The First African American Woman to Chair a Department at Johns Hopkins Medical School

Namandjé Bumpus was appointed chair of the department of pharmacology and molecular sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. She is the first African American woman to chair an academic department at the prestigious medical school. Dr. Bumpus is the only Black woman currently chairing a pharmacology department at any medical school in the nation, according to the university.

“Being an African-American woman in science, I had not only the glass ceiling but the solitude of often being first,” Dr. Bumpus says. “One of the reasons I push and work so hard for these leadership roles is I feel like I need to be there as an advocate, and I need to be there as an example.”

Dr. Bumpus joined Johns Hopkins in 2010 as an assistant professor in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology. She became an associate professor in 2015, and, from 2015 to 2017, she served as the school’s first associate dean for institutional and student equity.

Dr. Bumpus holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Occidental College in Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Michigan. She then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in molecular and experimental medicine at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.


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  1. Lillian Jane Steele,MA says:

    So very proud of you. My dads mom was taken to Johns Hopkins in the late 1940s for a last chance of saving her life due to cancer that later on destroyed her life. She was very active in her community and helped everyone. This is a belated thanks from one of her grandchildren that she did not live to see. However she has two great nephews who did become doctors. Keep on doing good work for all mankind. LJ Steele,MA Educator

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