BALTIMORE — Morgan State University President David K. Wilson and Provost Hongtao Yu today announced the appointment of internationally-recognized biomedical research scientist Paul B. Tchounwou, D.Sc., as the new dean of the School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (SCMNS), effective January 1, 2023.
Dr. Tchounwou comes to Morgan from Jackson State University (JSU) where he most recently served as principal investigator (PI) and executive director of Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Center for Health Disparities Research and a Presidential Distinguished Professor. Having amassed more than 30 years in higher education, including more than two decades at Jackson State, Dr. Tchounwou brings an accomplished background as a noted researcher and administrator who, during his tenure at JSU, significantly bolstered faculty research portfolios amassing more than $120 million in grantsmanship, developed new science and technology programs, and contributed to the awarding of more than 100 doctoral degrees.
The appointment of Morgan’s newest academic dean followed an extensive national search yielding a competitive pool of diverse candidates from a variety of sectors spanning higher education, private industry and government. The candidates evaluated boasted expertise from an array of specializations including mathematics, computer and information sciences, chemistry, biological sciences and physics.
“We are delighted to have selected such a distinguished scholastic and scientific presence to helm our School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences—a school that is so integral to Morgan’s ascendency as a top public research institution,” said President Wilson. “Dr. Tchounwou’s impressive background, extensive research portfolio and capacity to further Morgan’s breadth and scope in scientific study are welcome to our thriving scientific community here at the National Treasure. His experience as an administrator, balanced with a well-documented commitment to student success, solidifies Dr. Tchounwou’s appointment and confirms that we have landed the best person for this deanship.”
Prior to his leadership of JSU’s Center for Health Disparities Research, Dr. Tchounwou was the associate dean for Research, Graduate Studies and International Programs in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) at Jackson State. In that capacity, he led CSET to significant research output and international distinction. In addition to stints as CSET interim dean, Dr. Tchounwou served as associate dean of the School of Science and Technology, chair of the Biology Department, and director of the JSU Doctoral Program in Environmental Science which culminated in the achievement of several key milestones including being the second largest producer of African Americans with B.S. degrees in Biology and Biomedical Science.
“I am deeply honored and truly excited about leading the School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences at Morgan, and working together with the administration, faculty, staff, alumni, and students in advancing the SCMNS to a higher level of academic excellence,” said Dr. Tchounwou. “I am enthusiastic about the great opportunities that we will collectively pursue to increase our enrollment, retention, graduation, and placement rates, as well as grow our research and innovation programs. I look forward to establishing new academic programs, expanding collaborations and partnerships, and achieving higher national and international rankings for SCMNS. Together, we will build on the strong foundation that has been laid to further strengthen SCMNS as the premier academic center for excellence in science, technology, and mathematics education.”
A 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science Mentor awardee and 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), Dr. Tchounwou is a distinguished environmental toxicologist and biomedical scientist whose research focuses on the elucidation of cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of therapeutic drugs and xenobiotic compounds. He has served as PI and executive director of NIH-RCMI Center for Environmental Health, DoD Center of Excellence in STEM Education, and DoEd-First in the World Program in STEM. He has also served as the director of the NIH-RCMI Translational Research Network Data Technology Coordinating Center and as a Co-PI of NSF-CREST Center for Nanotoxicity Studies.
“Under Dr. Tchounwou’s leadership, Morgan’s SCMNS and scientific research activity will continue advancing to new heights and explore new areas of growth and collaboration. His vision and stewardship of transformative impact in the classroom and laboratory are in total alignment with who we are as a research institution,” said Provost Yu. “We are most appreciative to Dr. Cleo Hughes Darden for her contributions and steadfast guidance while serving as interim dean for our School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences over the past year.”
In Dr. Tchounwou Morgan brings into its leadership ranks a celebrated administrator and an accomplished scientist who has amassed exemplary credentials. He is a Distinguished Fellow of International Engineering and Technology Institute, Fellow of African Scientific Institute, and Fellow of the American Biographical Institute, and a member of several scientific organizations including the Delta Omega Honorary Public Health Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association for Cancer Research, American Public Health Association, National Environmental Health association, Society of Toxicology, and New York Academy of Science. He has authored 298 refereed publications and more than 600 scientific presentations over the span of his career in addition to serving as the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, and Environmental Toxicology, and associate editor of the Frontiers in Oncology.
Dr. Tchounwou received his B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Yaounde, Cameroon. He earned his M.S.P.H. in Environmental Health and Sc.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition, Dr. Tchounwou conducted post-doctoral research in molecular toxicology and carcinogenesis at Tulane University Medical Center.
“In bringing aboard an educator of Dr. Tchounwou’s scientific caliber and research acumen, there is no doubt that his contributions will go a long way in supporting the University strategic plan goal of achieving R1 classification,” added Provost Yu.
The School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences is the epicenter of Morgan’s STEM-related research and scientific discovery, offering nine bachelor’s, four master’s and two doctoral degrees within five academic departments: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics. The nine bachelor’s degrees are: Actuarial Science, Biology, Chemistry, Cloud Computing, Computer Science, Engineering Physics, Mathematics, Medical Laboratory Science and Physics.
Within the last decade SCMNS has increased enrollment of undergraduate majors by 30 percent and more than tripled doctoral enrollment. Since FY21, SCMNS has secured 63 research grant awards totaling more than $22 million.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
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Larry Jones or Dell Jackson, for University PR