Upstate News

February 6, 2009
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Kane named interim chair of biochemistry and molecular biology

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Patricia M. Kane, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, has been named interim chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Kane succeeds Richard L. Cross, Ph.D., who stepped down from the post last month. He remains on the faculty.

“We are grateful for Rich’s long and inspiring leadership of this important department,” said Steven Scheinman, M.D., senior vice president and dean of the College of Medicine. Cross, an oft-honored researcher, had served as chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for nearly three decades.

“Under his guidance, the department compiled a remarkable record of success in recruiting excellent faculty members, nurturing their careers, mentoring faculty, and retaining them,” Scheinman said. “He has built stellar cores and programs, including the 3-campus Structural Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics (”SB3″) program, and led an excellent program for graduate and post-graduate training.”

Scheinman said that while moving the department forward, Cross maintained the trajectory of his own research accomplishments, beginning with the work that earned him a citation in the Nobel Committee’s announcement of the 1997 Prize in Chemistry, and culminating in his designation as SUNY Distinguished Professor.

Kane has been a member of the SUNY Upstate faculty since 1992, when she was appointed assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. She was promoted to full professor in 2003.

Kane has served as vice chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology since 1998, and was acting chair of the department when Cross was on sabbatical in 2003-04. She has also taken on leadership roles within the College of Medicine, having chaired the college’s Research Advisory Committee for many years, and the search committee for a chair of the department of Cell and Developmental Biology in 2004.

Her research on the structure and function of the proton-ATPase and the control of cellular pH has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1994, attracting more than $5 million to the university. She has supervised a large number of postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate trainees, who are co-authors on the majority of her 54 peer-reviewed publications.

She has earned the acclaim of her peers, receiving such honors as the Award for Research and Scholarship from the Research Foundation of SUNY (2007), and SUNY Upstate’s President’s Awards for Excellence in Research (2004) and for Excellence in Teaching (1995). Before joining SUNY Upstate, she received the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award.

Kane earned her undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Cornell University.

“Dr. Kane has earned the respect of her colleagues within the department and throughout the campus. Her intellect, leadership and her outstanding skill as a teacher and mentor to her students make her well-suited to lead this outstanding department,” Scheinman said. “I am grateful for her willingness to serve in this capacity.”

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