Delcour named Associate Dean for Graduate Studies

Position is an Important Addition to her Service at UH

Anne DelcourAnne Delcour, a professor in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, stepped into her new role as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in July. While planning to stay active in research and teaching, she sees this position as an important addition to her service as a professor.

“There are always three components to being a professor – research, teaching and service,” Delcour said. “As you go through the ranks, your service component gets bigger and bigger.”

Delcour, a co-recipient of NSM’s 2011 John C. Butler Excellence in Teaching Award, is passionate about teaching and providing quality education. Having served as the Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs in her home department, she is familiar with many of the issues related to graduate training. However, she anticipates new challenges as she learns about the graduate programs across NSM’s departments.

“As Associate Dean, my priorities are similar to what I was doing at the department level, but now I’m focusing on six departments,” Delcour said. “My job is to ensure that we are the best we can be in our graduate programs – from the quality of students who apply, to making sure we provide our students with the proper resources to perform well, to ensuring that we have high-quality graduate programs.”

Delcour received a B.S. in zoological sciences from the University of Liège in her native Belgium and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cornell University. Prior to joining UH in 1992, she completed postdoctoral fellowships at University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Stanford University.

Her research focuses on the mechanisms used to transport molecules through cell membranes, with a particular interest in ion channels. These channels, made of protein, are a common transport system in many cells. Delcour’s lab is looking at ion channels in bacteria with an emphasis on E. coli and V. cholerae. Inside the bacterial cells, the ion channels play an essential role in the flow of nutrients, ions, signaling molecules and antibiotics. Learning more about how the ion channels function holds possibilities with respect to medical applications and antibiotic resistance.

Though it may seem like her plate is full with her new role as Associate Dean, an active research lab and plans for teaching a Fall course in microbial physiology, Delcour finds the time to be a student as well. She’s studying Italian. “It’s not too different from my native language of French, but it is different enough to be challenging and fun,” she said.

- Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics