MUSC announces new dean to lead College of Graduate Studies

April 05, 2024
Two men shake hands before a curtain.
Dr. Michael J. Bouchard congratulates graduate student Austin Coley with the presentation of the Outstanding Research Award. Photos provided

The Medical University of South Carolina is delighted to welcome Michael J. Bouchard, Ph.D., an accomplished Drexel University professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and of Microbiology and Immunology, as the next dean of the College of Graduate Studies, effective July 1.

Bouchard earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Columbia University. He then conducted postdoctoral research at New York University, where he initiated studies on mechanisms that control hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication. This research was published in Science and other high-impact journals and became a cornerstone of his research program in Drexel’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Bouchard’s research has made seminal contributions to our understanding of HBV replication and pathogenesis.

This selection follows a rigorous national search built on input from a 10-member search committee led by Anand S. Mehta, D.Phil., professor of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology in the MUSC College of Medicine and the South Carolina SmartState Endowed Chair in Proteomic Biomarkers.

Headshot of man in suit. 
Dr. Michael J. Bouchard

“Throughout the search process, we sought a leader who would build upon the strong legacy of graduate education that already exists at MUSC,” said Mehta. “Dr. Bouchard has excellent listening and problem-solving abilities, which he leveraged as director of the Division of Biomedical Science Programs to streamline the didactic portion of graduate education at Drexel to better fit the needs of students and their eventual employers and improve the quality of the graduate experience. I’m confident he will bring the same forward-thinking approach to MUSC and align the goals and expectations of our graduate students with the dynamic demands of today’s workforce."

As South Carolina’s premier comprehensive academic health system, MUSC has long been a pillar of medical innovation and education. The College of Graduate Studies is integral to MUSC’s success in fostering a new generation of leaders in biomedical research. The search committee agreed that Bouchard’s career is a testament to his commitment to fusing educational excellence with innovative research. “Under his leadership," Mehta said, "the University can anticipate a surge of progress, featuring enhanced interdisciplinary collaboration and cutting-edge research initiatives that align seamlessly with MUSC’s mission to advance knowledge and improve health through education, research and patient care.”

Bouchard’s strategic vision for the college includes expanding research opportunities, integrating advanced technologies in education and nurturing a culture of innovation and collaboration. This approach, Mehta explained, will undoubtedly catalyze the college’s growth, enhancing its impact on both the local and global biomedical research and education stages.

Lisa K. Saladin, PT, Ph.D., executive vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, shares Mehta’s enthusiasm. “Dr. Bouchard emerged as the exceptional choice from a highly competitive national search, possessing the knowledge and skills to propel the College of Graduate Studies forward. He understands the challenges and opportunities in graduate education,” she said. “We look forward to witnessing the innovation and growth Dr. Bouchard will bring to the college as he pushes our institution to achieve new heights of excellence in training the next generation of biomedical research scientists. I am thrilled to welcome him to the team.”

The search committee expressed its confidence in Bouchard's ability to propel the College of Graduate Studies toward a future advancing discovery and excellence. “As we prepare to welcome Dr. Bouchard on July 1, we recognize we are on the cusp of transformative achievements that will fortify our legacy as a leader in the biomedical sciences,” Mehta, committee chair, said.

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