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Director’s Reflections on the Heels of Change

Nadia Hansel

It is an honor to be chosen to lead this department. As a member of the Department of Medicine for 22 years (four years as a postdoctoral fellow and 18 years on faculty), I already feel at home here. But after only two weeks, my new role has given me a fresh perspective as I get to know many of you in a different capacity, and I’ve found so much more to love.

The Department of Medicine excels in all arms of our tripartite mission. We attract some of the best physicians and care teams from across the globe and have one of the largest research grant portfolios in the country. These strengths only add to the appeal of our residency and training programs—often highly ranked in their own right—and help build a pipeline of the next generation of doctors and scientists. At times, an institution so steeped in tradition can seem resistant to change, but leadership in the DOM and JHM overall have prioritized a diverse faculty and staff whose efforts keep us changing and moving forward.

It has taken 129 years and seven directors for a woman to be selected to lead this department, and I am truly honored to be the first. I will do everything in my power to ensure I’m not the last. I think this milestone is a testament to the leaders of the School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Medicine and their embrace of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. I look forward to following by example and supporting DEI initiatives in the DOM.

Much like my predecessor, I have a profound passion for scientific discovery. As a long-standing NIH researcher, I can empathize with the challenges our investigators face, and I am committed to supporting our academic mission in any way I can. I’m excited to help foster new projects and collaborations as well as continue my own research. In fact, as I finish my grant due in just a few weeks, I am grateful for the team Dr. Anderson created that keeps this department moving forward and eases the learning curve as I adapt to my new role.

Thank you for your support during this transition. I feel very lucky to lead such a talented and capable team, and I look forward to partnering with you to move the DOM forward.




Kelsey Bennett