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School of Medicine Greenville

New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Krista Blackwell

Late in her undergraduate college years, Krista Blackwell realized she wanted to do research and begin a career in the biomedical sciences. She was a student researcher and enjoyed bench research and the process of scientific discovery. 

It was several years later while she was studying for her Ph.D. in physiology at Howard University College of Medicine, that she discovered a love for the classroom. “I knew after my initial teaching experiences as a TA at Howard that this would always be important in my career,” says Blackwell, Ph.D. As a Howard University student, Blackwell became involved in the Upward Bound Program at Catholic University and that helped solidify her decision. She later participated in a postdoctoral teaching program at The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) that allowed her to gain formal training as an educator.

Dr. Blackwell joined USC School of Medicine Greenville (SOMG) in mid-November as an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Sciences. Blackwell comes to SOMG after serving as an Assistant Professor, Course Director, Curriculum Lead, Master’s Program Academic Advisor and Assistant Dean of Curriculum in Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Most recently, she served as the Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Medical Scholars Track Director in the Rutgers School of Graduate Studies in Newark. Blackwell has taught and directed courses and led 500 hours of individual advising per academic year, ensuring medical scholars were academically and professionally achieving their best. Blackwell was also involved in pipeline programs that focused on increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in science and medicine.

Dr. Blackwell will serve as physiology curriculum lead and a module director at SOMG, teaching renal and cardiovascular physiology in the upcoming curricular refresh. The assistant professor hopes to focus on helping her students apply the physiology they learn in the classroom to a clinical setting and “to continually use this knowledge in understanding how all these elements integrate in the body systems.”

Says Blackwell, “I look forward to giving lectures and interacting with medical students in the semesters ahead and helping them build their science foundation as future physicians.” 

As part of the Lifestyle Medicine Curriculum faculty at SOMG, Blackwell will be co-teaching in lifestyle medicine and culinary medicine electives. She also plans to develop new research in medical education. 

“For me, there is a joy that I feel standing in front a group of students, sharing information and helping to advance their learning regarding a particular topic,” Blackwell says. “Sometimes physiology can be difficult, so I like to have review sessions and share resources, such as question books or textbooks, breaking down the details of a topic to help students succeed in their coursework.”

“I look forward to being a part of the diverse team of faculty in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and making connections with the students in the classroom here at SOMG,” Blackwell adds.

Dr. Blackwell grew up in Anderson, S.C. and is returning home. Blackwell’s parents are elated to have her back in the state, and she is looking forward to putting roots in Greenville with her daughter. Blackwell is excited to be teaching tomorrow’s physicians, many of whom will practice medicine in South Carolina.

Outside the academic setting at Rutgers, Blackwell volunteered with the health and wellness collective of the New Hope Baptist Church and as a board member of the Mary Eliza Mahoney Health Center for the City of Newark, New Jersey.

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