Robert P. Mecham, PhD, has been named interim head of the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology.
Mecham, the Alumni-Endowed Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, replaces Helen Piwnica-Worms, PhD, the Gerty T. Cori Professor, who has been named vice provost, science, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“Bob won the School of Medicine’s distinguished Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award last year for his pioneering research into the structures that join cells into tissues and organs,” says Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “He has been a valued member of the faculty since 1977, and I have every confidence in his ability to lead the department through this transition.”
Mecham focuses most of his research on the extracellular matrix, or the structures between cells that join them together to form tissues and organs.
He was vice chairman of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council from 2002–03 and served as chairperson of the Curriculum Evaluation Committee. He also is a member of several university-wide committees.
A three-time winner of the university’s Distinguished Teacher Award, Mecham has been extensively involved in medical and graduate school instruction. In 2012, he received the Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award.