Strategic Plan 2011-2013 Biennium
The mission of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) is to educate the next generation of scientists and health-related professionals in a dynamic and productive research environment that fosters creativity and discovery. Specifically, success in this mission requires constant assessment and improvement of our ability to:
- Provide leadership in the advancement of knowledge through research and scholarship;
- Recruit highly qualified and diverse students into GSBS programs; and
- Enhance GSBS academic and training experiences for all students.
The GSBS is in a state of transition. On the Lubbock campus, the merging of the various disciplines into one PhD program with different concentrations is ongoing. Admissions in Lubbock have been centralized, and one round of applications has been processed. The curriculum is under internal review and revision. The Amarillo campus has recently separated into two basic science departments (Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences). Finally, an interim dean has just been appointed. Nevertheless, there are four specific and overlapping areas of focus that can be addressed over the next two years which complement these ongoing transitions.
- Use our faculty more effectively as representatives of the institution. The reputation of the school and its attractiveness to prospective students originates with the faculty. The GSBS will identify faculty who can act as effective communicators for the school with appropriate training, in keeping with the idea of “campus ambassadors” that was proposed by President Mitchell. The school will need the help of the Office of Communications and Marketing to prepare high-quality media featuring faculty members for distribution to the lay public, as well as student recruitment efforts. These will include biographical sketches, lay summaries of research, lists of recent achievements, and descriptions of any hobbies or extracurricular activities that would be of interest to the general public.
- Develop a more aggressive student recruitment program that targets applicants from Texas, with the longer-term goal of expanding to the national level. This will be facilitated by the recent hiring of GSBS staff with a significant responsibility for recruitment and a commitment from the Dean to participate personally in such efforts over the next two years. These efforts will require travel to key regional schools and national conferences with an emphasis on student recruitment. Appropriate funds will be needed to help defray the costs of travel and the preparation of recruitment materials. The GSBS is compiling the appropriate historical data for comparison with the results of this initiative, with the expectation that the school will become a major destination for Texas students within three years.
- Pursue a consolidation of graduate-related research efforts between the various campuses. GSBS will develop a plan in consolation with Vice-President Stocco and appropriate leaders on each campus to improve collaboration among our investigators and the sharing of resources. GSBS will seek to minimize duplication of teaching efforts, using the improved telecommunications system when appropriate. Towards the goal of organizing seminars featuring nationally-recognized investigators of interest across multiple campuses, GSBS will need additional support from other university components, along the lines of the recent President’s Distinguished Lecture program.
- Improve organizational structure and curriculum efforts in Amarillo to allow for equal representation from both Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences on this campus. In September of 2009 the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences split into two separate departments (Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Sciences). The Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences has modified the organizational structure of their graduate program committee to allow for equal graduate faculty representation from both departments. A Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences curriculum retreat was held on May 19th, with the goal of improving course offerings and structure to allow students to concentrate in both Pharmaceutics or Biomedical tracks reflective of new departmental strengths. Over the next few years the Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences will work to improve the curriculum structure while maintaining strengths and collaborative efforts between these new departments.
Vision for 2015
The GSBS in 2015 should be a dynamic school with an enrollment of about 160 students. We will take maximum advantage of our multiple campuses, programs, and concentrations to ensure diversity, rigor, and flexibility when preparing the future generation of scientists.
For the GSBS, the accomplishments of our students and alumni are a critical measure of the school’s success in training new scientists. The progress of three recent graduates attests to the quality of the education offered by the graduate programs.
Dr. Andrew T. Lovering earned his PhD in Physiology in 2003. He received postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin before being recruited by the University of Oregon. He is the 2010 recipient of the Giles F. Filley Memorial Award in Respiratory Physiology and Medicine from the American Physiological Society. This award is presented annually to an individual demonstrating outstanding promise based on his/her research program in respiratory physiology and medicine. He recently received a four-year-American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant to pursue research in cardiopulmonary responses to exercise and hypoxia.
Dr. Anjaneya P. Chimalakonda trained in Pharmaceutical Sciences, earning his degree in 2005. Following graduation, he was recruited by Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he works as a Senior Research Investigator in Discovery Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics. In 2009, he served as co-chair of a workshop in Quantitative Model-based Drug Development in Drug Discovery and Translational Research sponsored by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.
Dr. Ayman K. Hamouda came to the GSBS in 2003 with support from a Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship. He earned his PhD in Pharmacology in 2007. His doctoral research resulted in multiple publications in top journals and a recruitment effort by Harvard University, where he is currently an Instructor in Neurobiology.