Roth named interim dean of graduate school

By Robin Russell / Feb. 19-28, 2011

Dr. Michael Roth
Dr. Michael Roth

Dr. Michael Roth, associate dean of the UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, has been named interim dean. He succeeds Dr. Melanie Cobb, professor of pharmacology who has served as dean since 2003 and who will continue her research and teaching.

Since 2004, Dr. Roth has shepherded the expansion of the Division of Basic Science to include training opportunities in 10 areas of science and three subspecialty areas. As interim dean, Dr. Roth will oversee the education needs of more than 600 doctoral students and 500 postdoctoral fellows, supervise the graduate program chairs, and oversee the International Office.

“Dr. Roth understands more about the importance and intricacies of graduate education than anyone else on our campus,” Dr. Cobb said.

“His dedication and contributions to graduate education on our campus are writ large,” said Dr. J. Gregory Fitz, executive vice president for academic affairs, provost and dean of UT Southwestern Medical School. “Over the past 25 years, he has played integral roles at every level of the graduate school, including as a teacher, dissertation mentor and administrator.”

Dr. Roth, also vice chairman of biochemistry, joined the faculty in 1985 after completing postdoctoral research as a fellow of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with Drs. Mary Jane Gething and Joseph Sambrook. Recruiting top-notch science students has been his passion.

“Ultimately, the science that goes on will never be better than the people doing the work,” he said. “It’s critically important that we attract the very best people that we can. I’m pleased to serve in this capacity.”

Dr. Roth’s research interests include the discovery of small molecules that affect intracellular processes in cancer cells, the identification of the protein targets of these small molecules and the mechanisms by which proteins are transported within mammalian cells. He was elected in 2005 to the UT Academy of Health Science Education.

He earned his doctorate in molecular cell biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After majoring in French literature at Davidson College, he taught in the Virginia public school system for two years.

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Dr. Greg Fitz holds the Nadine and Tom Craddick Distinguished Chair in Medical Science and the Atticus James Gill, M.D., Chair in Medical Science.

Dr. Roth holds the Diane and Hal Brierley Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Research.