Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM) Dean Jean R. Sumner, M.D., announced recently that Robert J. Visalli, Ph.D., has been appointed chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences for the Savannah campus.
During his 30 years of research on human herpes virus, Dr. Visalli has been involved in the development of an attenuated herpes simplex virus vaccine candidate and the discovery of a novel class of thiourea compounds amenable to antiviral chemotherapy.
His dedication to his research and teaching is evidenced by consistent publication in top peer-reviewed virology journals, continuous National Institutes of Health and American Society of Microbiology grant review service, and acquisition of external research funding specifically for the inclusion of students.
“Dr. Visalli brings an abundant wealth of knowledge and experience to bear on our basic medical science curriculum and ever-growing biomedical research enterprise in Savannah,” said William F. Bina III, M.D., M.P.H., dean of the Savannah campus.
Dr. Visalli earned his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Indiana University Bloomington and his Ph.D. in medical microbiology and immuimmunology from the University of Wisconsin––Madison. He completed postdoctoral training at the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine Hershey Medical Center.
“I’m honored to serve Mercer School of Medicine faculty and students as chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences,” said Dr. Visalli. “My success as a mentor and teacher depends on my ability to positively impact students, both intellectually and personally. My mission at the School of Medicine is to create an environment for free thinking, promote inquiry, generate excitement for science via research, and to teach our future physicians microbiology in a clinically relevant manner.”