Salary of genomics leader: $350,000

April 12, 2007|By Jonathan Bor | Jonathan Bor,sun reporter

Dr. Claire M. Fraser-Liggett will be paid $350,000 annually to head a new genomics institute at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, officials have disclosed.

The pioneering scientist, who has mapped the genomes of microbes that cause anthrax, cholera and chlamydia, was named to the newly created post last week. She becomes the 43rd-highest-paid employee on the state payroll, according to figures released yesterday by the state Comptroller's Office.

All but 10 of the top 100, whose salaries were provided at The Sun's request, are employees of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. The vast majority are physicians working for the medical school who also generate research grants and patient fees.

The highest-paid state employee is Dr. Stephen T. Bartlett, chief of surgery, who earns an annual salary of $752,000. He is followed by Dr. E. Albert Reece, the medical school dean, $725,000; and Dr. Bartley P. Griffith, chief of cardiac surgery, at $662,000. Other top earners include Dr. David J. Ramsay, president of UMB, at $504,000; and Dr. Robert Gallo, who heads the Institute of Human Virology, $476,000.

The chancellor of the University System of Maryland, William E. Kirwan II, makes $420,000. C.D. "Dan" Mote Jr., president of the University of Maryland, College Park, earns $403,300.

University presidents in the top 100 include Freeman A. Hrabowski of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, $370,000; Earl S. Richardson of Morgan State University, $355,000; Jane M. O'Brien of St. Mary's College, $330,000; and Robert L. Caret of Towson University, $325,000.

Deborah A. Yow, the athletic director whose College Park campus has fielded national championship teams, makes the same as Fraser-Liggett.

Medical school officials said Fraser-Liggett, 51, will begin work by the end of the month, departing as director of the Institute for Human Genomics in Rockville. In Baltimore, she is expected to preside over a staff of 80 to 100, of whom 10 to 20 will be members of the medical school faculty.

The university's Genomic Institute is expected to open by the fall in a building under construction on the west side of Martin Luther King Boulevard. One of its top duties will be to decipher the genes of the various bacteria and viruses that normally live in tissues throughout the human body.

"You really can't understand the complete human organism without understanding this enormous population of microbes that are normally with us," said Dr. James Kaper, chairman of the microbiology department.

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