Inside Tulane Med: Quarterly News from the Tulane University School of Medicine

Chad Steele joins microbiology
and immunology faculty as chair

In March, the School of Medicine welcomed professor Chad Steele, PhD, as the new chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Chad Steele, PhD
Chad Steele, PhD

Prior to Tulane, Steele served as an endowed professor in the Department of Medicine, a fellow in the Office of the Provost and the assistant dean of research administration in the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama–Birmingham.

"During that time, I honed my leadership skills by developing programs that supported our faculty," he said. "I figured that experience would lend itself to someday leading at the department chair level, and this opportunity came about in spring 2017."

Steele said that one of his first goals at Tulane is to raise the profile and reputation of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and of the School of Medicine.

"There are roughly 95 microbiology programs around the country, and, from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding standpoint, we are currently ranked 39th. We're doing quite well, but I think we can do better and crack the top 30," he said.

"I'm also passionate about having a robust external speaker series," he added. "We're going to bring in thought leaders from around the country to give seminars and meet our faculty. I want to create connections, establish future collaborations with these researchers, and raise awareness of who we are and what we do here."

Currently funded by three NIH research project grant programs called R01s and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Steele will also dedicate time to studying protective immune responses during invasive fungal infections and immunopathogenic immune responses during fungal-associated asthma.

Steele replaces John Clements, who chaired the Department of Microbiology and Immunology since 1999 and retired from the School of Medicine at the end of June.—Mary Cross

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