UAMS Appoints Charlotte Hobbs, Richard P. Morrison To New Leadership Roles in Research

By ChaseYavondaC

Hobbs, previously executive associate dean for research, is a professor of pediatrics, pediatric hospitalist, epidemiologist and national leader in birth defects research. Her new position was established Aug. 1.

Morrison, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Medicine, is a leading expert in the immunology of chlamydia infection. He will step down as chair at the end of August to focus on his new position.

Charlotte Hobbs, M.D., Ph.D.

Expansion of the college’s senior research team comes on the heels of a highly successful year for federal research grant funding awarded to UAMS. The College of Medicine rose from 84th to 53rd last year in the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research’s ranking of U.S. medical schools that receive research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

A key factor in the college’s grant funding increase was a $41.8 million NIH grant that Hobbs and Jeannette Lee, Ph.D., a professor of biostatistics, received in 2016 to oversee a 17-site Pediatric Clinical Trials Network.

Under Morrison’s leadership, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology also has improved significantly in the Blue Ridge Rankings, moving from 71st among 99 comparable departments receiving NIH funding in 2008 to 48th among 98 departments in the most recent ranking.

Morrison and Hobbs will work collaboratively to advance the college’s research mission. Morrison will focus on goal setting and monitoring of the college’s progress in research and external grant funding. He will work closely with UAMS’ research core facilities and research support offices, along with department chairs and faculty scientists throughout the college.

Richard P. Morrison, Ph.D.

“Dr. Morrison brings exceptional, proven leadership and administrative skills to his new post,” said Pope L. Moseley, M.D., executive vice chancellor of UAMS and dean of the College of Medicine. “Dr. Morrison and his colleagues in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology have been highly successful in obtaining grants, conducting world-class research and publishing scholarly work since he joined us as chair in 2007.”

Hobbs will focus on the college’s clinical and translational research efforts. She will also continue to direct the college’s Clinician-Scientist Development Program, which is designed to increase the ranks of specially trained physician-scientists who can bridge the basic and clinical sciences in the effort to translate research findings into better medical care.

“The Clinician-Scientist Development Program has benefited significantly from Dr. Hobbs’ founding vision and mentoring skills,” Moseley said. “Her remarkable ability to convene researchers from different disciplines around innovative and complex projects will be an asset to her work in this new leadership post.”

Hobbs directed the Birth Defects Research Section in the College of Medicine from 2001 to 2015. She previously served as principal investigator of the Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention – a leading U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-supported birth defects research site – from 1997 to February 2017. She was scientific director of the Arkansas Reproductive Health Monitoring System from 1996 to 2015 and served as medical director until February 2017.

Hobbs received her Ph.D. in epidemiology and biostatistics at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, in 1991 and her medical degree at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1992. She completed her residency in pediatrics at UAMS.

Morrison served as a co-principal investigator and director of the Research Core and associate director of the Administrative Core for UAMS’ Center of Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Inflammatory Responses before assuming his current post. He was the inaugural recipient of the rotating Endowed Chair in Sciences Basic to Medicine at UAMS from 2007 to 2012.

Morrison worked previously at the University of Alabama Birmingham, where he was a professor in the Department of Medicine from 2004 to 2007. He also served on the faculty at UAB earlier in his career, from 1994 to 1997. From 1997 to 2004 he was a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology at Montana State University in Bozeman, where he was promoted to professor in 2002.

Morrison received his Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma in Norman in 1982. He served in postdoctoral and staff positions at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana, from 1982 to 1994.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.