Arts & Sciences Announces New Director of Biology
The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce that Dr. Eric Gaucher will join Georgia State as Professor and Director of Biology as of July 1, 2017. Gaucher is currently Professor and Associate Chair of Research in the School of Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech.
Dr. Gaucher brings strong credentials to the position as a scientist, teacher, and administrator. He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of Florida in 2001. After completing a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, Dr. Gaucher served as President and Researcher for the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution from 2003-2008. In 2008, he joined the faculty of the School of Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech as an associate professor, and was promoted to professor in 2017. Dr. Gaucher has served as Associate Chair of Research of the School of Biological Sciences since 2014.
Dr. Gaucher’s research in evolutionary synthetic biology covers multiple areas of molecular biology, including comparative genomics, molecular evolution, bioinformatics and biomedicine. Since joining the Georgia Tech faculty, Dr. Gaucher has published more than 30 papers in high-impact journals such as Nature Biotechnology, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Nature Communications, and PNAS. His research group’s work has been highlighted by CNN, BBC, NASA, Popular Science, Science News, Wired, New Scientist, ACS Chemical Biology, Georgia Trend, and many others. He holds two patents and has three patent applications pending. His research program has been continuously funded by both federal and other government grants and commercial contracts from National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense, Department of Energy, DuPont, Bayer, the Georgia Research Alliance, and others, and is currently supported by three grants totaling about $3 million. Dr. Gaucher has been recognized with several awards, including a Carl Sagan Fellowship from NASA, a DuPont Young Professor Award, and the Nelson and Bennie Abell Professorship at Georgia Tech.
As a teacher and mentor, Dr. Gaucher has directed several doctoral and master’s students to completion of their degrees and supervised multiple postdocs that have progressed to faculty positions. His students have secured nearly $500,000 through individual fellowships and presented their research more than 20 times at conferences. He co-founded and advised Georgia Tech’s undergraduate iGEM team that has earned international recognition over the years for their research in synthetic biology.
As Associate Chair of Research, Dr. Gaucher played a leading role in a number of important initiatives within the Georgia Tech School of Biological Sciences. He led the school’s efforts to prioritize research strategies, enhance undergraduate research experiences, foster collaborations between schools and colleges at Georgia Tech, engage alumni participation, develop and implement the school’s response to external evaluations, and help establish an undergraduate major in molecular biology and biotechnology.
The wealth of experience that Dr. Gaucher brings to Georgia State positions him well to lead a talented group of students, faculty and staff, and to develop a strategic vision for Biology and its collaborations with other units in the life sciences and beyond.