Realizing What's Possible

April 19, 2022 by Sara Falligant

New professorship in Radiology honors department’s first female full professor

When Bronwyn Jones joined the faculty of the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science in 1981 — and when she was promoted to full professor in 1990, becoming the 28th woman to do so at Johns Hopkins Medicine — she didn’t see herself as a role model.

Bronwyn Jones the first female full professor in Johns Hopkins Radiology
Bronwyn Jones joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins Radiology in 1981 and was promoted to full professor in 1990.

“I was just always very interested in teaching and helping people come to their full potential,” Jones says.

To Karen Horton, the department’s first female chair, Jones has served as a career mentor. Horton connected with Jones over an interest in gastrointestinal radiology, and Jones contributed to the first piece of research Horton had published in an academic journal as a Johns Hopkins medical student.

“When I was a student working with Dr. Jones, I saw a female radiology professor in a very male-dominated field who was able to succeed and excel in academia,” Horton says. “This gave me hope and confidence that I could succeed here at Hopkins.”

Jones retired in 2015 but has continued her relationship with Hopkins by funding the Bronwyn Jones, M.D. Professorship. It is the department’s first named for a female faculty member and part of the professorship matching gift program, which pairs donor support with matching funds from an anonymous gift to establish 65 new endowed full professorships across Johns Hopkins University and Medicine.

Horton says an endowed professorship is an impactful way to honor Jones’ legacy.

“I’m so proud of what Dr. Jones accomplished,” Horton says. “In her generation, there were very few women in radiology. Thankfully, radiology now attracts many women.”

Johns Hopkins Chair of Radiology Karen Horton
Karen Horton, who worked closely with Jones as a medical student, is Johns Hopkins’ first female chair of Radiology.

The professorship will support a faculty member internally focused in diagnostics who embodies John Hopkins Medicine’s tripartite mission of education, research, and clinical care. Jones hopes the recipient will also share her passion for gastrointestinal (GI) radiology, computed tomography (CT) of the GI tract, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the GI tract.

“I’d like the best person for the position, and if that happens to be a woman, that would make me very pleased,” she adds.

Jones was in the first class of the Medical School at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Out of the 110 students enrolled in the six-year program, only 30 graduated. Of those graduates, only three were women, and Jones graduated at the top of her class.

She was later recruited to Hopkins, where she became the first female full professor of radiology.

Jones and Horton worked together from the time Horton was chief resident, each of them taking on new leadership roles over time.

“One of the highlights of my career was seeing Dr. Horton become the chair of Radiology,” Jones says. “There are a lot more senior faculty who are women than there used to be, which is fabulous.”

In addition to being the first female full professor in her department, Jones also served as the director of the Johns Hopkins Swallowing Center. She was a founding member and is past president of the Dysphagia Research Society and past president of the Society of Gastrointestinal Radiologists. She has also authored more than 120 original scientific publications, more than 60 book chapters, and three books.

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