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Merry Lindsey, Ph.D., named chair of cellular and integrative physiology

Image with caption: Merry Lindsey, Ph.D.

Merry Lindsey, Ph.D.

An internationally recognized scientific leader in cardiac physiology, Merry Lindsey, Ph.D., has been named the Stokes-Shackleford Professor and Chair of Cellular and Integrative Physiology. In addition to her role as department chair, Dr. Lindsey will lead the efforts to develop an interdisciplinary cardiac and vascular research center at UNMC and will serve as its founding director.

Dr. Lindsey is currently professor and director of the Mississippi Center for Heart Research at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

The appointment was announced by Bradley Britigan, M.D., dean of the UNMC College of Medicine. It is effective Feb. 1, pending approval of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. Dr. Lindsey will replace Irving Zucker, Ph.D., who has been at UNMC for 46 years and served as department chair for the past 29 years.

"We are excited to bring Dr. Lindsey to UNMC," Dr. Britigan said. "Her strong background in cardiac research will continue the department's longtime excellence in this area. Her research, education, leadership and mentoring skills make her an ideal person as we move forward in establishing our cardiac and vascular research center."

"I am thrilled to be joining the UNMC family," Dr. Lindsey said. "Omaha is the heart of America, so it makes sense that we establish a cardiac and vascular research center here. I am excited to be building this new program with the help of many stakeholders. The concept we are going for is that excellence can be achieved when excellence is sought."

A Florida native, Dr. Lindsey earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Boston University and her doctorate in cardiovascular sciences from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She did her postdoctoral fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

"This position really is a perfect fit for me, and I am looking forward to leading a great team of faculty, trainees and staff. My goal is to continue building on the foundation laid by Dr. Zucker to guide our department to even higher recognition. I enjoy helping others succeed and look forward to developing the next generation of researchers.

"While I grew up in south Florida and most of my career has been in the south, I am looking forward to the change of seasons. My two dogs especially are looking forward to the snow."

Dr. Lindsey's numerous awards include being the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the American Physiological Society, as well as the Translational Research Team Award, and numerous Excellence in Research Awards from the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

About Dr. Lindsey

Over the past 16 years, Dr. Lindsey has held faculty positions at academic medical centers in South Carolina, Texas and Mississippi. From 2002-2005, she worked at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston as an assistant professor. For the next eight years, she was a member of the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, being named associate professor in 2009 and professor in 2012.

Dr. Lindsey moved to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 2013 to serve as director of the Mississippi Center for Heart Research and as professor of physiology and biophysics. She also is a research health scientist for the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson.

Dr. Lindsey's research centers on cardiac inflammation and extracellular matrix (ECM) biology. She is founder of CV-ECM, a LinkedIn group with more than 145 members, and has recorded 15 podcasts for the American Journal of Physiology - Heart. She has been a reviewer for more than 100 journals, having reviewed a staggering 884 manuscripts since 2007 -- an average of more than eight manuscripts a month.

Dr. Lindsey has been awarded more than $25 million in grant funding. In addition to the National Institutes of Health, she has served as a grant reviewer for funding agencies in Ireland, Austria, Hong Kong, Israel, the Netherlands and Qatar. She has mentored more than 60 postdoctoral fellows, residents, and graduate and undergraduate students.

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