Sally Hodder, M.D., director of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI) and professor of medicine in the WVU School of Medicine, has been named the new faculty leader of the WVU Mountains of Excellence: Addressing Health Disparities.

WVU is committed to nurturing the desire to innovate, to find solutions, and to make the world a better place—in every classroom, in every laboratory, and in every discipline across our University. Five initial areas of strength, termed Mountains of Excellence, where the potential for growth and substantial return on investment makes sense, have been identified. The Mountains of Excellence build on WVU’s strengths in addressing issues important to West Virginia and have a great potential for teamwork across multiple disciplines.

“Dr. Sally Hodder is the ideal person to lead WVU’s efforts as we focus on collaborating with our citizens to improve the health outcomes across the state,” said Melanie C. Page, associate vice president for creative and scholarly activity, “Dr. Hodder has already been hard at work as WVCTSI director, and that experience, coupled with her years of work with disparate or underserved populations in AIDS and infectious disease research, give her the capacity and the wisdom to provide visionary leadership for our faculty working in this Mountain.”

“The mission of this Mountain of Excellence is one that is very close to my heart, and I am honored to be chosen to lead the effort. I’m confident that by really energizing collaborative, interdisciplinary teams, we can bring change and make a difference in Appalachian health,” Hodder said.

Hodder received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine. Subsequently, Hodder was on the School of Medicine faculty at CWRU and then served as vice president of virology medical affairs at Bristol-Myers Squibb. 
She left Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2005 to return to academia and established an adult HIV clinical research program addressing disparate infection rates and HIV treatment outcomes amongst African-Americans compared with white individuals.

In addition to health disparities, the additional Mountains of Excellence include: achieving international leadership in radio astronomy, utilizing shale gas responsibly, promoting stewardship of water resources, and improving STEM education and scientific literacy.