Dr. Juan Alfonzo, Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, Department of Microbiology, has been named director of the Center for RNA Biology, effective October 1, 2017. Ohio State’s Center for RNA Biology houses the single largest group of RNA experts in the country – more than 200 faculty, staff, students and postdocs representing biology, medicine, agriculture, mathematics, physics and chemistry.
Dr. Alfonzo will provide the leadership and strategic direction to advance RNA life sciences research and education at Ohio State. He will build on the center’s existing strengths in RNA biology to increase extramural funding for the center, strengthen existing partnerships, encourage new collaborations through interdisciplinary initiatives and outreach and promote the training of students and postdocs. He will also work to attract and retain stellar faculty and recruit the next generation of scholars to the university.
Dr. Alfonzo is well-qualified to take on this role. He is a dedicated researcher whose work focuses on RNA processing events that are unique to trypanosomes and have the potential to be exploited as targets for the design of therapies against protozoan diseases. As a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology since 2002, Dr. Alfonzo has a successful track record of extramural funding and publications and he has mentored numerous faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students. He is a member of Ohio State’s Biochemistry Program, an interdisciplinary graduate program that trains students to investigate the biochemical bases of life and disease. Dr. Alfonzo earned his BS and PhD in microbiology from Indiana University-Bloomington.