UAB announces Robert Palazzo as College of Arts & Sciences’ interim dean

Robert E. Palazzo, Ph.D., will be the interim dean of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Provost Linda Lucas today announced that Robert E. Palazzo, Ph.D., will be the interim dean of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences effective Oct. 1.

PalazzoPrefersPalazzo comes to UAB while taking a leave from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., where he has been a professor of biology since 2002. Palazzo was provost of RPI from 2007 to 2011, and served as acting provost prior to that. He was the acting director and director of the Institute’s Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies from 2004 to 2006. Palazzo was chair of the biology department there from 2002 to 2005.

Palazzo was selected to guide the UAB College of Arts and Sciences after careful consideration, says Provost Lucas.

“We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Palazzo. Through his extensive experience as an educator, researcher, leader and mentor, we believe he displays the best combination of qualities needed to lead the College during this transition,” Lucas says.

The UAB College of Arts and Sciences is home to academic disciplines that include the arts, humanities and sciences. It was created after an academic realignment commission reviewed and assessed various options for the organization of UAB’s non-medical schools in 2009.

Committed to the UAB spirit of independence and innovation, the college enables students to design their own majors, participate in undergraduate or graduate research or complete graduate degrees on a five-year fast track. Through productive partnerships, flexible curricula and a bold, interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning, the college is preparing students for success in the ever-changing global marketplace of commerce and ideas.

Palazzo earned his doctoral degree in biological sciences at Wayne State University in 1984; he received his bachelor’s degree in biology there in 1979. He also spent a year as a research associate and completed a three-year post doctorate in the University of Virginia’s biology department.

His previous experience includes serving as a visiting professor at Harvard University Medical School and 10 years with the University of Kansas in a variety of roles, including chair of the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology and professor for the Department of Molecular Biosciences. Prior to his work in Kansas, Palazzo spent three years as an assistant scientist and principal investigator for the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.

Palazzo is on the board of advisors for Scientific American Magazine. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Society for Cell Biology and a Corporation Member of the Marine Biological Laboratory. He is widely published in scientific journals.

His research interests include centrosomes and cellular organization, cell replication and cancer, fertilization and reproduction, regulation of cell motility and drug discovery.

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