The School of Medicine has recruited Ling Qi, PhD, a leading researcher in protein folding and degradation, to lead its Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics.
“Dr. Qi brings incredible expertise as a scientist in understanding how protein degradation within an area of our cells called the endoplasmic reticulum causes disease, together with a selfless, inclusive leadership style and a passion for mentorship and education,” said Melina R. Kibbe, MD, the dean of the UVA School of Medicine and chief health affairs officer for UVA Health. “His vision to support groundbreaking discoveries in the department meshes perfectly with our strategic plan for the School of Medicine and UVA Health.”
Qi comes to UVA from the University of Michigan Medical School, where he has served as a professor in the Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology and the Department of Internal Medicine since 2016. He has served as president of the Chinese American Diabetes Association, chair of a National Institutes of Health study section and chair of the Biomedical Council at University of Michigan Medical School. He received the Scientific Achievement Award from the Chinese American Diabetes Association, career development and junior faculty awards from the American Diabetes Association and the Bio-Serv Award from the American Nutrition Society. He was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2021.
Qi has brought in more than $20 million in research over his career and has co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications. His laboratory has uncovered the importance of how the breakdown of proteins within an area of our cells called the endoplasmic reticulum affects many aspects of physiological process and contributes to diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and neurological disorders.
As an educator, Qi has trained more than 50 undergraduate students, 22 graduate students and 27 postdoctoral fellows. During his tenure at Cornell University – where he spent nine years before joining the University of Michigan – Qi earned the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, a top award for the state’s best teachers, in 2014.
“The Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics has an exceptionally strong foundation and an outstanding team of investigators, and I look forward to seeing how Dr. Qi can energize and inspire the department to continue its outstanding track record of scientific breakthroughs,” Kibbe said.
Qi earned his bachelor’s degree from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and his PhD from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He also completed fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and the Salk Institute before joining Cornell University.
“I will devote myself unconditionally to build on the department’s strengths, tirelessly recruit and retain the best people and advocate for all faculty, staff, and trainees,” Qi said. “I am looking forward to learning from this great community at UVA Health and improving myself by working closely with my colleagues and the health system’s leaders.”
Qi will begin his tenure as chair on September 1, 2023. He succeeds Lukas Tamm, PhD, who has served as chair of the department since 2018.