Dr. Espenshade earned his B.A. in molecular biology from Princeton University in 1990 and his Ph.D. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998. He then became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, studying the regulation of cholesterol metabolism in the laboratory of Nobel laureates Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein. In 2002, he joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins, establishing a laboratory that focuses on the cellular regulation of cholesterol homeostasis and adaptation to hypoxia. He defined the role of sterol regulatory element-binding protein transcription factors—previously known to regulate cholesterol homeostasis—in allowing cells to adapt to low oxygen.
In addition to his outstanding contributions in the laboratory, Dr. Espenshade has established himself as a superb teacher and career mentor. Of most relevance to his new position is his leadership in innovation in biomedical education in the school of medicine. He has also been the associate director of the Scientific Foundations of Medicine course in the Genes to Society curriculum since 2011.
Dr. Espenshade has directed many important efforts that affect the education and career development of our graduate students, including helping to define individual development plans and establishing new and exciting training opportunities to prepare students for their future careers. He directs both the Biomedical Careers Initiative, funded through the Johns Hopkins University Office of the Provost’s Ph.D. Innovation Initiative, and the Center for Innovation in Graduate Biomedical Education, which serves as an incubator for new approaches to teaching, learning and career development in biomedical science.