William Lehman, PhD, Professor of Physiology & Biophysics, will become Chair ad interim of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics, effective July 1. Dr. Lehman will succeed David Atkinson, PhD, who is stepping down as Chair at the end of June.
Dr. Lehman received his doctorate in Biology from Princeton University. He completed postdoctoral training in muscle biochemistry and biophysics at Brandeis University and then was a Unilever Fellow at Oxford University before joining the BUMC community in 1973 as an Assistant Professor in the former Department of Physiology.
Dr. Lehman’s research is focused on the assembly and function of actin-containing thin filaments in muscle and non-muscle cells in order to elucidate mechanisms of calcium regulation of muscle contraction and to better understand cytoskeletal remodeling. He applies a combination of molecular biology, cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and computational modeling to define the interactions and dynamics of protein components of normal and mutant actin filaments, and in particular those leading to cardiomyopathies. Continuously funded by the NIH for more than 25 years, which included Shannon and MERIT awards, his work has led to fundamental understanding of troponin-tropomyosin based calcium regulation of muscle contraction and its dysfunction during disease. Dr. Lehman’s work is internationally recognized for its excellence, and he has been an invited speaker and chair at symposia multiple times in Europe and the UK.
Dr. Lehman has served in several roles within the Department, including as Course Director for the Dental and OHS Physiology Courses, as well as a member of a number of departmental committees. He also has served on several University committees, including the Committee on Basic Life Sciences and the Appeals Committee for Promotions in the Seven-Year Medical Student program. Dr. Lehman is a recipient of the first Faculty Recognition Award for Educational Innovation and a Spencer N. Frankl Award for Excellence in Teaching, both from the Dental School. Dr. Lehman is an editor of the Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility and the journal Biology. He has been a reviewer for the NIH, and other funding agencies both nationally and internationally.