Dr. William L. Roper, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, appointed Dr. Jean Cook Associate Dean for Graduate Education, effective Sept. 15, 2013. She will report to Terry Magnuson, PhD, Vice Dean for Research. Dr. Bob Duronio has been serving as interim associate dean since Dr. Virginia Miller stepped down in July.
“Dr. Cook is a respected teacher and colleague here in the School of Medicine,” said Dr. Roper. “I am confident in her ability to lead our very important graduate training programs.”
In her role as Associate Dean of Graduate Education, Dr. Cook will be responsible for leadership and oversight of the medical school’s graduate education program including the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program and a number of programs that support professional development and diversity efforts through the Science Training and Diversity program. She will also be responsible for facilitating and promoting educational interactions with other schools on the Chapel Hill campus with respect to graduate education. Additional responsibilities include promoting the national profile of the medical school’s graduate programs.
“I have great enthusiasm for science in general and for the role of graduate students in the research enterprise in particular,” said Dr. Cook. “I am excited about the opportunity to recruit the very best students to UNC, and to ensure that once they arrive in Chapel Hill, we train and sustain them in the most effective and creative ways.”
Since 2004, Dr. Cook has supervised or mentored dozens of students ranging from postdoctoral fellows to undergraduates interested in careers in science. A member of the Academy of Educators (AOE), she earned a Teaching Excellence Award from the AOE in 2010. She was awarded the Jefferson-Pilot Fellowship in Academic Medicine in 2010.
Dr. Cook is currently PI on two R01s funded by the NIH/NIGMS. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that coordinate cell cycle progression in human cells. Her particular emphases include the regulation of proteins required for the earliest step in DNA replication, control of S phase entry, and critical molecular events during mitosis She has authored numerous book chapters, review articles, and original research papers. Also, she is a member of multiple national scientific societies.
Dr. Cook joined the faculty in 2004 as an assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics and pharmacology. She serves on the faculty of the Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology and as a member of the Lineberger Cancer Center.
She has been active in many committees at the department and school level focused on increasing diversity, and graduate education.
Dr. Cook is a UNC alumna, earning a BS with honors in biology. She completed her graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley in molecular and cell biology in the laboratory of Jeremy Thorner. She also worked as post-doctoral researcher in the laboratory of Joseph Nevins at Duke University.