New associate dean to lead strategic initiatives

The College of Science welcomes Matthew Andrews as the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Administration, effective August 16, 2016. Andrews is currently a McKnight Presidential Professor of Biology and founding director of the Bio-Translational Research Center at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD).

A newly created position, the associate dean will help advance the educational, research, diversity and outreach missions of the College of Science and will provide leadership to faculty in developing policies and programs to improve student and faculty success. Andrews will also develop, implement and evaluate short/long-range strategic goals and objectives, develop and streamline policies and procedures, monitor strategic metrics and budget, and assist with the administration and operations of the College.

“I am delighted to have Dr. Andrews join the College’s executive leadership team. He has an outstanding record of accomplishment as a scientist and as an administrative leader,” said Sastry G. Pantula, dean of the College of Science.

“I think he will make valuable contributions to the overall academic excellence and operational efficiencies of our College.”

Andrews’ research is focused on the function of gene products involved in hibernation and its translational applications in the areas of hypothermia, ischemia/reperfusion injury, cardiac function and organ preservation. He has received numerous research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other state and federal agencies.

With a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, the Bio-Translational Research Center, founded by Andrews, promotes the commercialization of intellectual property generated at UMD. Andrews and his co-inventors have received numerous patents to develop innovative methods to prevent or reduce ischemic damage and reperfusion injury in tissues and organs.

Andrews’ primary research project at the Center was to advance the development of beta-hydroxybutyrate and melatonin components so that they can be used as a therapy to extend the duration someone survives after suffering high blood loss, particularly for those serving in the military.

The molecular biologist has collaborated on numerous peer-reviewed publications in his area of expertise—genetic factors controlling mammalian hibernation. His ground-breaking research on hibernating mammals and its implications for human health has garnered significant media attention.

At UMD, he runs a busy and productive lab in the biology department with postdoctoral associates, graduate students and undergraduate researchers who are currently attempting to identify genes and proteins that are responsible for the physiological characteristics of hibernation in the 13-lined ground squirrel. Prior to joining UMD, Andrews was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics at North Carolina State University (NCSU).

Andrews will bring to bear his rich and varied experiences as well as his commitment to diversity in science in his new position. As a mentor in the NIH-funded Minority Access to Research Centers programs at both NCSU and Duluth, he advised and guided minority and first-generation science students on research projects.

“I am excited and grateful to have been selected for this important new role. The College of Science is well positioned in terms of depth and breadth of expertise, strong culture of innovation, a well thought out Strategic Plan, and its deep commitment to diversity to prepare our students for success in the 21st century,” said Andrews.

Andrews brings an impressive record of administrative service and scientific leadership. He served as Head of the Department of Biology at UMD from 2006-2010 and founded the Graduate Studies Program in integrated biosciences, the first Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Currently, the program has over 50 graduate students researching topics ranging from biochemistry to environmental science.

Andrews has advised and mentored numerous students and postdoctoral associates during his career. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Research at UMD, the Distinguished Alumni Award in the College of Science and Technology at Central Michigan University and the McKnight Presidential Professorship of the University of Minnesota.

A native of Michigan, Andrews earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, his master’s from Central Michigan University and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

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