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William Brinkley
William R. Brinkley

UTSA Spotlight: National academy member William Brinkley supports science research

By Amanda Beck
Communications Specialist, College of Sciences

(Dec. 3, 2008)--UTSA is receiving stellar support in the quest to become one of the nation's leading public research institutions with the advocacy of William R. Brinkley.

An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and a UTSA adjunct professor in biology, Brinkley brings a wealth of research and science education experience to the university and the College of Sciences in particular. Brinkley currently is the Baylor College of Medicine senior vice president for graduate sciences and dean of its Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

One of the most well known scientists in Texas, Brinkley is an expert in the field of cell biology. His productive career includes more than 150 peer-reviewed papers, and he is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the distinguished Merit Award from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute.

UTSA College of Sciences Dean George Perry recruited Brinkley in 2007 for counsel about the College of Sciences' blossoming graduate programs. Since then, Brinkley has advocated for additional research funding for the college and has strengthened relationships with the national scientific community.

Brinkley lauds UTSA for investing time and resources in public outreach to improve science, math and technology instruction at all levels from public education to cutting edge academic research and education. The College of Sciences currently reaches out to pre-college students through the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair and advocates for stronger science and math education through participation in UTeach, a program that prepares future educators.

According to Brinkley, a successful research university must advocate for research through relationships, connections and student outreach programs. His service to the scientific community illustrates that belief. Over the last 10 years, he has served as a member of several advisory panels, including:

  • NIH Molecular Biology Study Section
  • NIH Cancer Special Program Advisor Committee
  • NIH Board of Scientific Counselors
  • NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
  • NIH Biomedical Sciences Study Section
  • Campaign for Medical Research

According to Brinkley, "scientists and academics need to do a better job of explaining to the public and to our elected officials how investments in research will ultimately solve most of society's health care problems and return our economy to a sound and stable footing." To this end, he has advocated for science research with the help of former U.S. Congressmen John Porter and Paul Rogers.

Andrew T. Tsin, associate dean for research and director of the UTSA Center for Research and Training in the Sciences (CRTS) said in a letter supporting Brinkley's hiring, "He is a great colleague in science, a strong supporter of education and an excellent advisor to help us move toward premier research status." The hope is that the college's reputation will be enhanced by Brinkley's association with it, drawing more faculty and students to conduct high-caliber research.

As UTSA becomes a leader in research and science education in San Antonio, the College of Sciences hopes to attract more faculty members to engage students and the community and lead the university to premier research status.

"UTSA is uniquely positioned to make the greatest impact on promoting science and technology in one of the fastest growing and culturally diverse regions of Texas," said Brinkley. Keeping that in mind will help UTSA achieve both its missions of access to all students and excellence that rivals top universities.

William R. Brinkley studied genetics, chromosomes and microscopy under James D. Long at Sam Houston State University. He received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University.

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