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Texas professor named assoc. vp for research

PULLMAN – John F. Alderete (Al-de-re-te), who has served as a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) since 1991, will assume the responsibilities of associate vice provost for research at Washington State University on Jan. 1, 2008.

Alderete “brings a wealth of experience in research and technology commercialization that greatly adds to our programs,” said Jim Petersen, vice provost for research. “As a renowned scholar, he is a superb example to others. He also will vastly increase our administrative capabilities in the Office of Research and enhance WSU’s reputation as a national and international research institution.”
Bryan Slinker, professor and chair, Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Physiology, will be serving as interim, associate vice provost through the remainder of 2007.
“Sue and I are excited about becoming part of the WSU family,” Alderete said. “WSU is such an exciting place to be right now. With strong research activities and outstanding faculty, WSU is well-positioned for continued growth and leadership nationally and, indeed, internationally. What an honor it is to be given this opportunity and especially to serve in the Office of Research with Vice Provost Jim Petersen.”
Alderete also will be joining the faculty in the School of Molecular Biosciences (SMB) as a full professor.
John Nilson, director of the SMB and Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor, said Alderete brings a wealth of administrative experience at local, national and international levels and is well known for his efforts in bringing minorities into science. “His research on nonviral sexually transmitted diseases will enhance both our programs in the molecular basis of reproduction and in host-pathogen interactions. We are excited with John’s decision to join the WSU community and look forward to his arrival.”

Alderete’s research focuses on Trichomonas vaginalis, the number one nonviral STD in the United States. During his career, he has received nearly $20 million (direct and indirect costs) in research funding, mostly from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He holds six patents and patent pendings, invented a point-of-care diagnotic test for this STD, and participated in a start-up company that produces diagnostic tests for this disease.

He has served on national boards, including several panels for the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He is a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), an NIH institute. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences in Mexico.

“Based upon my interactions with John as a member of our National Advisory Council and our Board of Scientific Councilors, he will bring a unique blend of outstanding scientific accomplishment and insight, a superb track record of mentorship, and most importantly, an intellectual honesty, second to none, to your institution,” said Lawrence A. Tabak, director of the NIDCR.

Alderete, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, is the former president of the Society for Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists (SACNAS). While president, he secured nearly $3 million in funding from the NIH and other government agencies in support of this society. He also started an inquiry-based science training program that allowed 100 K-12 teachers to attend the annual SACNAS conference. For a ten-year period, he conducted a Saturday Morning Science Camp for minority students, parents and teachers.

“Based on meeting with him and reviewing his credentials, I believe that John Alderete will be an outstanding associate vice provost and scholar for Washington State University,” said Michael Tate, vice president for Student Affairs, Equity and Diversity.

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