CORVALLIS - After serving for the past several years as deputy director, David Williams, professor of environmental and molecular toxicology, assumed directorship of the Oregon State University Marine/Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center on Jan. 1.
Williams replaces George Bailey, who will remain with the center to concentrate on his research.
Bailey, distinguished professor of environmental and molecular toxicology, has been director of the center since its inception in 1985 following a $1.8 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Williams, who has been at the center since 1987, said he expects the center will continue to grow and develop new areas of research using aquatic models. He said there are nine principal investigators, 20 postdoctoral trainees, nine undergraduate and 34 graduate students currently associated with the center. Center investigators were successful in attracting more than $7 million dollars in extramural research funding in 2001 alone.
"Our goal is to identify productive avenues of research and develop new models in order to continue as leaders in the utilization of aquatic species in biomedical research," Williams said. "The center is extremely fortunate to have strong institutional support and close ties to other related programs, including the Environmental Health Sciences Center, The Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology and the Linus Pauling Institute".
Williams is in the process of moving into a newly renovated lab on the fourth floor of Weniger Hall on the OSU campus and the lab next door will be renovated for Bailey. The center's offices will also move to the fourth floor of Weniger Hall.
The center will continue to promote research and training activities that utilize aquatic research models to investigate environmentally related human diseases. Current research focuses on the study of cancer and neurotoxicology.
"We have several exciting studies under way and we recently submitted a grant proposal to the National Cancer Institute to study chlorophyllin using trout as a model," Williams said. "During the last funding cycle we added neurotoxicology research as a focus. The neurotoxicology unit has been doing outstanding work."
The Neurotoxicology Research Core links the laboratories of a natural products chemist, a synthetic chemist, a neuropharmacologist, and a cell biochemist into a cohesive program to discover and describe the properties of new neurotoxins from marine microalgae.