Gilbert John returned to Colorado State University this month to take on a new role: assistant dean for research in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
He will help to support and enhance research activities in a college that annually tallies more than $45 million in research expenditures – a barometer of robust activity – and for years has been the No. 1 veterinary school in the nation based on research funding. The college also is home to five of CSU’s Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence; these powerhouse programs advance innovations in cancer, infectious disease, musculoskeletal health, neuroscience and reproduction, and have helped CSU gain status as a top-tier research university.
John received his doctorate and undergraduate degrees in microbiology from CSU and is a first-generation college graduate from the Navajo Nation.
John returns to CSU after serving for 15 years as an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Oklahoma State University. While at OSU, he served as director of the National Institutes of Health Initiative for Maximizing Student Development, a multimillion dollar program that supports activities to enhance diversity in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce. John’s leadership led to creation of the Native Americans in Biological Sciences program at OSU.
He also previously served as program director for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.
John’s research interest is in pathogenic microbiology, with an emphasis in studying the molecular and physiological mechanisms associated with Flavin proteins in Clostridium, Enterrococcus and Pseudomonas bacteria.
In his role as assistant dean, John will support college and university research, working with the CVMBS associate dean for research, departments and faculty to help facilitate research and to manage regulatory compliance activities. He will participate in research proposal development and college-led research programs, such as the Veterinary Summer Scholars Program and College Research Council operations. John also will develop a more efficient and comprehensive approach to award submissions and faculty/student award nominations.
Building on his extensive experience in successfully developing programs for underrepresented students, John will help to advance the college’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Dr. Susan VandeWoude, associate dean for research, said the new role was created to provide more support for researchers in the college and to provide more capacity to initiate programs and services that were identified as lacking during the CVMBS strategic planning process.
“Assistant Dean John will help improve upon the key contributions our college makes to Colorado State University’s status as a top-tier public research university, and we are thrilled to have someone of his caliber join our team,” she said.
John said that his first priority is to be available for faculty and students. “My role will be to provide support for the research office, particularly as it relates to federal, state and private grants,” he explained. “In addition, I will be involved in the college’s research and training efforts for both faculty and students. I also hope to create new programs based on my experience with diversity.”
Returning to campus has been a special experience and feels like coming home, he said.
Valerie Lewis also recently joined the CVMBS team to provide administrative support for the research enterprise. Valerie replaces Danielle Sterle, who moved from the Fort Collins area last summer. John and Lewis join Aimee Oke, coordinator, to round out the college research staff.