A physician-scientist’s work focuses on critical generational challenges
By Debby Teich
Photography By Lisa Nipp
Mark T. Gladwin, M.D. ’91
ark T. Gladwin, M.D. ’91, admits that had he accepted a full scholarship to play soccer at Jacksonville University instead of earning his bachelor’s and medical degrees from a six-year honors program at the University of Miami, his life would have been very different. But he’s confident he made the right choice.
“The Miller School was a unique training environment where I was able to gain hands-on experience delivering clinical care to a very diverse population at Jackson Memorial Hospital, even as a first-year medical student,” said Dr. Gladwin, a leading heart, vascular, and lung physician-scientist, as well as a clinician, educator, and academic leader. “It was an excellent foundation for my future endeavors.”
Dr. Gladwin’s parents were anthropologists, and he spent much of his childhood living in poor, rural towns in Ghana, Mexico, and Guatemala while they did their research. He became sensitized to the health care challenges of underrepresented populations, which pushed him to dedicate his career to helping sickle cell disease patients and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic medicine.
After serving as chief of the Pulmonary and Vascular Medicine Branch at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Gladwin was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh, where he was first division chief of pulmonary, allergy, and critical care medicine, and later, chair of the Department of Medicine and the inaugural director of the Vascular Medicine Institute.
Last year, Dr. Gladwin was appointed dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and vice president for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where he has already started addressing long-term challenges in the areas of education, research, and clinical care.
“We must ensure that our academic medical centers survive and thrive so we can effectively steer our collective energy toward current generational challenges such as obesity, aging, gun violence, mental health, emerging zoonotic pandemics, and health disparities,” Dr. Gladwin said.
Since 1996, Dr. Gladwin has published more than 500 research articles that have significantly impacted the vascular and nitric oxide biology fields. He is also well known for advancing treatments for patients with sickle cell disease.
But of all his achievements, Dr. Gladwin says his greatest passion is mentoring the next generation of physicians and scientists.
“I love nurturing and supporting our faculty and youth to become future leaders so that our academic medical centers can continue to flourish,” he said.