Professor Yousif Shamoo, director of the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB), has been appointed vice provost for research, effective July 1.
“Yousif has distinguished himself as an award-winning researcher, teacher/mentor and leader,” said Provost George McLendon, who noted that he and President David Leebron selected Shamoo after reviewing the “impressive candidates” for the position provided by the search committee chaired by Paula Sanders, vice provost for academic affairs.
Shamoo said he is very optimistic about the outlook for research at Rice despite fewer federal dollars being available for research and development. “I believe our research ambitions can be realized if we choose to carefully invest our limited resources into areas where we can have national and international success,” he said. “My highly preliminary outlook is to identify areas where Rice can become pre-eminent and to invest effort into developing those foci.”
As vice provost for research, Shamoo said he will “take an active role by listening to faculty, staff and our regional partners to develop goals.”
A professor of biochemistry and cell biology and of ecology and evolutionary biology, Shamoo joined the Rice faculty in 1998 as an assistant professor. For the past six years he has served as director of the IBB, which coordinates and supports interdisciplinary research among faculty, applies for and administers training grants, develops K-12 outreach programs and helps faculty develop their ideas by providing seed grants and assistance with submitting multi-investigator proposals. Just last week Shamoo was overseeing IBB’s Summer Academy, which brings high school juniors to campus to experience college life at a tier-one research institution.
A structural biologist with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Carnegie-Mellon University and a doctorate in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale, Shamoo is interested in the evolution multi-drug resistant pathogens or “superbugs” that plague the health care system. Through his research, he’s trying to predict how resistance will occur and identify new targets and strategies for novel antimicrobial therapies. His work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense.
Shamoo has won the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching at Rice three times. He has been honored multiple times for outstanding teaching in the sciences by Brown College, which also has honored him on more than one occasion as a Distinguished Faculty Associate. He received the Rice Board of Trustees Recognition Award in 2003.
He was a Distinguished Lecturer for the American Society for Microbiology from 2011 to 2013. He is associate editor of Protein, Structure, Function and Bioinformatics and a reviewer for more than a dozen scientific journals.
Shamoo succeeds Vicki Colvin, who was appointed provost of Brown University.