College of Natural Sciences names Melissa Reynolds new associate dean for research

melissa reynoldsThe College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University announces the appointment of Associate Professor in Department of Chemistry Melissa Reynolds as the college’s new associate dean for research. She began the position August 16.

“I am honored for the opportunity to serve the college as the new research associate dean,” Reynolds said. “I look forward to working with faculty, graduate students, and support personnel to help everyone achieve their research goals and achieve higher profiles within their fields. I am also excited to support the graduate student experience.” Until her appointment to the new position in the dean’s office, Reynolds served as associate chair of the chemistry department.

Reynolds has been a member of the department since 2009 and also shares a joint appointment in the School of Biomedical Engineering. Her multidisciplinary research is focused on the chemical underpinnings and creation of biocompatible materials. Her lab makes antibacterial materials, metal organic framework catalysts, and advanced polymers. They also work on efficacy and toxicity studies for new therapeutics and devices. Current research has focused on creating better antimicrobial materials for medical devices.

Reynolds was recently named a 2017 Monfort Professor and selected as a College of Natural Sciences 2017 Professor Laureate. She was also named the Colorado Bioscience Association’s 2011 Educator of the Year and a 2010 Boettcher Foundation Webb-Warring Biomedical Investigator. She has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense, and part of CSU’s Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships program, among other groups.

“We are very excited to have Melissa join our team as the research associate dean,” said Dean of the College Jan Nerger. “She is an exceptionally successful researcher and emerged as a leader in the chemistry department soon after her arrival in 2009. I am confident she will facilitate growth of our research enterprise in the college.”

As associate dean for research, Reynolds looks forward to supporting research faculty, improving professional development opportunities for graduate students, promoting collaborative research as well as translational activities, and boosting international partnerships. “I plan to build on current successes and look for opportunities to promote new research initiatives,” Reynolds says.

She assumed the role this summer after Senior Associate Dean for Research and Physics Professor Jim Sites stepped down to pursue more research. She joins the college’s two other associate deans in the dean’s office, Associate Dean for Academics Simon Tavener and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Lisa Dysleski.

Reynolds holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and earned her bachelor of science from Washington State University. In addition to being an accomplished researcher, she is a passionate teacher and mentor to graduate and undergraduate students, and in her eight years with the University, she has taught nearly a dozen different courses at all levels. She also orchestrated a restructuring of the graduate program to make it more student centered.

As associate dean, Reynolds also will continue her work in the lab and the Department of Chemistry.