Ron Falk, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine, announced today that Janice Jin Hwang, MD, MHS, has been named Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism effective September 1, 2022. Hwang will join UNC from the Yale School of Medicine where she has served as an assistant professor of endocrinology for the past five years while researching the use of novel neuroimaging techniques to understand human metabolism.
“Dr. Hwang is a top physician-scientist who will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Department,” Falk said. “She has demonstrated significant and productive work in diabetes research, and she understands the importance of both the clinical enterprise and clinical research activities of endocrinology and metabolism. This is a wonderful recruitment for endocrinology science, clinical care, and training.”
Hwang expressed her enthusiasm for UNC’s culture of collaboration and her return to the South.
“I am humbled to serve as the Division chief of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and I know I have big shoes to fill as the Division has been so capably led by Dr. John Buse for many years!” Hwang said.
“The most appealing part of assuming this role is the opportunity to work with the incredible faculty and staff at UNC. There is such a wealth of great ideas, enthusiasm, intellectual power coupled with a deep commitment to delivering the highest quality clinical care, and I cannot wait to start working with everyone.”
“I grew up in Greer, South Carolina, and still have family nearby. The opportunity to be closer to home is such a boon for my family.”
Dr. Hwang’s academic interests converge at the intersection of metabolism, neuroscience and imaging. She says she is passionate about clinical research that can help to clarify the underlying mechanisms of disease, particularly how diabetes and obesity impact the brain.
“These types of studies really involve trying to understand human physiology and how a disease impacts physiology. My lab has been working to understand how exposure to high and low blood sugars or high fats can change how the brain functions. I think once you understand a mechanism, then you can truly develop the best and most effective treatments for a disease.”
Hwang uses advanced brain imaging modalities, such as functional MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy coupled with classic investigative techniques in metabolism, to understand the effects of diabetes and obesity on the central nervous system. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association, the Yale Diabetes Research Center, and the Endocrine Fellows Foundation. She is also the recipient of several awards, including the Marilyn Fishman Award for Diabetes Research, the Endocrine Fellows Foundation Young Investigator award, the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation Junior Faculty Scholars Award, and the Metabolism Award for Junior Investigators.
Dr. Hwang received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 2006. She completed internal medicine residency training in 2011, at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she also served as a chief resident. In 2012, she completed fellowship training in endocrinology and metabolism at Massachusetts General Hospital and moved to Yale School of Medicine to continue research training. In 2014, she became an instructor of internal medicine and endocrinology. Since 2016, she has served as an assistant professor of medicine.
“My sincerest hope as a leader is that I will be able to help create an environment where everyone within our division will be maximally empowered to contribute to the overall tripartite mission.”
Hwang will succeed John Buse, MD, PhD, who has guided the division for 15 years.
Read more about Dr. Hwang here.