Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
William A Muller, MD, PhD

William A Muller, MD, PhD

Professor of Pathology

Focus of Work

Bio

After receiving my MD and PhD degrees from the Cornell/Rockefeller Program, I performed an Internship in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital followed by a Residency in Academic Pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. During Residency, I spent the better part of two years in the lab of Michael A. Gimbrone, Jr. Following Residency, I was recruited back to The Rockefeller University to start my independent career as a researcher in 1987.

At Rockefeller I combined my...[Read full text]
After receiving my MD and PhD degrees from the Cornell/Rockefeller Program, I performed an Internship in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital followed by a Residency in Academic Pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. During Residency, I spent the better part of two years in the lab of Michael A. Gimbrone, Jr. Following Residency, I was recruited back to The Rockefeller University to start my independent career as a researcher in 1987.

At Rockefeller I combined my interests and training in leukocytes and vascular biology to study their interaction during the inflammatory response, focusing on basic mechanisms that would be relevant to all inflammatory diseases. During that time I had an adjunct appointment in the Department of Pathology at Cornell Medical School where I was an Attending Pathologist on the Autopsy Service and taught in the medical school. I co-developed the problem-based learning curriculum in the Pathology Course, which was extremely successful and within a few years became the model for the intergrated second year curriculum. In 1997 I was recruited to join the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical Center full time, where I stayed until being recruited to Northwestern as Chair of Pathology in 2007.

Over the years I have held many leadership positions in National and International Scientific Organizations including the American Society for Investigative Pathology (Chair of Program Committee, Chair of Research and Science Policy Committee, Councilor) and the North American Vascular Biology Organization (President, Chair of Program Committee, Secretary/Treasurer. I have received several major awards including election as a AAAS Fellow, the Rouse-Whipple Award from ASIP, and a MERIT Award from NIH. I have been active in training the next generation of scientists and physicians.

At Feinberg School of Medicine, I continued to pursue my interests in Pathology and Inflammation, hiring a number of outstanding and successful investigators with complementary interests. During this time on the clinical side we also successfully transitioned to subspecialty signout in Surgical Pathology, greatly expanded our Diagnostic Molecular Pathology Lab, opened a state-of-the-art Cytogenetics Lab, recruited pathologists to sign out both cytopathology and surgical pathology, and began a successful program to evaluate and fund research by Residents and Fellows.

Since stepping down as Chair in July, 2016 I have devoted most of my time to gearing up my research lab and expanding into new areas. I continue to Attend on the Autopsy Service, and am happy to help the Department of Pathology in any way I can.[Shorten text]

Academic Focus

Most diseases are due to or involve a significant component of inflammation. My lab studies the inflammatory response at the cellular and molecular level. We are focused on the process of diapedesis, the "point of no return" in inflammation where leukocytes squeeze between tightly apposed endothelial cells to enter the site of inflammation. We have identified and cloned several molecules that are critical to the process of diapedesis (PECAM (CD31), CD99, and VE-cadherin) and are studying how ...[Read full text]Most diseases are due to or involve a significant component of inflammation. My lab studies the inflammatory response at the cellular and molecular level. We are focused on the process of diapedesis, the "point of no return" in inflammation where leukocytes squeeze between tightly apposed endothelial cells to enter the site of inflammation. We have identified and cloned several molecules that are critical to the process of diapedesis (PECAM (CD31), CD99, and VE-cadherin) and are studying how they regulate the inflammatory response using in vitro and in vivo models. We have recently described the Lateral Border Recycling Compartment, a novel para-junctional organelle that contains PECAM and CD99 and is critical for diapedesis to occur. We are currently investigating how this compartment regulates diapedesis in the hope of finding novel targets for anti-inflammatory therapy.

Our inflammatory models include atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, ischemia/reperfusion injury, stroke, dermatitis, multiple sclerosis, peritonitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. We are also using 4-dimensional intravital microscopy to view the inflammatory response in real time in living animals.[Shorten text]

Clinical Focus

My clinical duties are on the adult autopsy service where I currently serve as Attending Pathologist with 25% effort, covering the service at least one week per month.

Keywords


Education and Certification

  • PhD: Rockefeller U (1981)
  • MD: Cornell U Medical Ca (1982)
  • Internship: Massachusetts General Hospital (1983)
  • Residency: Brigham & Women's Hospital (1987)
  • Board Certification: Anatomic Pathology