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(Boston) – Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter has appointed Dr. David E. Levin Chair of the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.
He succeeds Dr. Carlos B. Hirschberg, who for 13 years served as Professor and founding Chair of the department. He requested to step down effective May 1, 2011 to pursue research and other academic interests.
“I am very confident that Dr. Levin will continue the tradition of excellence established by founding Chair Dr. Carlos Hirschberg,” said Dean Hutter.
Dr. Levin joined the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine in 2009 as Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology. He also holds a joint appointment as Professor of Microbiology in the Boston University School of Medicine.
Dr. Levin uses yeast as a model genetic system to understand molecular mechanisms of stress signaling and physiologic responses to environmental stresses. His group is best known for their work on fungal cell wall stress signaling, which has implications for anti-fungal drug development.
Their recent discovery of a novel mechanism for control of gene expression in yeast that is evolutionarily conserved in humans has broad implications for therapeutic gene silencing. They discovered that genes expressed solely under certain stress conditions are normally maintained in a silent state by a process called transcriptional attenuation. Attenuation occurs commonly in bacteria, but was not known previously to operate in eukaryotic cells (those with a nucleus).
Dr. Levin received a BS in Zoology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, training with Nobel laureate, J. Michael Bishop. His first faculty position was in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he rose from Assistant Professor to Full Professor with tenure.
Dr. Levin is the recipient of numerous awards including a postdoctoral fellowship from the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund, a Junior Faculty Research Award and a Senior Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society. He has been funded continuously for the past 19 years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH.
Dr. Levin and his research group have published more than 50 research papers in prestigious journals including Cell, Science, Genes & Development, PLoS Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Journal of Cell Biology, and Journal of Biological Chemistry. He has also published invited reviews of his work on fungal cell wall stress signaling in Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, Current Opinion in Cell Biology, Journal of NIH Research, and Genetics. Dr. Levin has served as a charter member of NIH study sections and is a member of the editorial boards of Eukaryotic Cell and Yeast.
Mission of Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine:
The Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine will be the premier academic dental institution promoting excellence in dental education, research, oral health care, and community service to improve the overall health of the global population.
We will provide outstanding service to a diverse group of students, patients, faculty, staff, alumni, and healthcare professionals within our facilities, our community, and the world.
We will shape the future of the profession through scholarship, creating and disseminating new knowledge, developing and using innovative technologies and educational methodologies, and by promoting critical thinking and lifelong learning.
We will do so in an ethical, supportive environment, consistent with our core values of respect, truth, responsibility, fairness, compassion; and our operational values of excellence, service and effective communication in synergy with the strategic plan of Boston University.
We will support this mission using responsible financial policies and philanthropy.