New Director of the RNA Institute: Dr. J. Andrew Berglund
I am pleased to announce that – after a successful search conducted by an interdisciplinary search committee under the leadership of Distinguished Professor Marlene Belfort – Professor J. Andrew Berglund will join the College of Arts and Sciences as Director of the RNA Institute and Professor of Biological Sciences in the Fall of 2018. Dr. Berglund comes to us from the University of Florida where he was Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a member of the Center for NeuroGenetics. His scientific interest is in neuromuscular diseases with the goal of translating basic science into therapeutic strategies using a combination of biochemical, cellular, genomic and computational approaches.
Dr. Berglund’s scientific career has revolved around understanding the role of RNA in biology. As a graduate student with Professor Michael Rosbash at Brandeis University and as a postdoctoral fellow with Professors Steven Shultz and Thomas Cech at UC Boulder, Dr. Berglund studied the interactions of RNA with proteins. For the last 16 years at the Universities of Oregon and Florida his research group has focused on RNA splicing with an emphasis on understanding the mechanisms of a common form of muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy.
The training of the next generation of scientists is a priority in Dr. Berglund’s career. He has served in several leadership roles with a focus on graduate education, including Graduate School Associate Dean and Interim Dean at the University of Oregon. There he was dedicated to improving the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students, creating professional development opportunities for students, and fundraising. His educational and research pursuits have been supported by the states of Oregon and Florida, by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and by private foundations, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
We are fortunate to have Professor Berglund join the University at Albany’s College of Arts and Sciences as Director of the RNA Institute.