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Innovative Vision

Innovative Vision

Innovative Vision

Peter Tolias, the new dean of the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences.

Peter Tolias, Ph.D., the New Dean of the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, vows to grow opportunities for student success in research in STEM fields in a post-COVID-19 world.

Brooklyn College’s School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences announced this summer that Peter Tolias is its new dean.

Bringing a passion for research and cross-disciplinary education, Tolias most recently served as director of the Center for Healthcare Innovation in Chicago from 2013–2020, and professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, from 2014–2020. There, he was the founding director of a university-wide educational and research center, while simultaneously serving as a department chair in the Schaefer School of Engineering & Science.

Tolias’ major accomplishments as director of the Center for Healthcare Innovation include significantly increasing the total value of university annual extramural research and development spending and obtaining donations in equipment and supplies from leading industry partners to help establish and support a 3,000-square-foot biotechnology and drug discovery laboratory. He also acquired philanthropic support for research scholarships and secured multiple private-donor gifts totaling $6 million.

“Dr. Tolias brings a wealth of experience, not only in the classroom and administration, but also research and program innovation. His vision will help distinguish the school and support high levels of achievement among students, staff, and faculty,” says Anne Lopes, Brooklyn College’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

With more than three decades of results-driven experience as a senior academic administrator leading academic departments, institutes, and university-wide research and educational centers at both public and private universities, Tolias focuses his research on the fields of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology; microbiology; immunology; genetics; genomics; proteomics; tissue engineering; and music. Tolias possesses a proven track record in translational research and development and personalized precision medicine applied to diagnostics, medical devices, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals. He is the author of peer-reviewed scientific publications and patents, editorials, and books. He has also received more than 40 research grants, contracts, and awards totaling $8 million as principal investigator and an additional $10 million as co-principal investigator.

A Canadian citizen by birth, Tolias is a first-generation college graduate who has spent his career supporting underserved communities and promoting diversity in education.

“For the past several years, I have been focused on increasing student enrollment and academic achievement scores, supporting faculty, and promoting and expanding programs,” Tolias says. “I plan to continue that important work at Brooklyn College through the development of new interdisciplinary academic programs tailored for student success in the post–COVID-19 world and expanding research opportunities for faculty and students by strengthening public partnerships and philanthropic efforts that will help us grow. These are unusual times, and science will play a bigger role than ever before. Together, we will make the college’s School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences even more of an asset to New York City, the region, and the world.”

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