Dr. Joseph Brewer
It was once said that education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world. Thus, Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) is thankful to have faculty members such as Joseph W. Brewer, Ph.D., who are inspired to educate the next generation of physicians to make an impact in the world. Dr. Brewer serves LUCOM as the Associate Dean for Research.
When asked where his motivation to teach medicine originated, Dr. Brewer responded, “As an undergraduate student at Auburn University, I was blessed with outstanding teachers that brought the biological sciences to life for me. I decided to go to graduate school and pursue a career in academia, combining biomedical research and teaching.”
After graduating with a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Auburn University, Dr. Brewer went on to continue his studies at Duke University ultimately receiving a Ph.D. in Immunology. Nonetheless, it was his passion for bringing sciences to life for others that led him to complete his post-doctoral fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Dr. Brewer spent fourteen years as a faculty member after completing his education where he was dedicated to medical and graduate education in biomedical sciences; serving eight years at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, and six years at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. In addition to the numerous students Dr. Brewer has taught in the classroom, he has mentored five doctoral students and one-post doctoral fellow.
Even with a busy schedule of teaching and mentoring, Dr. Brewer still made time for his research. As an independent investigator, he maintained an active research program, supported by extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health. His laboratory investigated the role of a cellular stress response mechanism, termed the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR). The UPR plays a key role in the differentiation of B-lymphocytes into plasma cells that secrete thousands of antibody molecules each second. Antibodies protect the body against infection and can mediate autoimmune diseases when produced by autoreactive B cells. Importantly, UPR signaling has also been implicated in a number of pathophysiologic processes such as cancer.
It was last fall when Dr. Brewer came upon an article that Liberty University was branching into medical education. Commenting on learning about LUCOM, Dr. Brewer said, “When I first learned about the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Liberty, I was very excited. To be a part of helping build a Christian medical school, literally from the ground up, would be a once in a lifetime experience.” It was shortly after that search when Dr. Brewer reached out to Dr. Ronnie Martin (Dean of Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine), inquiring about the faculty positions and from there, the hiring process began. “My wife and I are so humbled that God opened the door for us to be a part of this incredible blessing.”
Dr. Brewer is not only an educator of science and medicine. He also is an educator in his home church alongside his wife, Pamela, with previous experience in leading adult bible study classes and in children’s ministries. Liberty University College of Osteopathic medicine is blessed to have faculty members such as Dr. Brewer who are passionate about medicine and education.