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Byron D. Ford Named New Chair of Howard University Department of Anatomy

Dr. Ford - Howard University College of Medicine - Anatomy

WASHINGTON – Howard University College of Medicine is pleased to announce the appointment of Byron D. Ford, Ph.D., as professor and chair of the Department of Anatomy and the M. Wharton Young Endowed Chair in Anatomy. Ford will succeed Thomas Heinbockel, Ph.D., who has served as interim chair since July 2019. Ford will also serve as assistant dean of research and graduate studies. 

Ford currently serves as associate dean of medical education and tenured professor at the University of California-Riverside School of Medicine. Ford’s research has centered on the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the stroke for more than 20 years. He has been the recipient of National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Department of Defense grants to investigate the neuroprotective roles of neuregulin-1 in stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral malaria and as a countermeasure for nerve agent exposure. Ford’s work has yielded multiple U.S. and international patents and is leading the development of new therapies for stroke and neuroinflammatory disorders.  

Prior to his appointment at UC Riverside, Ford was professor and vice chairman in the Department of Neurobiology at the Morehouse School of Medicine from 2001-2015. Ford received his B.S. in biology from Grambling State University and Ph.D. in neurophysiology from Meharry Medical College. He completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and the NIH. Ford was a member of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke Advisory Council at NIH from 2012-2016. 

“As a product of HBCUs, the opportunity to contribute to and support the mission of Howard University is truly inspiring to me,” Ford said. “I am thrilled by the potential to help raise the research profile of the College of Medicine and to work collaboratively with other research programs across the campus.”  

As department chair of anatomy, Ford will guide the future of the department through strategic planning, faculty recruitment and retention, and growth of research funding. In his role as assistant dean of research and graduate studies, Ford will be tasked with developing and overseeing the training of doctoral candidates across all the basic science disciplines in the College of Medicine as well as graduate biomedical science education candidates in the college. 

“In joining Howard University, Dr. Ford brings a strategic perspective to the department’s collaborative research growth, and he will be instrumental in fostering our growing pipeline of Ph.D. candidates,” said Hugh E. Mighty, MD, MBA, dean of the College of Medicine and senior vice president of health affairs. 

About Howard University 

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.