Upstate News

February 18, 2008
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies named

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Steven R. Goodman, Ph.D., a leading researcher in sickle cell disease, has been appointed vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

The appointment, effective Sept. 1, was announced by Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., senior vice president and dean of the College of Medicine.

Goodman, who currently serves as the C.L. and Amelia A. Lundell Professor of Life Sciences, and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Texas at Dallas, is respected worldwide for his three decades of research into the structure and function of cell structures called membrane skeletons. His related research into sickle cell disease led to breakthrough discoveries into the molecular definitions of irreversibly sickled cells and is paving the way for new, more effective drug treatment of the disease, an inherited blood disorder affecting mostly African Americans. Goodman identified a drug, which, in Phase II trials, has been shown to block the formation of dense irreversibly sickled cells and lower what is called the crisis rate for sickle cell sufferers.

Goodman’s other major research contributions include helping to elucidate the structure and function of the spectrin membrane skeleton. In 1981, he was the first to describe nonerythroid spectrin, and has since demonstrated that spectrin functions are as diverse as regulating synaptic transmission, intracellular calcium homeostasis, and DNA repair. He provided the first description of the erythrocyte proteome; described defects in the sickle cell RBC proteome; defined the molecular basis of the irreversibly sickled red blood cell; and demonstrated that spectrin also functions as an ubiquitin conjugating/ligating enzyme.

“We are very excited to have recruited a scientist of Dr. Goodman’s stature to the leadership team at Upstate,” Scheinman said. “By combining the roles of vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, this will represent the most significant position of leadership for research that our campus has had. His work on sickle cell disease spans the gap between laboratory and clinical research. Dr. Goodman will be an effective leader for our strategic research direction and advocate for research development, including development of clinical and translational research.”

Working collaboratively with George Buchanan, M.D., and colleagues at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Goodman helped bring the first NIH Sickle Cell Center to Texas. Prior to his current positions in Dallas, he was chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience and director of the NIH Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile. He has also served on the faculty of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of Pennsylvania State University.

Goodman was past president of the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Neurobiology Chairs. He serves on multiple editorial boards and is currently editor-in-chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine. He was an exchange scientist to the Soviet Union as part of the US-USSR Scientific Exchange Program, and, he was an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association. He has served on research grant study sections for the National Institutes of Health, the Israel Cancer Research Fund and the American Heart Association. In 2008, the third edition of Dr. Goodman’s textbook, Medical Cell Biology was published.

Since 1977, Goodman’s research has been funded by numerous agencies including the NIH, and Department of Defense. He has published over 120 papers in referred scientific journals and made countless presentations at national scientific meetings.

Born in New York City (Manhattan), Goodman earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from St. Louis University Medical School. He completed postdoctoral research fellowships in cell and molecular biology at the Biological Laboratories and the Sidney Farber Cancer Center at the Harvard University and Medical School.

At SUNY Upstate, Goodman will have appointments as professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and professor of pediatrics. As vice president for research, Goodman will be responsible for strategic planning for research for the institution, oversight of the campus research infrastructure, and research growth and development. As dean of the College of Graduate Studies, he will be the chief academic officer of that college, responsible for the degree programs in the College of Graduate Studies involving both graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. He will be a member of the SUNY Upstate President’s Leadership Council and will report to the senior vice president and dean of the College of Medicine.

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