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University of Texas at Austin directors chosen for Marine Science Institute, Biological Sciences

Behavioral ecologist Lee A. Fuiman and microbiologist Henry R. Bose Jr. have been named directors of the university’s Marine Science Institute and School of Biological Sciences, respectively.

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AUSTIN, Texas—Behavioral ecologist Lee A. Fuiman and microbiologist Henry R. Bose Jr. have been named directors of the university’s Marine Science Institute and School of Biological Sciences, respectively.

Both assumed the directorships this month. Fuiman replaces Dr. Wayne Gardner, who was Marine Science Institute (MSI) director for eight years. Professor Bose was named School of Biological Sciences director after serving in an interim capacity since the death of Dr. Paul Gottlieb in November 2003.

Their appointments in the College of Natural Sciences were announced by the college’s dean, Mary Ann Rankin.

“Both are articulate, talented scientists who understand the priorities of their areas,” Rankin said. “Fuiman has excelled at overseeing previous administrative projects and is well-respected by peers. The same is true of Bose, who has a broad understanding of biology that will serve him well in representing the school’s diverse faculty.”

Fuiman has been an active researcher at the MSI for 16 years and has spearheaded several outreach efforts. He developed the institute’s first open house and its Web site, which he maintains.

As director of the MSI, he intends to hire additional faculty to broaden the research subjects covered at the institute and its educational initiatives. Thirteen faculty conduct research at the institute’s Port Aransas location and provide teaching support for an undergraduate degree program in marine and freshwater biology. That degree is administered by the School of Biological Sciences at the university’s main campus in Austin.

“The research productivity and academic program at the MSI have steadily improved over the past decade, and I’m determined to maintain that and to expand the institute to a level of world prominence,” said Fuiman, who will hold the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Regents Chair in Marine Science as director.

He will also continue studying fish and marine mammal behavior and ecology. Those studies include in-the-lab analyses of the effects of factors such as pesticides on fish development and survival. In addition, he has used monitoring devices on marine mammals in remote locations to understand their physiology and behavior and that of the fish they prey on.

That research has demonstrated that seals conserve energy underwater by gliding along for parts of dives rather than actively swimming. More recently, Fuiman helped demonstrate the unique features of hunting and other dives of Weddell seals in Antarctica, which should guide conservation efforts for other, threatened marine mammals such as sea lions.

Fuiman received a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Long Island University’s Southampton College in 1974. Master’s and doctor’s degrees in fishery biology followed from Cornell University in 1977 and the University of Michigan in 1983.

He helped found the Early Life History section of the American Fisheries Society and is a member of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. In addition to receiving a College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, his honors include an Antarctic Service Medal of the United States of America from the National Science Foundation.

Bose, holder of the Mary M. Betzner Morrow Centennial Chair in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, was founding director of the college’s Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology in 1993. He became its associate director in 1997 and helped revise molecular biology courses on campus that following year. In 1998, he also helped restructure biological sciences activities on campus.

That reorganization led to the creation of the School of Biological Sciences in 1999 to replace separate departments that had been in place for almost 100 years. As the school’s director, Bose will oversee the academic and research activities of 96 faculty in the school’s sections of Integrative Biology, Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Neurobiology.

“My goals are to see excellence in life sciences continue to improve, promote interaction between individuals in various disciplines and address our teaching issues,” Bose said, noting that life-science enrollment has boomed after a decline in the technology job market as more students consider health-care careers.

Bose’s research is directed at defining how the v-rel oncogene causes normal lymphocytes to become cancerous. The oncogene is a mutated member of a family of genes whose protein products play a central role in regulating cell growth and programmed cell death. His laboratory is identifying the genes regulated by v-rel that lead to the development of cancer.

Bose received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Elmhurst College in 1962 and a master’s and doctor’s degree in microbiology from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1967.

He is a member of the American Society for Virology and the American Society for Microbiology and other scientific organizations. Bose’s professional commitments have included being an associate editor of the prestigious Virology journal.

For more information contact: Barbra Rodriguez, College of Natural Sciences, 512-232-0675.