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Dr. Aleister Saunders Named CoAS Associate Dean

July 24, 2012

The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce that Dr. Aleister Saunders, Associate Head and Associate Professor of Biology, has been named Dr. James Herbert's successor as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences, effective September 1, 2012.

Dr. Aleister Saunders
Dr. Saunders has been an integral member of the Department of Biology and the College of Arts and Sciences for the last ten years. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Department of Neurology and Anatomy in Drexel's College of Medicine, and is the Director and founder of Drexel's RNAi Resource Center. Since 2009, Dr. Saunders has served as the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Biology. In this capacity he has spearheaded a number of initiatives to develop the program both qualitatively and quantitatively, and to place it on a trajectory for further growth. He was instrumental in establishing the department's Graduate Student Travel Awards, which support and encourage students to present at national and international conferences and workshops. Further, as a mentor to the Biology Graduate Student Association, he has helped the group develop into a highly effective and civically engaged organization.

Dr. Saunders is also an active researcher in the Department of Biology. He leads an NIH-­funded research team that seeks to understand how the amyloid precursor protein is processed into peptides that cause Alzheimer's disease. Using cutting-edge molecular and genetic tools, his group aims to develop a means for preventing the development and progression of the dementia that comes with this disease.

Dr. Saunders contributions have far exceeded the bounds of the Department of Biology. He has served on numerous College and University committees and was a key figure in the construction of the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building---the largest construction project in the College's 20-year history. Throughout the project, Dr. Saunders served as the voice of the College, overseeing each detail of the design and implementation of the building and ultimately ensuring its successful completion.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Saunders to his new role as Associate Dean. He will undoubtedly continue to build upon Dr. Herbert's tradition of balanced and effective leadership in support of research and graduate education.