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Samuel M. Young, Jr., PhD

The Department of Pediatrics is thrilled to announce that Samuel M. Young, Jr., PhD has accepted the position as a Roper Investigator, Professor with Tenure and Director of the UNC Gene Therapy Center. Dr. Young will join the Department on June 28th, 2024. Dr. Young joins us from the University of Iowa where he is currently appointed as a Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and serves as the Director of the Molecular Auditory Research in the Department of Otolaryngology.

Dr. Young earned his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from Princeton University in 1996 and completed his doctoral work in Genetics and Molecular Biology at our UNC Gene Therapy Center. He completed his PhD under the direction of R. Jude Samulski, PhD.

From 2000-2004, he completed his initial postdoctoral work at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. This work focused on the mechanisms of synaptic vesicle release and fusion and the development of viral vectors for neuronal transduction. From 2004-2009, Dr. Young continued his postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in the Department of Biophysics in Goettingen, Germany.

Upon completion of his postdoctoral work, Dr. Young became a Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. In 2017, Dr. Young accepted an Associate Professor with Tenure position at the University of Iowa. He was appointed Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in 2021 and promoted to Professor with Tenure in 2022.

Dr. Young’s primary areas of research interest involve the synaptic control of auditory information processing and viral vector mediated gene therapy approaches for hearing and balance disorders.

Please join us as we welcome Sam to Chapel Hill!