CSAT appoints Anderson as Biology Department Chair
Associate Professor of Biology Justin Anderson has been appointed chair of the Department of Biology in Radford University's College of Science and Technology (CSAT).
Anderson replaces Professor of Biology Christine Small, who chaired the department for two years.
“I am excited about the curriculum and how this passionate faculty engages students in a broad range of projects from understanding and protecting the environment to advancing health care,” said Anderson. “It is a rich environment with so many challenging projects going on that enable our students to perform at near-graduate levels.”
As the 2014 recipient of the Radford University Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award, Anderson was recognized for his significant contribution to the enhancement of Radford's operations, academic climate and sense of community.
Anderson directs the Radford Arbovirus and Medical Entomology Lab where he and student researchers investigate the interaction between mosquitoes and the viruses they transmit. Twenty five students have gained valuable lab experience in its projects, such as exploring how environmental contaminants affect virus transmission, seeking plant- and bacteria-derived compounds with antiviral and larvicidal activities, and investigating bacteria-arbovirus-mosquito interactions.
“We have a nice alignment here at Radford where we can be a destination for students to not just learn biology, but to become biologists,” he said.
As examples, he noted the Radford Amazonian Research Expedition and recent research initiatives by Radford faculty and students in the Virgin Islands.
Anderson came to Radford in 2008 from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame while specializing in mosquito genetics. He is president-elect of the Virginia Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. Anderson and his students are regular research presenters at the Virginia Mosquito Control Association.
"Dr. Anderson embodies the teacher – scholar model that is so important at Radford," said CSAT Dean Orion Rogers. "His work with students as a teacher and mentor is remarkable and the Center for the Sciences bears his imprint as he was an important member of the committee who helped design it."