Dr. Michael Brands, physiologist, longtime faculty member and honored educator, has been named vice dean for academic affairs at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
Brands, who had been serving as interim vice dean since May, first joined the medical school faculty 22 years ago. He has served MCG in a wide variety of roles, including as chair of the Student Academic Promotions and Professionalism Committee and as a member of the Faculty Promotion and Tenure Committee.
He began his career as an educator in 1984, teaching undergraduate physiology at the University of Missouri. At MCG he has directed the medical physiology component and the cardiopulmonary module for the pre-clinical phase of medical student education. He also served as a mentor for more than a dozen medical students in the Dean’s Medical Student Research Program, which allowed students to participate in research during the summer between their first and second year of medical school.
“I consider educating the next generation of physicians to be the most important part of what we do at MCG and I am confident that Dr. Brands, who certainly has a heart for our students and our educational programs, will continue to be an excellent advocate for both,” says MCG Dean David Hess. “I am also confident that his steadfast leadership style will be an asset as we prepare for our upcoming Liaison Committee on Medical Education accreditation visit.”
Brands is a federally funded investigator who studies the intersection of cardiovascular and renal physiology and its role in controlling hypertension. He is principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health R01 grant that aims to delineate the pathophysiology of insulin-regulated blood flow to the kidneys and how it affects whether the kidneys get rid of or hold on to sodium.
He received a Regents’ professorship, which are awarded to University System of Georgia faculty whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized both nationally and internationally as innovative and pacesetting, in 2016.
He is a member of the editorial boards of Hypertension and The American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology.
Brands is a recipient of the Basic Science Teaching Distinguished Faculty Award from the MCG Faculty Senate and The Graduate School’s Distinguished Teacher Award. He received the medical school’s Exemplary Teaching Award, given by the Office for Faculty & Continuous Professional Development based on quantity of teaching and student evaluations, every year from 2012-17.
His service to the university and medical school has also included serving as the Department of Physiology’s graduate program director, organizing an annual Graduate Research Day, chairing the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and serving on the Admissions Committee for the University System of Georgia’s MD/PhD Program.
Brands earned his doctoral degree in physiology from the University of Missouri in Columbia and worked as a research associate in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center before joining the faculty there in 1989.