Katherine A. Gallagher, Professor of Surgery, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and the John R. Pfeifer Professor of Surgery at the University of Michigan, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine, the highest national honor for a clinician and scientist.
Gallagher was nominated and elected for her innovative translational research on epigenetic regulation of immune cells during normal and pathologic tissue repair and other cardiovascular disease processes.
The Academy recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service and who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.
“I am incredibly humbled and honored to be among this esteemed group. It motivates me to continue our work to advance our understanding to develop new and innovative treatments for cardiovascular disease and tissue regeneration,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher is also the Vice Chair of Basic and Translational Science and an exceptionally well-funded researcher supported by multiple R01s and other Foundational grants, including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Wylie Scholars, among others.
Her high-impact work has appeared in prominent journals such as Immunity, Journal of Experimental Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, to name a few. She is an expert in the molecular pathogenesis of wound repair and has contributed substantially to the understanding of epigenetics in immune cells associated with tissue repair, cardiovascular diseases, sepsis and most recently, COVID-19. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), American Surgical Association, Society of Clinical Surgery, a James IV International Scholar, a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of Vascular Surgery and a Taubman Scholar.
At 46 years old, Gallagher is a younger physician-scientist, and she wants to bring a fresh perspective to the group, as well as recruit other surgeon-scientists.
“I hope to bring a younger perspective and help with committees that work on the challenges that younger PIs may face. Additionally, as a surgeon, there are very few surgeon-scientists, and I hope to help come up with strategies to increase these numbers,” Gallagher said.
Michigan Medicine has had a strong showing in the academy, with nearly 60 active members. Gallagher attributes that to the supportive environment she is a part of.
“Michigan is a special place where collaboration and advancement of science are put at the forefront and this is showcased by our institution's cutting-edge science as well as strong presence in the National Academy of Medicine,” Gallagher said.
Training the next generation of scientists most excites Gallagher, and her mentees have successfully obtained NIH grant funding and numerous awards. For her mentoring, she received the 2022 MICHR Basic/Translational mentor of the year award. She is currently the chair of the Bioengineering, Technology, and Surgical Sciences (BTSS) NIH-study section and an original member of the NIH-National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Wound Consortium.
Gallagher is grateful to have benefitted from strong mentorship herself:
“Michigan has been a transformative place for my career. My team at Michigan is excellent, and much of what I have been able to accomplish has been a direct result of their commitment to our cause and their teamwork. I have had amazing mentors and sponsors all along the way, too many for me to name. My Division, Department and my Chair, Dr. Dimick, in addition to my former Chair, Dr. Mulholland, both of whom are NAM members, have shown unwavering support for my work and surgeon-scientists as a whole. I am grateful to them, my team and will continue to drive our science forward.”