Following 30 years of service, Dr. Jack Byrne has announced he is stepping down as chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. Byrne joined McGovern Medical School in 1982 as an associate professor with the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology and member of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and his three decades as chair makes him the longest serving current chair at McGovern Medical School.
Byrne rose to the rank of professor in 1985 and became the second chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy in 1987. In 1992, he took on the role of director of the Neurosciences Research Center. He was named the June and Virgil Waggoner Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy in 2003.
A highly respected and published scientist, Byrne has served on numerous national and international committees and has held various editorial positions. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1976. He is the recipient of the prestigious President’s Scholar Award for Research and the President’s Scholar Award for Teaching and holds adjunct appointments at Rice University and The University of Texas at Austin.
“We are very grateful for Dr. Byrne’s leadership over this extended portion of the history of McGovern Medical School,” Dean Barbara J. Stoll said. “Please join me in thanking Dr. Byrne for his many years of service as chair.”
Byrne will continue on faculty as the June and Virgil Waggoner Chair in Neurobiology and Anatomy, as associate dean for research, and as director of the Neurosciences Research Center.
Dean Stoll has named Dr. Pramod Dash, professor of neurobiology and anatomy and the Nina and Michael Zilkha Distinguished Chair in Neurodegenerative Disease Research, interim chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, effective Jan. 16, 2018.
“Dr. Dash is an outstanding scientist and teacher who has forged collaborations with multiple physicians and scientists in departments throughout UTHealth,” Dean Stoll said. “We are grateful for his willingness to serve the department and the school in this role, and we know that the department is in good hands. We are confident that his broad understanding of neurosciences and his track record of mentoring and collaboration, in additional to independent extramurally funded research, will be of benefit to the faculty, department, and school.”