McNamara Named Director of the Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology

September 22, 2020 by School of Medicine Webmaster

Coleen McNamara, MD

Coleen McNamara, MD

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Coleen McNamara, MD, as Director of the Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology (“Carter Immunology Center,” or CIC), effective December 1, 2020. Dr. McNamara, Frances Myers Ball Professor of Cardiology and Molecular Physiology & Biological Physics is currently a member of the Cardiovascular Research Center.

Dr. McNamara is a physician-scientist with a long-standing interest in discovery science and translational medicine. She received her MD from the Medical College of Ohio and did her residency in Internal Medicine and clinical and research training in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Virginia. She joined the faculty at UVA in 1994, securing her first NIH grant as a K08 recipient, and has had uninterrupted NIH funding for her work with multiple R01 and P01 grants ever since.

Dr. McNamara has a long-standing passion for seeking novel ways to reduce the burden of coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality in humans. She is best known for her pioneering work on the role of immune cells in cardiovascular diseases with an emphasis on the role of B lymphocytes in atherosclerosis. Her laboratory has discovered novel genetic regulators and mechanisms in B lymphocytes in pre-clinical models and taken these discoveries into humans. Her lab utilizes high dimensional analysis of the immune system in humans for identification of targeted therapy approaches and novel biomarkers for precision medicine. Her laboratory is considered one of the leading laboratories in the world in the field of B cells and atherosclerosis. Along with colleagues in Boston, Stockholm, Vienna, and Cambridge, she was recently awarded a five-year Transatlantic Network of Excellence grant from the Leducq foundation.

She has served on multiple NIH study sections and as an advisor to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Director of the Intramural program as a member of the NHLBI Board of Scientific Counselors. Among numerous other national and local awards, she is the recipient of the National Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB) Mentor of Women Award, American Heart Association (AHA) Atherosclerosis Special Recognition Award and the AHA Russell Ross Memorial Lectureship. She serves in the leadership of the American Heart Association at the national level as a member of the ATVB Leadership Committee, Nominating Committee, and Irvine R. Page Junior Faculty Award Selection Committee (Chair). She has served on more than 20 graduate student dissertation committees and her lab has trained 20 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. She is deputy editor of Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Basic to Translational and is on the editorial boards of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and Circulation Research.

Dr. McNamara will succeed Thomas J. Braciale, MD, PhD, Alumni Professor of Pathology and Microbiology, who has served as the interim director of the Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research since July 1, 2020. Dr. Braciale, who also was the founding director of the center in 1991, is an internationally renowned immunologist, whose research investigates the host immune response to virus infection of the respiratory tract. He is examining the role of the adaptive immune response in the clearance of both virus and virus-infected cells from the body, and the contribution of the immune response in producing injury during virus infection.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Braciale for his interim service and congratulating Dr. McNamara on her new role.

David S. Wilkes, MD
Dean, UVA School of Medicine
James Carroll Flippin Professor of Medical Science

Filed Under: Faculty