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Chris D. Platsoucas, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Temple University School of Medicine and former dean of Temple's College of Science and Technology, has been named dean of the Old Dominion University College of Sciences.

An immunologist and researcher known in the United States and abroad for his work on the molecular and cellular immunology of human T cells, Platsoucas will assume the position at ODU in the summer of 2007. The ODU Board of Visitors on Friday, April 6, granted him tenure as a professor of biological sciences, clearing the way for his appointment.

Before being named to an endowed professorship at Temple's Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology in 1993, Platsoucas was a professor in cancer research and immunology, and deputy chair of the Department of Immunology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He also has held posts at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University Medical School.

He has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Patras, Patras, Greece, and a doctorate with training in biochemistry and immunology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His recent work as a lymphocyte biologist has focused on the role of T cells in the development of autoimmune diseases and the immune response of T cells to human tumors. (T cells are white blood cells that typically protect against infection and disease, but sometimes take opposite courses, failing to marshal defenses, attacking the body's own cells or triggering diseases.)

Platsoucas began a five-year term at the helm of Temple's College of Science and Technology when he became interim dean in 1998. He won the permanent position in 2000 after nearly two-thirds of the science and technology tenured faculty at the university, which is in Philadelphia, wrote a letter to the administration supporting him. The letter called Platsoucas "an academic star, well recognized internationally as being at the frontier of research in a very hot field."

ODU Provost Thomas Isenhour said of Platsoucas: "He combines the best of administration and science. He is innovative and will help ODU achieve our goal of joining the top 100 public research universities. From his colleagues at Temple, we have heard nothing but rave reviews."

Among his recent projects, Platsoucas was principal investigator on a multi-million-dollar National Institutes of Health grant to study chronic rejection of heart transplants.

He has authored or co-authored more than 150 articles and other writings on the molecular and cellular immunology of human T cells. He is a member of the American Association of Immunologists, American Association of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Association for Clinical Chemistry, American Society for Hematology, American Society for Investigative Pathology, American Society for Microbiology, the International Society of Cytokine Research and other scientific organizations.

In addition, he is a former member of the Committee on the Safety of Silicone Breast Implants of the National Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and he has served as a member of many other national and international committees.

Joseph H. Rule, associate dean of the College of Sciences, has served as interim dean since September 2006 when Richard V. Gregory moved from dean of the college to chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

This article was posted on: April 6, 2007

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