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Letter From The Department Head

I’m happy to send you this most recent issue of the Promoter. The past two years have been exciting ones for the Department of Biological Sciences as we look toward the future. In many of the stories in this issue, you can find examples of how we are doing futuristic research in our labs and are preparing our students for careers as tomorrow’s scientists.

For example, Associate Professor Yongxin “Leon” Zhao has invented new expansion microscopy protocols that make the cutting-edge technique more robust and accessible to the scientific community. And Professor Alison Barth has developed a new fluorescence imaging method to study how learning changes neural circuits.

We’ve developed new programs and classes aimed at preparing students for their careers as future scientists. Our new master’s degree programs provide students with valuable skills in biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and bioinformatics. And courses in new techniques like gene editing give undergraduates entry into some of the newest avenues of scientific research.

We’re also well underway in the planning stages for the R.K. Mellon Hall of Sciences, which will be the home for a number of our research groups and provide new laboratory and classroom spaces for our students. And the Carnegie Mellon University Cloud Lab, a remote-controlled robotic laboratory, will open on our Pittsburgh campus at the beginning of the fall semester. These new facilities will enhance our research and education well into the future.

I hope you join me in my excitement for the future of science and the Department of Biological Sciences. If you plan to be on campus or in Pittsburgh, please consider stopping by for a visit, we’d love to catch up with you.

Sincerely yours,

Veronica Hinman, Ph.D.
Dr. Frederick A. Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences
Professor & Head, Department of Biological Sciences