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Virginia Weis

Virginia Weis named acting associate dean for research and graduate studies

By Hannah Ashton

The College of Science is proud to announce University Distinguished Professor of Integrative Biology Virginia Weis as the acting associate dean for research and graduate studies, effective August 5. Weis brings extensive research experience, a history of leadership within the College, and expertise and success in mentoring graduate students.

“I am very eager to help the College through the transition to a new dean – to support the initiatives and processes that Vrushali has already put in place in this position,” Weis said.

The Dr. Russ and Dolores Gorman Faculty Scholar, Weis recently received the Eminence in Research Award from the International Coral Reef Society, the most prestigious award in the discipline. Additionally, she has received the College’s Milton Harris Award in Basic Research and the Fred Horne Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching Science. From 2011 to 2020, she served as the head of the Department of Integrative Biology.

“OSU has a convivial community-based spirit,” Weis said. “Because of that we are able to foster research, scholarship and instructional excellence.”

For more than two decades, Weis has focused on the symbiotic relationship between corals and the algae living within their cells, known as zooxanthellae. Her lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern the mutualistic relationship. In the past 10 years, she has received more than $5.6 million in grants, with additional funds from New Zealand.

"I am excited to have Virginia join our leadership team during this period of transition and help our college continue to excel in research and innovation, in providing outstanding graduate education in all the disciplines that we represent, in advancing collaborative, interdisciplinary research & education and in furthering our commitment to enhancing diversity, equity, access and inclusion,” said Vrushali Bokil, interim dean of the College of Science.

Weis’ appointment will last for the duration of the national search for the next dean of the College of Science and till the next dean begins their appointment. She will be stepping away from teaching but continuing to operate her lab.