Eberly College of Science Tabs Douglas Cavener Interim Dean
The Eberly College of Science announced professor and head of biology Douglas Cavener its interim dean yesterday following former dean Daniel Larson’s announcement that he’ll head Ecuador’s first research university.
Cavener has worked at Penn State since 2000, and since 2012, he’s been an adjunct professor of life sciences at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Tanzania. In his research, he focuses on “regulation of metabolic and neurological processes that are particularly prone to maladaptations that lead to diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease,” according to the press release.
“Under the leadership of Dan Larson, the Eberly College of Science has emerged as a top-10 ranked college of science in the nation,” Cavener said in the release. “It is my great privilege and responsibility to help build on this success over the next several months as I serve as interim dean. Our task is unambiguous: provide the best possible environment for the success of our students and faculty. Together their interactions lead to learning and discovery, the essence of our University.”
Cavener spent a great deal of his career at Vanderbilt, where he was a professor from 1982 to 2000 before heading north. He got his undergraduate degree at Pasadena College in 1973 before attaining his Master’s from Brown in 1977 and doctorate from Georgia in 1980. From there, he did post-doctoral training at Cornell until 1982.
His honors include the Dobzhansky Prize from International Society for the Study of Evolution and the National Research Service Award.
“We are very fortunate indeed to have a person as accomplished as Doug who additionally brings outstanding leadership experience, and a deep commitment to Eberly and Penn State to this critical role,” said provost Nick Jones. “With Doug at the helm, I know the college will be in good hands while we search for the new permanent dean.”
Jones said a committee will soon be formed to find a permanent replacement for Larson. Congratulations to Cavener on the promotion.