Meet the Director

Meet the Director


Gary Owens

Dr. Gary K. Owens

Director, UVA MD/PhD
NIH Medical Scientist Training Program
Director, Robert M. Berne
Cardiovascular Research Center
Professor, Molecular Physiology &
Biological Physics


The past decade has witnessed unprecedented advances in our understanding of fundamental biological processes. We have new experimental approaches to manipulate gene expression and new insights into the basis of human disease. However, the dilemmas of old and new diseases continue to challenge our best scientists and physicians. At the University of Virginia, faculty members are engaged in research on the most important problems in medical science. What are the basic molecular mechanisms that regulate growth and differentiation of cells, and how are these mechanisms perturbed in disease states? How do disease-causing organisms such as HIV interact with their hosts? What is the molecular basis of immune recognition and autoimmune diseases? What innovative treatments and cures can be developed to reduce pain and suffering from diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer, asthma, AIDS, and other diseases?

We are in the midst of the most exciting time in the history of biomedical research. We are rapidly gaining an understanding of the underlying basis of human disease and developing not only new treatments, but also possible cures. Given the complexity of human disease and the necessity of understanding it at the cellular and molecular level as well as at the whole organ level, it is the physician-scientist who will undoubtedly play an increasingly important role in advances in biomedical research in the coming years. The goal of our MST Program is to provide our students with the knowledge and skills to lead efforts to treat and cure human disease in the 21st Century.

UVa Hospital

As you look through our Web pages, I hope you will sense the commitment of our faculty and students to their research, their dedication to excellence, and their enthusiasm for teaching and learning. Completion of an MST Program is not easy. Indeed, there are many long hours of studying, and many days and evenings in the laboratory. However, the rewards are significant. There is little that can match the joy and excitement of discovery, the satisfaction of understanding a complex process, and the confidence that you are contributing to improvements in the health of mankind.

We believe that the MST Program at the University of Virginia School of Medicine is one of the best in the country. We invite you to join us!