Roth appointed associate dean for graduate school

Dr. Michael Roth, professor of biochemistry, has been named associate dean for Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences effective June 1.

Dr. Roth succeeds Dr. Philip Perlman, who is joining the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Md., as a senior scientific officer, supporting the research of HHMI investigators on the East Coast.

As associate dean, Dr. Roth will oversee the graduate school's doctoral programs and will have responsibility for postdoctoral affairs on campus.

"Mike has a long-standing interest in graduate education, and over the years at UT Southwestern has taken on a number of responsible jobs in the graduate school," said Dr. Melanie Cobb, dean of the graduate school.

Among Dr. Roth's extensive experience with graduate programs, he helped design the original curriculum for the first-year core course that all graduate students must take. The core course lets students know what's happening in many different fields, but Dr. Roth said it had an unintended benefit as well.

"In that first year, students get to know one another. Once they move into their chosen areas, they still have friends all over campus, across all the departments," fostering communication  among different disciplines, he said.

Dr. Roth currently is chairman of the Postdoctoral Advisory Committee. In his position as associate dean, he will lead an initiative to provide additional support programs for postdoctoral researchers.

"Mike has many ideas about graduate and postdoctoral education that will help us elevate the quality of graduate education and usher in the postdoctoral program with thoughtfulness," Dr. Cobb said. "Postdoctoral fellows have been an under-recognized research force throughout the scientific community. We must do a better job as faculty in helping them develop skills important for successful independent careers of their choice."

Dr. Roth holds the Diane and Hal Brierley Chair in Biomedical Research. His research focuses on understanding how proteins move information in and out of cells to control various metabolic processes and immune functions.

Dr. Roth earned his doctorate through the cellular and molecular biology program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1985.

Dr. Perlman joined UT Southwestern in 1990 as a professor of molecular biology. His research focuses on the molecular genetics of yeast mitochondria. He became associate dean for the graduate school in 1993 and served as acting dean from 2000 to 2002. 

Dr. Perlman recently ended a three-year stint as the John P. Perkins, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor for Graduate Education. The three-year, rotating appointment is awarded to faculty of any rank for outstanding contributions to the graduate school.

"Dr. Perlman made great contributions to the graduate school, not the least of which was increasing class size over the course of several years to 100, the number of students who will matriculate in 2004," Dr. Cobb said.


Media contact: Amanda Siegfried