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From the College of Natural Sciences

A Transition in the CNS Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Facilities

Dean Paul Goldbart informed members of the college community about an upcoming leadership change in the Office of Research and Facilities.

I am writing to let you know that Dean Appling has informed me he wishes to retire from UT Austin in December 2020. Dean has served with vision, insight, and deep commitment for nine years as associate dean for research and facilities, a critically important role in the dean's office, during which time he has helped lead transformative changes throughout Natural Sciences.

Having first joined the faculty 35 years ago, Dean, the Lester J. Reed Professor in Biochemistry, came to his position in the dean's office having established himself as a highly accomplished researcher and educator. His work on the mechanisms that cause neural tube defects played a role in decisions by this country and others to begin fortifying foods with folic acid to help prevent birth defects. His mentoring and teaching of generations of students developed a strong legacy of scientific leaders at UT. His leadership as an administrator helped drive excellence throughout our college by shaping our success in faculty recruitment, by enhancing our research capabilities, by renovating teaching and research space including Welch Hall, by driving strategic research funding initiatives, and through the implementation of the Stengl-Wyer Endowment Program.

Dean oversaw the creation of a college-wide master space plan in 2013, which became a model for the campus due to its thoughtful approach to long-term needs in education and research. Under Dean's leadership, the college also created a new office to broaden research and grant support, Strategic Research Initiatives, which oversees important activities, from the awarding of CNS Catalyst Grants to support for multi-investigator and institutional training grants. Dean has also been a stabilizing force in times of crisis by organizing efforts and shepherding resources in response to events such as the 2015 Bastrop fires then threatening our Stengl Lost Pines Biological Field Station and Hurricane Harvey's battering of the Marine Science Institute in 2017. His former employee and current associate vice president for research development in the VPR's office Jennifer Lyon once described Dean to me as not only a fantastic mentor and colleague but also someone "who has dedicated his career to making UT and UT researchers excellent." I couldn't agree more, and I am deeply grateful for Dean's many outstanding contributions to our community.

I am pleased to report that Professor Andreas Matouschek has agreed to serve as the college's next associate dean for research and facilities. Andreas is the director of the Center for Biomedical Research Support in the Office of the Vice President for Research. His early research provided the seminal application of phi-value analysis to the study of protein folding. More recently, his group, now in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, has shaped our understanding of the machinery that digests proteins and informed our view of how cells control their proteome. Since arriving at UT in 2012, Andreas has contributed effectively to a wide range of college and departmental strategic efforts, and I am excited that he has agreed to become the newest member of the college leadership team. Andreas will assume the post this summer, working alongside Dean Appling for the second half of 2020.

It is a pleasure to express my sincere thanks both to Dean and to Andreas. Please join me in wishing Dean well and in welcoming Andreas to his new post.

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Friday, 27 January 2023

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