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Changing the Landscape of the Biomedical Workforce

By January 14, 2016No Comments

A Profile of Janice Green Douglas, MD, FAHA


Dr. Janice Green Douglas is a renowned hypertension specialist and physician scientist with expertise in racial and ethnic diversity as it relates to pathophysiology; clinical-trial design and execution; and the treatment of hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

Douglas is participating as a grant writing coach-in-training through NRMN’s Southeast Training Hub at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA (click here learn more about the coach-in-training curriculum). In this role, she provides intensive guidance on grant proposal writing to post-doctoral and junior faculty researchers in the biomedical and bio-behavioral sciences.

An exemplary physician, scientist and mentor, Douglas is NRMN’s researcher of the month.

“I grew up in a family of well-educated women,” Douglas explained. “My maternal grandmother, who earned degrees in English and music from Langston College in Oklahoma, helped raise me while my parents, Louis and Electa Green, studied for their M.D. and D.D.S. degrees, respectively, at Meharry Medical College.”

Having been exposed to the sciences at an early age, Douglas has had an interest in research and science since her childhood, as was demonstrated by her successful competition in high school science fairs. This passion for science influenced her decision to study chemistry as an undergraduate student at Fisk University in Nashville, TN. She graduated with top honors and a Phi Beta Kappa key; she then followed her parents into medicine, also attending and graduating from Meharry Medical College in 1968.

Douglas remained at Meharry to complete a residency and internship in internal medicine, and was named Intern of the year in 1969. In 1971, she began a two-year National Institutes of Health fellowship in endocrinology at Vanderbilt University, where she also served as an instructor of internal medicine. At Vanderbilt, Douglas compared the mechanisms of blood pressure control in African American and white populations to investigate hypertension. After a series of key events involving her mentors, she chose to root her research career in this particular area of medicine.

“I was steered toward research in hypertension when two of my early mentors were victimized by strokes,” Douglas stated. “Dr. Robert Brown, a superb pulmonologist, greatly influenced my career choice in academic medicine, and Dr. Grant Little steered my course of training in endocrinology both at Vanderbilt and at the National Institutes of Health. When I was a junior faculty member, Dr. James Carter was also extremely helpful in advising me about the critical choices that would make me a successful physician scientist.”

Having benefitted from mentoring in her own education, Douglas made a commitment to bolstering the retention of minorities in medicine early on in her career. Douglas continues to serve as a role model for her medical students, and has supervised dozens of others in their Ph.D. and post-doctoral research.

“I serve as an important role model for trainees in medicine and basic science as a successful physician scientist involved in both clinical and basic research,” she explained. “Given the very low percentage of minorities on medical school faculties, my nurturing and guidance are encouraging to trainees as they work to overcome barriers in their educational and research careers.”

Dr. Douglas has served as professor for approximately 30 years. Specifically, she has served as a Professor of Medicine, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, and Professor of Pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University Medical School until her retirement in early 2005. She also originated and served as the university’s Director of the Division of Hypertension for close to 15 years.

Douglas has received more than $20 million in research funding and has been elected to membership in some of the most prestigious organizations for physician scientists, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association for American Physicians, the National Academy of Sciences and as a Fellow of the High Blood Pressure Council of the American Heart Association.

Douglas is currently a faculty member in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine (NEOMED) in the Partnership for Urban Health. She teaches physical diagnosis and other topics to first- and second-year medical and pharmacy students, most of whom are also in the Partnership for Urban Health program. Her current patient care activities are in the area of primary care at the Resilience Clinic in Eastlake, OH.

Courtesy of Dr. Janice Green Douglas

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