PULLMAN, Wash. — Howard Grimes, associate director of Graduate Programs at Washington State University, has agreed to serve as interim dean of the university’s Graduate School beginning July 1.

Grimes will replace dean Karen P. DePauw, who will become the vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the Graduate School at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Aug. 1.

“I am very pleased that Howard Grimes has accepted the interim dean position for the Graduate School,” said Robert Bates, WSU provost and academic vice president. “His experience and leadership in graduate education combined with a solid record in funded research and administration will position him to serve well in his new role, and I look forward to working with him as we advance the mission of the Graduate School.”

Grimes has served in a number of positions and committees in the Graduate School including Graduate School Evaluation Committee for Summer Graduate Research Assistant Awards (1995-96, 1997-98), Graduate Studies Committee (1997-99), co-chair and chair of Graduate Studies Committee (1998-00), and chair of the Associate Dean of the Graduate School Search Committee (1999-00).

Grimes also serves as professor of the School of Molecular Biosciences and co-chair of the plant physiology program. His research is focused on the biochemistry of membrane transport proteins and the structure, function and regulation of lipoxygenases — enzymes involved in lipid metabolism and in the generation of a wide array of signaling molecules. Both of these areas directly impact plant productivity and are important targets for genetic manipulation.

He earned his master’s degree in plant pathology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and his doctoral degree in botany from North Carolina State University.