Robert Palazzo, acting provost, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, and professor of biology, has been appointed to the position of provost after a rigorous national search, it has been announced by President Shirley Ann Jackson. Palazzo assumed his new position July 1.
“Robert Palazzo is an accomplished scientist and teacher, and he is a national leader in his field,” Jackson said. “He brings a wealth of experience to the position of provost. I look forward to continuing our work together toward the goal of elevating Rensselaer into the top tier of technological research universities with global reach and global impact.”
As provost, Palazzo will work closely with the academic divisions to develop leading academic programs and to develop a world-class instructional and research faculty. He also will collaborate with the vice president for research to strengthen the research mission of the Institute.
The decision was reached after an extensive national search involving an outstanding pool of candidates, according to Jackson. She expressed her gratitude to the Core Recruitment Committee for an effective search, and said she “particularly would like to thank committee co-chairs Robert Linhardt, acting director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, and Eddie Ade Knowles, vice president for student life.”
“I am grateful to President Jackson for her confidence in providing me the opportunity to serve, humbled by the extraordinary commitment and generosity of the Board Trustees, and invigorated by the strength and scholarship of the faculty of Rensselaer,” Palazzo said. “The quality of students at Rensselaer brings a deep sense of responsibility to the Office of the Provost to ensure that we offer them the very best in educating them as the technological leaders of tomorrow. What we do for them now will emanate throughout the world, and, as such, reflects the care, wisdom, and scholarship of our faculty.”
Palazzo has been a leader in Rensselaer’s academic community since joining the Institute as a professor of biology in 2002. “Dr. Palazzo has been instrumental in elevating the prestige of Rensselaer’s scientific community as we developed our Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, which now stands on equal footing with many of the world’s most advanced research facilities,” Jackson said. “He also has played an important role in recruiting world-class faculty to lead interdisciplinary research and teaching.”
Palazzo is a national leader in his field, having been elected president of the Federation for American Societies of Experimental Biology (FASEB), a group of 21 societies representing more than 80,000 life scientists across the country. Prior to joining Rensselaer, Palazzo spent time as a visiting professor at Harvard University Medical School, and 10 years in a variety of roles with the University of Kansas, where he chaired the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology that later became the Department of Molecular Biosciences. Prior to his work in Kansas, Palazzo spent three years as an assistant scientist/principal investigator for the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., where he also has served on the Board of Trustees.
A member of many scientific societies, Palazzo is widely published and has chaired symposia for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Cell Biology. He has received numerous grants for research in a range of areas.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a doctorate in biological sciences at Wayne State University, and studied as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia.
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