John Tyson, University Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of University Distinguished Professor Emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1977, Tyson brought international visibility to Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Sciences through his work in systems biology. With funding exceeding $20 million, he was the principal investigator on 11 grants from the National Science Foundation and on seven grants from the National Institutes of Health. Tyson authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, 48 book chapters, and two books, and he presented his work at more than 150 research conferences and meetings.

Throughout his career, Tyson received many professional honors and awards including an honorary doctoral degree from the Technical University of Budapest in 2000. He was named Virginia Outstanding Scientist in 2004 and received the Arthur T. Winfree Prize from the Society of Mathematical Biology in 2011. He was elected to the inaugural class of Fellows of the Society for Mathematical Biology in 2017.

Tyson has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses. He chaired or co-chaired nine master’s degree and 23 doctoral degree student committees, and supported 26 postdoctoral fellows. With Michel Pleimling, he set up the Integrated Science Curiculum and also served as the founding director of the systems biology program in the Academy of Integrated Science, part of the College of Science.

He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wheaton College in 1969 and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicago in 1973. Before joining the Virginia Tech faculty, he completed postdoctoral work in theoretical biology at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany, and in biochemistry and cell biology at the University of Innsbruck Medical School in Austria, interrupted by a short stint in the mathematics department at the State University of New York in Buffalo.

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