Upstate News

October 11, 2005
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Sanger named chair of Cell and Developmental Biology at SUNY Upstate

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Joseph W. Sanger, Ph.D., interim chair and professor of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been named chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at SUNY Upstate Medical University. The appointment, effective Jan. 1, 2006, was announced by Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., executive vice president and dean of the College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate.

Sanger joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1971 and was appointed to his current post of interim chair in 2003. At the University of Pennsylvania, Sanger has served as director of medical embryology and medical histology courses, and as chairman of the graduate cell biology program. He is a founding member of the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute and continues to be an active in institute affairs as a member of its advisory board. In addition, he has served as a mentor to numerous undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Sanger has also taught as a guest instructor at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and at Coquimbo Marine Station in Chile for two UNESCO-sponsored courses. He is the recipient of several teaching awards, including the Berwick Award for his ability to fuse the teaching of basic science and clinical medicine.

Sanger’s research focus is the assembly and dynamics of the cytoskeleton of vertebrate muscle and non-muscle cells, work supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Much of his research involving marine invertebrates has been conducted at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research (BBSR) in St. George’s, Bermuda, and at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass. He served as a BBSR trustee (1977-1982) and a trustee and executive trustee (1990-1993) of the Woods Hole laboratory. Sanger also is a frequent consultant on cardiovascular and cell motility research for various national and international research foundations.

Sanger is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on the editorial boards of Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton and the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology. Sanger and his wife, Jean McGilvray Sanger, Ph.D., were the editors of four one-hour video productions on cell motility for the journal Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton. Jean M. Sanger will join the SUNY Upstate faculty as professor of cell and developmental biology Jan. 1, 2006.

Dr. Joseph W. Sanger received his doctorate in molecular biology from Dartmouth College in 1968 and did postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania studying cell differentiation of muscle. He was a Humboldt Fellow and visiting scientist for one year at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany.

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