Virginia Tech Carilion Leadership

Cynda Johnson

President & Founding Dean, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Cynda Ann Johnson, M.D., M.B.A. was selected Founding Dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in January 2008. She received a B.A. in German (honors) and biology from Stanford University and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. She received her M.D. degree from the UCLA School of Medicine followed by residency training in family medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center and a teaching fellowship at the University of North Carolina.

She served as residency director at KU and, while serving as interim Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, completed her MBA at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She also served as Professor and Head of the Department of Family Medicine in the College of Medicine, Professor of the Department of Community and Behavioral Medicine in the College of Public Health and Director of the Family Care Center for the University of Iowa. Dr. Johnson joined East Carolina University in 2003 as Dean of the Brody School of Medicine and, in 2006, was appointed Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research in the Division of Research and Graduate Studies. While serving in this role, she led the development of the ECU Center for Health Disparities Research.

She is past president of the American Board of Family Practice (now Family Medicine) and the American Board of Medical Specialties. Dr. Johnson was a busy clinician for 30 years focusing on maternal and child health including obstetrics and outpatient gynecology. Academically, she has a special interest in chronic kidney disease and international medicine. As a medical educator, she has been involved in LCME reaccreditation at three institutions, including oversight of the process at ECU.

Michael Friedlander

Executive Director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and Senior Dean for Research of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Michael Friedlander, Ph.D., joined the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in June of 2010 following five years as the Wilhelmina Robertson Professor of Neuroscience, the chair of the Department of Neuroscience and the director of Neuroscience Initiatives at Baylor College of Medicine at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas. He serves as the principal investigator on research grants from the National Institutes of Health and from the Department of Defense on the cellular processes that underlie learning in the brain in health, during development and after traumatic brain injury.

Friedlander is the founding president of the Association of Medical School Neuroscience Department Chairs. He has served as chair of the Council of Academic Societies of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) representing over 100 scientific and medical associations, on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-AAMC joint task force on the Scientific Foundations of Future Physicians and he currently serves on the AAMC National Research Advisory Panel and on the Medical College Admission Test Comprehensive Review Panel. Friedlander is the president-elect of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine and serves as the associate editor for neuroscience of the Journal of Experimental Biology and Medicine and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Neuroscience and Eye and Brain.