Message from Department Head
As many of you probably already heard or read in the press, this past year has been a year of unprecedented sets of “records” for UT Knoxville: record breaking enrollment (both incoming freshmen students and record retention rates), fundraising, and research growth. This upward trajectory is projected to continue this year. The BCMB department has also seen parallel successes: the percentage of funded faculty increased again by 11.5% in the last year. As a result, the direct research expenditure grew by 29.5% and the number of publications per faculty member also increased. This is testament of the quality of our faculty who remain committed and successful in securing federal funding to support their cutting-edge research.
BCMB remains the most sought-after undergraduate concentration in biology. The number of students declaring a major or minor in BCMB grew by an outstanding 37.3% this year. The BCMB faculty keep thinking about curriculum offerings and adjustments to make sure the education we provide is relevant and is delivered using evidence-based best practices. Our undergraduate and graduate students continue to receive accolades, several of which you will read about in this newsletter. This year has also seen Professor Bruce McKee, a former BCMB department head, retire. We saw it fitting to reflect on how far we have gone as a department and our evolution as a faculty by summarizing the history of the BCMB department. I hope you will enjoy learning or for some of you, remembering the evolution of the BCMB department as we know it today. This newsletter highlights the work of a postdoctoral fellow and a graduate student, both originally from Ghana as well as a second graduate student native of Tennessee. We also introduce you to Amit Joshi, our most recently hired faculty colleague. I hope you will appreciate reading their stories and academic interests and see how they each bring unique perspectives to support the ongoing research in the department.
I would like to thank many of you for generously supporting BCMB this year and in the past. We will continue to ensure your investment is impactful and meaningful. I will close to wish all the best. To another great year on Rocky Top and, Go Vols!
Gladys Alexandre, Professor and Head