Drs. Brian O’Rourke and Gregory Kirk were named the new Vice Chairs for Research for the Department of Medicine effective March 15, 2015. Dr. O’Rourke serves as the Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research, and Dr. Kirk serves as Vice Chair for Clinical and Translational Research. In their new roles they will help shape the department’s strategic initiatives for discovery going forward. They have begun meeting with stakeholders across the divisions and school to become familiar with our breadth of research activities, and will focus on initiatives such as establishing a grant review process in each division and a department-wide bridging policy over the next year.
Dr. O’Rourke joined Hopkins as a Cardiology fellow in 1990, climbing the ranks to become a Professor in 2004. He directs the Bernard Laboratory of Fundamental Research in Preventive Cardiology and his research focuses on the biophysics and physiology of cardiac cells in normal and diseased states, with an emphasis on excitation-contraction-bioenergetic coupling in heart failure, cardioprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury and the role of mitochondrial ion channels in cardiac arrhythmias. He has also led a number of multidisciplinary research programs in addition to serving as associate editor of circulation research and chairman of the electrical signaling, transport and arrhythmias study section of the National Heart Lung Blood Institute of the NIH.
Dr. Kirk received his M.D. from the University of Oklahoma and came to Hopkins in 1994 to complete a master’s degree in international health and epidemiology. In 2003, he received his PhD in clinical epidemiology. While completing his PhD, he served as a resident in Internal Medicine at Georgetown University and completed a fellowship in Infectious Disease at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda. He is currently an Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Medicine & Oncology. His vast research portfolio involves leading large domestic and international cohort studies investigating HIV, viral hepatitis and the long-term consequences of these chronic infections.