Susan Ackerman, PhD

Susan Ackerman

Vice Dean for Research
UC San Diego School of Medicine

Susan Ackerman, Ph.D., is the Vice Dean for Research at UC San Diego School of Medicine. She leads the research mission within the School of Medicine, overseeing innovative research strategy and collaborations, funding, and faculty recruitment and development.

Dr. Ackerman is a pioneer in the study of neuronal homeostasis. Her research discoveries have had a profound influence on various fields, including genetics, neurobiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Her early work studied novel molecular pathways essential for proper brain development and her more recent work defined the pathways and networks that regulate neuronal homeostasis and neuron survival in the aging mammalian brain.

She is committed to mentoring and training the next generation of scientists and medical leaders. Since 2005, Dr. Ackerman has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She’s also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Ackerman joined UC San Diego in 2016 as a professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in the School of Medicine and the Section of Neurobiology in the Division of Biology, where she holds the Stephen W. Kuffler Chair in Biology.

Before joining UC San Diego, Dr. Ackerman was a professor at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, where she was a faculty member for 19 years.

She received her Ph.D. from UCLA and was a post-doctoral fellow at University of Illinois Medical School and the University of Pennsylvania.