Raghavan Srinivasan, Ph.D., of the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology, and Josh Wand, Ph.D., of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, were selected as University Distinguished Professors on April 5.

The two College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty members are among six scholars across Texas A&M University this year who have earned this honor, the highest for Texas A&M faculty. The 2022 class also includes faculty from the College of Science, College of Medicine and College of Engineering. Within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 10 faculty members now hold the distinction.

The University Distinguished Professor designation identifies faculty members who are preeminent in their field. Furthermore, these academics have made at least one transformational contribution or substantial intellectual leap forward in their discipline. University Distinguished Professors retain their current title but add the new distinction.

“Drs. Srinivasan and Wand are renowned scientists and educators who have opened new avenues for innovation in their fields,” said Mark A. Hussey, Ph.D., interim vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife. “Their diverse, outstanding work represents what we aspire to in our college.”

Srinivasan chosen for contributions to environmental assessment

headshot of a man, Raghavan Srinivasan, wearing a suit
Raghavan Srinivasan, Ph.D., becomes a University Distinguished Professor in 2022. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

Srinivasan is a professor and Regents Fellow in the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology. He also serves as director of the Spatial Sciences Laboratory and resident director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Temple. Among his research accomplishments is the development of spatial decision support systems that fundamentally advanced the science of watershed hydrology assessment, natural resource management, GIS-based environmental analyses and data-driven decision making. As a result, he has transformed the way researchers address watershed hydrology analyses, watershed management evaluation, GIS/database support for environmental analyses and hydrological analyses relevant to environmental policy. Srinivasan is one of the most impactful scientists in the world working in environmental assessment, based on his productivity and the citation impact of his publications.

Wand selected for contributions to studying protein biophysics

head shot of a man, Josh Wand, wearing a light purple shirt, who was named a University Distinguished Professor
Josh Wand, Ph.D., becomes a University Distinguished Professor in 2022. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)

Wand serves as professor and department head in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Wand’s research focuses on understanding the internal motion of proteins and that motion’s influence on molecular recognition, allostery and catalysis. Wand’s selection is based on two transformative contributions. He conceived the “entropy meter,” which enables nuclear magnetic resonance parameters associated with biological molecules to be directly scaled with entropy. This breakthrough introduced an entirely new perspective for studying protein-protein interactions. The second contribution was the invention of “reverse micelles,” a strategy that allows lipid encapsulation of large protein molecules, dramatically enhancing nuclear magnetic resonance spectra and sensitivity. This achievement enables numerous innovations in protein biophysics, including a new paradigm for drug discovery.

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