Today, after 7 years of outstanding leadership and service, Associate Dean for the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS) Dr. Mary O’Riordan is stepping down* from her role. Dr. O’Riordan has been instrumental in advocating for the development of services and support for Michigan Medicine learners engaged in scientific training – including those in the flagship Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS), the umbrella program that provides a path to 14 Ph.D programs in the Medical School.

Dr. O’Riordan will shift more of her energy to her research laboratory, studying innate immunity to bacterial infection, and will continue to be involved in graduate training in a more defined way, through an ongoing NSF (National Science Foundation) Innovations in Education grant and in the Microbiology & Immunology department”. This transition will allow Dr. O’Riordan to bring her time and energy to other priorities. “I’ve been so fortunate to have steady and enthusiastic support from my family and my lab” said Dr. O’Riordan “I am ready to focus energy on their comfort and success.”

Established in 2010, OGPS began with ~6 employees. Dr. O’Riordan worked closely with the Rackham Graduate School and STEM graduate education leaders across the country to bring attention to challenges and opportunities facing graduate and postdoctoral education. Her advocacy and leadership has led to the expansion within OGPS career and professional development programming, mental health & counseling services, and advances in marketing & communications. Additionally, OGPS has also expanded training grant support for faculty and staff. She also raised attention and awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion as key guiding principles for the OGPS mission, ensuring that all Medical School research trainees were encouraged to be fully engaged in the many opportunities that OGPS offers.

We wish Dr. O’Riordan success in her future endeavors.

Dr. Michele Swanson will act as the interim Associate Dean until a permanent leader is appointed. Dr. Swanson has a long and distinguished record of institutional and national leadership and has been with OGPS for 10 years as Director of Postdoctoral Studies; a role she will retain.

*The original announcement for Dr. O’Riordan’s position change was made May 9th, 2022.