Effective on July 1, 2016, the Georgia Tech College of Sciences has a new unit focused on the life sciences – the School of Biological Sciences. Emerging from a reorganization of the former Schools of Applied Physiology and of Biology, the new unit reduces the number of College of Sciences academic schools to six: Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology.
For the period immediately following the transition, the current chair of the School of Biology, Professor Terry W. Snell, will serve as the chair of the School of Biological Sciences. From August 15, 2016, the school will be led by Professor J. Todd Streelman, who currently serves as Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the School of Biology.
The reorganization was motivated by the College’s strategic goals to enhance the research ecosystem for the basic sciences and mathematics, enrich and diversify educational opportunities for science and mathematics majors, and strengthen the opportunities for creativity and innovation by the College.
“The life sciences are an exciting and fast moving field, and the issues it addresses are varied but interconnected. It is about the systems that make life possible,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “The new School of Biological Sciences brings together individuals that span the various aspects of living systems and their study. It will add synergies and create a resilient, flexible, and fast-responding academic unit in a fast-moving field.”
A single school focused on the life sciences offers many advantages:
- A unified voice to lead conversations about the life sciences within campus
- A focal point for interactions with life science groups, program, activities, and interests outside campus
- A broader base upon which to build research teams to address complex biomedical challenges
- A robust ability to advance new health-related majors in neuroscience, physiology, and human systems
- A unique opportunity to develop an undergraduate degree for pre-health students
The new school comprises 10 tenure-track faculty, three academic professionals, and four staff from Applied Physiology and 38 tenure-track faculty, six academic professionals, and 18 staff from Biology. The School of Biological Sciences will administer all the academic programs offered previously by the two schools it replaces.
“The life sciences, including neural systems, are destined to grow and become even more central as we define our research and education programs for the new millennium,” said Paul M. Goldbart, Dean of the College of Sciences. “I am grateful to the many members of our community who have stepped up to create a stronger, more coherent base from which to take on exciting challenges presented by the life sciences.”