WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Griffith D. Parks, Ph.D., has been appointed chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, by William B. Applegate, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., dean and interim president of Wake Forest University Health Sciences.
Parks, who has been a faculty member in microbiology and immunology since 1992, is a graduate of the University of Colorado. He earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin and completed post-doctorate training at Northwestern University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His major research and teaching interest include the molecular and cell biology of paramyxoviruses, a diverse group of medically important viruses that includes the measles virus, human parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus and the mumps virus.
Parks has served as chairman in the RNA virus division for the American Society for Microbiology, and he also serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Virology.
Parks replaces Steven B. Mizel, Ph.D., who served as chairman of Microbiology and Immunology for more than 20 years. The department has major research strengths in viral and bacterial pathogenesis and in understanding immune responses against a variety of pathogens. The department is also involved in developing novel adjuvant; agents that can be added to vaccines to increase their medical effectiveness, and vaccination approaches for protection against agents of bio-terrorism.
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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. U.S. News & World Report ranks Wake Forest University School of Medicine 18th in primary care and 44th in research among the nation's medical schools. It ranks 35th in research funding by the National Institutes of Health. Almost 150 members of the medical school faculty are listed in Best Doctors in America.