Kit Pogliano of UC San Diego.
Kit Pogliano of UC San Diego. Photo by Erik Jepsen via UCSD

UC San Diego announced Monday that Kit Pogliano will became dean of the university’s renowned Division of Biological Sciences.

After a national search, Pogliano was tapped to become the division’s fourth dean and first female leader. The molecular biology professor, currently dean of UCSD’s Graduate Division, will assume her new role Sept. 15.

The U.S. News and World Report ranks UCSD’s biology and biochemistry programs eighth-best in the world. A research analytics firm also recently identified three UCSD faculty members whose studies were among the top one percent most-cited publications in their field.

Currently, UCSD has 6,000 Biological Sciences undergraduate majors, roughly 22 percent of all undergraduate students on campus.

“I am very excited to lead a division with such accomplished faculty and students whose discoveries are reshaping our understanding of the natural world,” Pogliano said in a statement released by the university. “The impressive accomplishments of the division are driven by its outstanding people, and the creativity and collaborative spirit that defines the UCSD campus and the local biomedical ecosystem.”

Pogliano will succeed Bill McGinnis, a developmental biologist who has led the division since 2013.

As dean, Pogliano will set divisional goals in alignment with the university’s strategic plan. She will also provide leadership to the division’s four academic sections in resource and space allocations, academic recruitments as well as professional advancement of faculty and staff.

A UCSD faculty member since 1996, Pogliano’s research focuses on the application of cell biological tools to understand the design principles of bacterial cells, and to discover new antibiotics and develop diagnostics for multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections.

She previously served as section chair of Molecular Biology, as director of the Microbial Sciences Graduate Research Initiative and co-director of the UCSD Microbiome and Microbial Sciences Initiative.

Pogliano, who received her Ph.D from Harvard Medical School, also co- founded a company to bring researched technology to the pharmaceutical industry to accelerate new drug discovery.

“I’m delighted that Kit Pogliano has accepted the critical leadership position as dean of the Division of Biological Sciences,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Her excellence in leadership, research and service and her longstanding commitment to educational access and equity make her an ideal choice to lead Biological Sciences at UCSD.”

— City News Service

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