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Dr. Blake Hill Takes the Helm as Chair of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department

Renowned researcher and innovator brings a vision for health and environmental impact

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Written by Brad Bobel on March 25, 2024

The CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is thrilled to introduce Blake Hill, PhD, as Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (DOPS). Dr. Hill’s passion for making a difference in health, coupled with an eagerness to face the challenges posed by environmental and climate-induced changes, will propel the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences to new heights at CU Pharmacy.



Dr. Blake Hill, back, with his Hill Lab members, (L-R) Kyle Ross, Micaela Young, and Amanda Travis.

With a passion for advancing pharmaceutical research and a career steeped in building research infrastructure, Hill brings a dynamic perspective to the academic community. Working alongside the faculty and staff of the DOPS, Hill plans to build on their status as a top research department by leveraging existing strengths and developing partnerships across the Anschutz Medical Campus.

"I chose CU Pharmacy because, like our entire team, I am inspired to make a difference by understanding and improving health," Hill said. "The opportunities here to work with world-class faculty, trainees, and staff to discover and deliver new therapeutics excited me." 

Relocating a research laboratory that focuses on mitochondrial quality control in health and disease, structural biology, and drug discovery and stepping into a new role comes with its share of excitement and challenges, but Hill emphasizes the support he's received from the University and his team. Before Hill arrived at CU Pharmacy, he previously worked for John Hopkins and then the Medical College of Wisconsin.

"Fortunately, with the support of Wisconsin’s research team including Kyle Ross, who moved with me, as well as my new PRA Micaela Young and Lab Manager Amanda Travis, the lab is up and running productively,” Hill said. “I am also fortunate and grateful to have the support of the DOPS faculty, especially the critical assistance from Shelly Lange, Rochelle Cassell, and Drs. Raj Agrawal, Michele Frankovich, and Dean Altiere.” 

Reflecting on his past experiences and the people who helped prepare him for this pivotal role, Hill shared the following highlights of research and service throughout his career. 

"At Johns Hopkins, I led the design and creation of the University-wide Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility, and at the Medical College of Wisconsin, we built drug discovery resources utilized by all our colleagues,” Hill said. “I have also been gifted to have many service opportunities in departmental and university governance as well as on a national scientific society where I served in numerous leadership roles, including Ethics, Financial, and Governing committees." 

The connections Hill has made and the people he has worked with have continuously inspired him to make an impact in the community, while training and helping his team grow. 



Dr. Hill working in his lab researching how proteins regulate mitochondrial homeostasis in healthy and diseased cells.

“I’ve been blessed to work with incredibly talented people who have inspired me to create positive change. I love being part of a team and find it energizing to work with others towards a common goal and witnessing trainees, faculty, and staff thrive,” Hill said. 

Looking to the future, Hill has envisioned building key relationships and harnessing the scientific resources available on campus to further grow the DOPS.

“To accomplish this, we are building a Pharmaceutical Genomics program that partners with key stakeholders across campus and builds on our existing strengths in drug discovery and pharmaceutical biotechnology to discover and deliver personalized medicines to patients, Hill said. “We will also continue to build on our strengths in molecular systems toxicology to address the health issues presented by climate change."

As he considers his impact and legacy, Dr. Hill sees CU Pharmacy at the forefront of historical transformation. 

"We are amid an amazing and exciting Biotechnological and Computational Revolution on a scale with the Industrial Revolution, which provides unique opportunities for those prepared to seize the moment,” Hill said. “We are well positioned to lead the way in creating a future of health for all." 


Learn More About the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department