April 26, 2023 — The 2024 recipient of the ASIP Robbins Distinguished Educator Award is Dr. Jonathon W. Homeister, an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine (Chapel Hill, NC).
The ASIP Robbins Distinguished Educator Award recognizes a senior ASIP member with demonstrated exceptional achievement and contributions to education in pathology with impact at a regional, national, or international level, during their career. The award is named in honor of Dr. Stanley L. Robbins, who was recognized for his significant contributions to pathology education over the course of his career.
Dr. Homeister attended Hope College (Holland, MI) earning a BA magna cum laude in Biology and Chemistry in 1985. At Hope College, Dr. Homeister was a Presidential Scholar and Student Research Fellowship recipient, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He then entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Michigan Medical School (Ann Arbor, MI), earning an MD cum laude in 1992 and a PhD in Pharmacology (through the Rackham School of Graduate Studies) in 1993. Dr. Homeister continued his training in the Anatomic and Experimental Pathology Residency Program at the University of Michigan Medical Center (Ann Arbor, MI) from 1993-1997, earning certification from the American Board of Pathology in 1996. From 1997-2003, Dr. Homeister was a Research Associate in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and from 1999-2003 a Research Instructor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. From 2003-2005, Dr. Homeister served as a Clinical Instructor at the University of Michigan. In 2005, Dr. Homeister moved to the University of North Carolina School of Medicine to become an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and faculty member in the McAllister Heart Institute. Dr. Homeister was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. In 2016, Dr. Homeister became Associate Director of the Autopsy Division of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine.
Dr. Homeister became immersed in teaching almost immediately after joining the faculty of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. At UNC, Dr. Homeister is deeply invested in teaching medical students, dental students, pathology residents and fellows, as well as PhD students pursuing a degree in Pathobiology and Translational Science and related disciplines (such as Vascular Biology). He is a member of the Integrative Vascular Biology Training Program (since 2007), was a member of the Environmental Pathology Training Program (2009-2011), a member of the UNC Program in Translational Medicine (since 2009), a member of the UNC Clinician-Scientist Training Program in Cardiovascular Medicine (since 2009), a member of the Research Fellowships in Hematology/Oncology Training Program (since 2010). Dr. Homeister has also provided leadership to training programs at UNC. In 2008, Dr. Homeister became Associate Director of the Molecular and Cellular Pathology Graduate Program, and he assumed the position of Director of this program in 2012 (which is now designated the Pathobiology and Translational Science Graduate Program). Dr. Homeister served in this capacity until 2021. Dr. Homeister’s teaching in the clinical setting includes interaction of pathology residents performing autopsy services. Dr. Homeister is the director or co-director of a number of classroom courses at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He is the Course Director for Pathology 713 (Molecular and Cellular Pathophysiology of Disease – Mechanisms of Disease; since 2007), Course Director for Pathology 767 (Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cardiovascular Diseases; since 2008), Course Co-Director for Pathology 715 (Molecular and Cellular Pathophysiology of Disease – Systemic Pathology; 2018-2020), Course Director for Dent 127 (General Pathology in the School of Dentistry, since 2018). Dr. Homeister also contributes to the leadership of the medical school curriculum. He is the Director of the Translational Education at Carolina (TEC) Foundation Phase Pathology Coil, and Co-Director of the TEC Foundation Phase Cardiovascular Science Block (since 2019). Overall, Dr. Homeister is the Director of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Undergraduate Medical Education program (since 2018). Dr. Homeister not only directs or co-directs numerous courses and pathology curricula, he spends considerable time in the classroom teaching various kinds of students: medical, dental, and graduate students. His lectures provided in these various settings over the past years are listed in his CV. His percentage of effort devoted to teaching learners in the classroom, clinical setting, and research laboratory exceeds that of the typical faculty member at the UNC School of Medicine. Dr. Homeister is the editor of multiple books that are appropriately utilized as textbooks for students in vascular biology. These include: Cellular and Molecular Pathobiology of Cardiovascular Disease (Willis, Homeister, and Stone; 2014, Elsevier), and Molecular and Translational Vascular Medicine (Homeister and Willis; 2012, Humana Press). He has also contributed chapters to several books that are used as textbooks. Dr. Homeister’s research program has been very productive, producing >52 original research publications, book chapters, and commentaries, and 47 published abstracts. It is a tribute to Dr. Homeister’s dedication to the field that he has accomplished so much as an educator, scholar, and researcher.
In his letter of support, Dr. J. Charles Jennette (Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, former Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine) described Dr. Homeister’s impact at UNC: “…During his time at UNC, in my judgement, Jon has had the greatest impact of any faculty member on the design of innovative and improved pathology content in educational curricula for both medical students and PhD students…more recently, he has taken the lead in innovative pathology content for dental students…”
At the national/international level, Dr. Homeister has been very active and engaged in the career development, educational, and research-focused activities and events of the American Society for Investigative Pathology. He is currently serving as Secretary-Treasurer of the ASIP and a sitting member of the ASIP Council. Dr. Homeister previously served as Chair of the ASIP Program Committee. As the Chair of the Program Committee, Dr. Homeister coordinated the efforts of several committees and Scientific Interest Groups to produce the comprehensive scientific program for the Annual Meeting of the ASIP. Beyond his coordination of committees and groups, Dr. Homeister takes an active direct role each year in the organization of the Graduate Program Director’s Meeting (which focuses on curriculum and related issues affecting graduate training programs in pathobiology), and the Blood Vessel Club (which is focused on hot topics in vascular biology). Dr. Homeister is a member of the ASIP Education Committee and the ASIP Committee for Career Development, and he has made significant contributions to both of these groups related to their activities and events during the Annual Meeting and through other virtual outlets. Among the leadership and membership of the ASIP, Dr. Homeister is recognized as a leader in pathology education and is often called upon to lend his experience in pathology education to initiatives undertaken by the Society.
In her letter of support, Dr. Linda McManus (Professor Emerita, University of Texas Health – San Antonio) described Dr. Homeister’s role with the ASIP: “…through the ASIP Education Committee and Graduate Program Directors in Pathology…Dr. Homeister seeks to enable development and integration of competency-based goals in graduate research education in pathology…these and other innovative approaches address the challenges facing graduate education and training to facilitate the development of a national workforce that will support and advance the biomedical research enterprise…”
Dr. Homeister has been recognized several times for excellence in teaching various groups of learners in different educational settings. Of note, he received the 2010 Joe Wheeler Grisham Award for Excellence in Teaching Graduate Students (selected by the graduate students in the UNC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), the 2017 Fred Dalldorf Teaching Excellence Award for Health Affairs Students (selected by the pathology residents in the UNC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), and the 2017 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine Teaching Scholar award (based upon the nomination for the Chair of the UNC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine). In 2021, Dr. Homeister was inducted as an Honorary Member in the Frank Porter Graham Graduate and Professional Student Honor Society citing his outstanding contributions to the development of graduate and professional education at the University of North Carolina.
In his letter of nomination, Dr. Russell Broaddus (Joe W. and Evelyn M. Grisham Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine) described Dr. Homeister as a “…truly inspiring…dedicated and unselfish faculty member that spends much of his time tirelessly advocating for excellence in student, resident, and fellow education…”
Dr. Homeister will receive the 2024 ASIP Robbins Distinguished Educator Award during the 2024 Annual Meeting of the ASIP in Baltimore, MD (April 2024).