June 20, 2008
||Media contact: Bruce Spiher
Omary becomes chair of the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
“Even with all of his impressive accomplishments,” says James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean U-M Medical School
and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine, "I have been particularly struck by his engaging, outgoing personality and his dedication to mentoring junior faculty and students.”
Omary is a world leader in the field of keratin biology and pathobiology of organ systems. His work extends beyond the clinical areas of gastroenterology and hepatology to include basic epithelial biology. His research involves the study of the regulation function and disease association of the cytoskeletal intermediate filament proteins that are specifically expressed in digestive-type epithelia. The function of intermediate filaments, as a group, remains poorly understood but mutations in many of the known keratin genes have been associated with diseases involving liver, oral, ocular, esophageal and skin epithelia.
He recognizes the value of translational research and has been an advocate for collaborations between the NIH, research institutions and industry, writing on the subject in a recent issue of Gastroenterology
. He has been a prolific writer, producing more than 120 original articles for leading scientific journals and has authored several reviews and book chapters and edited several books. He serves as associate editor for both Molecular Biology of the Cell
In addition to his exceptional scholarship and national and international prominence as a scientist, Omary is further recognized through his leadership of the Gordon Conference on Intermediate Filaments, serving as vice chair in 2004 and chair of the 2006 session. His expertise is acknowledged through his membership on study sections, site visit teams, and special emphasis panels for the National Institutes of Health
He is a member of several professional societies, including the American Physiological Society, the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Gastroenterological Association and others. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.
Omary is a dedicated educator and served as director of an NIH training grant in academic gastroenterology at Stanford University from 1999-2005. He is a regular speaker at the annual Academic Skills Workshop of the American Gastroenterological Association, and he received a teaching award from Stanford in 2005.
He received his bachelor of science degree in 1976 from George Mason University. He received a master’s of science degree in 1978 and a Ph.D. in 1980, both from the University of California, San Diego. He received his medical degree in 1984 from the University of Miami, and he completed his internal medicine residency in 1986 at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center.