Muskavitch is Named First DeLuca Professor of Biology

Muskavitch is Named First DeLuca Professor of Biology

Researcher of insects also will chair department

Marc A.T. Muskavitch, a biologist who studies the impact of insects on human health, has been named the inaugural holder of the Dr. Michael E. and Dr. Salvatore A. DeLuca Professorship in Biology.

Muskavitch also will become chairman of the Biology Department when he arrives in September 2000.

Muskavitch comes to B C from Indiana University, where he is a professor and former acting chairman of the biology department. His research has been supported by the National Institutes for Health, the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes and the World Health Organization.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Joseph Quinn said, "The endowed professorship has positioned Boston College to continue its major commitment to the development of the sciences. Marc is a first-rate scholar and an experienced administrator, with an ambitious, focused vision for our Biology Department. We are excited about the science he has proposed, and about how it fits into our broader mission - to educate men and women in service to others. Marc's research on insect-borne diseases can help alleviate the suffering of people around the world. We are delighted and honored to have him on board."

"I believe that becoming a member of the Boston College community presents me and BC with many opportunities," said Muskavitch. "This move, and the investments Boston College has made and will continue to make in Biology, create great opportunities to expand and strengthen the research, teaching and service activities of the entire Department of Biology.

Marc Muskavitch

"I also intend to develop a strength in Biology that will be new to BC - the application of the concepts and tools of molecular biology and genetics to the study of insects, including insects of medical and agricultural importance. Development of a group of faculty involved in what one might call 'molecular insect science' has the prospect of generating advances in our basic understanding of insects and in our ability to reduce the harmful impacts of insects on human societies," he said, citing mosquito-borne malaria as an example.

Muskavitch is a widely published researcher who holds two patents and two pending patent applications. He has served as a reviewer for many professional journals, including Development , Genetics, Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology , Journal of Neuroscience, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA , and Science .

As director of the Minority Education and Development Initiative for Careers in Biomedicine at Indiana University, Muskavitch has worked to promote the recruitment and retention of students of color in science education.

Muskavitch earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and holds a doctorate in biochemistry from Stanford University. He also was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.

The chair was established in 1996, with an endowment from Dr. Salvatore A. and Lucy DeLuca to honor the memory of their son, Michael, who died in 1991. Michael graduated from BC in 1986 and was just 18 months into a career as a doctor of chiropractic when he died at age 27. His parents established the professorship to create a permanent memorial that would support an outstanding researcher in the biological sciences because "that is where the cures for disease come from - from basic research."

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