Summer is the time when I get a chance to review the accomplishments and changes that have occurred in SMB since the academic year began (way back in the fall of 2014!). I can tout the faculty’s success in obtaining grants, no mean feat these days. Congratulations to Drs.Pat Hunt, Terry Hassold, Jon Oatley, Susan Wang, and Eric Shelden who were awarded new or renewed funds for their research. Several of our senior faculty also retired this year. We wish John Nilson, Ray Reeves, and Nancy Magnuson the very best and thank them for their outstanding service to SMB and WSU over many years. All three now hold emeritus status so they will continue to be involved with the life of the school although, obviously, a little less directly!
Ray and Nancy were on campus in May during the events that accompanied the three day Reeves/Smerdon Symposium. This symposium was a major success and attracted internationally renowned scientists from around the world to Pullman. The scientific aspects of the symposium were focused on DNA repair mechanisms although it also celebrated the remarkable scientific and teaching careers of Drs. Mick Smerdon and Ray Reeves. Indeed, we were very fortunate to welcome back a number of Smerdon and Reeves trainees, some of whom talked at the symposium. I will add my thanks to Diane Smerdon, who not only organized the entire event, but also made sure that it went off without a hitch. The symposium success was certainly due to all of Diane’s hard work.
Last summer we welcomed two new faculty, Drs. Alan Goodman and Steven Roberts. It has been a great pleasure to see them establish their labs and get their research programs off the ground. During the year we also undertook a new recruiting cycle and successfully hired two new faculty members: Drs. Joy (Wipawee) Winuthayanon and Rey Carabeo. Dr. Winuthayanon will join us from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina as an assistant professor. Joy’s research focus is hormonal regulation in the oviduct during fertilization, pre-implantation embryo development, and embryo transport. Dr. Carabeo was recruited from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland where he serves as a senior lecturer in their microbiology program. Rey is a cell biologist working on Chlamydia pathogenesis. He will be an associate professor and will bring with him several of his current lab colleagues.
As we move into a new academic year, I also wish undergraduate co-ordinator Biddy Bender well on her retirement. She has been assisting all of our undergraduates since 1999. We will miss her larger than life personality and warm welcome in our office.