The search committee for the executive director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, chaired by University Distinguished Professor Paul Knox, announces two final candidates selected from a strong group of applicants.

Kenneth Tew and Harold “Skip” Garner will be visiting the Blacksburg campus for two days to meet the university community. An open forum will be held at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute conference center, which is located on Washington Street on the Virginia Tech campus.

Tew is professor and chair of the Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He joined MUSC in 2004 from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where he served as chairman of pharmacology and held the G. Willing Pepper Chair in Cancer Research. In his current position at MUSC, Tew holds the John C. West endowed chair in cancer research. He is also the program leader of the Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Program at the Hollings Cancer Center.

Tew’s research focuses on circumventing the mechanisms of cellular resistance to anticancer drugs and understanding the cellular pathways that affect drug response and resistance. Tew is recognized worldwide for his research on cancer drug discovery and development based upon sulfur-related enzyme pathways as platforms for drug targeting. Tew received his Ph.D. degree in biochemical pharmacology from London’s Institute for Cancer Research, where he was also awarded a Doctor of Science.

He is the holder of several patents and has published extensively in leading peer-reviewed journals. Tew serves, and has served on, the advisory boards of several biotechnology companies. He has been the recipient of an Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Cancer Institute and a Scientific Research Award from the American Cancer Society. Tew was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007 and is past president of the Association of Medical School Pharmacology Chairs.

  • Tew will be on campus Aug. 13 and 14. His open forum at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute Conference Center is Thursday, Aug. 13 from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. with a reception following in the institute’s auditorium.

Garner is professor of biochemistry and internal medicine and the Philip O'Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Chair in Developmental Biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas(UTSW). Before coming to UTSW in 1994, Garner served as a senior staff scientist and founder of the Bioscience Division at General Atomics. In his current position at UTSW, Garner is also a member of the McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development (Human Genetics Center), and a founding member of the Division of Translational Research.

Garner’s research focuses on three areas: applied computational biology; advanced instrumentation development; and genetics, genomics, and proteomics research that builds on the group’s software findings and instrumentation capabilities. Garner received his Ph.D. in plasma physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982.

Garner has published widely in leading peer-reviewed journals throughout his career in plasma physics and bioengineering. He sits on several corporate advisory boards and advises government and private agencies. Garner is the founder of several biotechnology companies, including Xanapath, BioAutomation, and Light Biology, which was acquired by Nimblegen (now Roche Nimblegen Inc.), in 2004.

  • Garner will be on campus Sept. 1 and 2. His open forum at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute Conference Center is Tuesday, Sept. 1 from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. with a reception following in the institute’s auditorium.

Access the photos and Curriculum Vitaes of the candidates, visit the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute website.

Share this story