BLACKSBURG, Va., August 6, 2009 -- The search committee for the executive director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI), chaired by University Distinguished Professor Paul Knox, announces two final candidates selected from a strong group of applicants.

Drs. Kenneth Tew and Harold "Skip" Garner will be visiting the Blacksburg campus for two days to meet the university community. An open forum will be held at the VBI conference center, which is located on Washington St. on the Virginia Tech campus.

Dr. Kenneth Tew
Dr. Kenneth Tew

Dr. Kenneth Tew is Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He joined MUSC in 2004 from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where he served as Chairman of Pharmacology and held the G. Willing Pepper Chair in Cancer Research. In his current position at MUSC, Dr. Tew holds the John C. West endowed chair in cancer research. He is also the Program Leader of the Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Program at the Hollings Cancer Center.

Dr. Tew's research focuses on circumventing the mechanisms of cellular resistance to anticancer drugs and understanding the cellular pathways that affect drug response and resistance. Tew is recognized worldwide for his research on cancer drug discovery and development based upon sulfur-related enzyme pathways as platforms for drug targeting. Tew received his Ph.D. degree in biochemical pharmacology from London's Institute for Cancer Research, where he was also awarded a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.). He is the holder of several patents and has published extensively in leading peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Tew serves, and has served on, the advisory boards of several biotechnology companies. He has been the recipient of an Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Cancer Institute and a Scientific Research Award from the American Cancer Society. Dr. Tew was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007 and is past president of the Association of Medical School Pharmacology Chairs.

  • Tew will be on campus August 13 and 14. His open forum at the VBI Conference Center is Thursday, August 13 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. with a reception following (VBI Auditorium).



Dr. Harold Garner
Dr. Harold Garner

Dr. Harold "Skip" Garner is Professor of Biochemistry and Internal Medicine and the Philip O'Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Chair in Developmental Biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (UTSW). Before coming to UTSW in 1994, Garner served as a senior staff scientist and founder of the Bioscience Division at General Atomics. In his current position at UTSW, Dr. Garner is also a member of the McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development (Human Genetics Center), and a founding member of the Division of Translational Research (DTR).

Dr. Garner's research focuses on three areas: applied computational biology; advanced instrumentation development; and genetics, genomics, and proteomics research that builds on the group's software findings and instrumentation capabilities. Dr. Garner received his Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982. Dr. Garner has published widely in leading peer-reviewed journals throughout his career in plasma physics and bioengineering. He sits on several corporate advisory boards and advises government and private agencies. Dr. Garner is the founder of several biotechnology companies, including Xanapath, BioAutomation, and Light Biology, which was acquired by Nimblegen (now Roche Nimblegen, Inc.), in 2004.

  • Garner will be on campus September 1 and 2. His open forum at the VBI Conference Center is Tuesday, September 1 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. with a reception following (VBI Auditorium).


Curriculum vitae of candidates:


About the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute

The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI; at Virginia Tech has a research platform centered on understanding the "disease triangle" of host-pathogen-environment interactions in plants, humans and other animals. By successfully channeling innovation into transdisciplinary approaches that combine information technology and biology, researchers at VBI are addressing some of today's key challenges in the biomedical, environmental and plant sciences.


About Virginia Tech

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech ( is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech's nine colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, Southside, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.



Barry Whyte
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Published by Barry Whyte, August 05, 2009