Michael Strand, an internationally recognized UGA entomologist whose insights into host-parasite interactions have important implications for agriculture and human health, has been named a Regents Professor, effective July 1.
Regents Professorships are awarded by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents to distinguished faculty whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized both nationally and internationally as innovative and pace setting. The professorship, which includes a $10,000 salary increase, is granted for an initial period of three years and may be renewed.
“Dr. Strand excels as an educator and as a researcher,” said Provost Jere Morehead, whose office oversees the review process for nominations for the award. “He has enhanced the university’s curriculum, is a respected mentor to young scientists and is widely regarded as one of the world’s top researchers in his field. He is without a doubt a worthy recipient of this honor.”
Strand holds an appointment in the entomology department in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and an affiliated appointment in the genetics department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. His work as principal or co-principal investigator has generated more than $23 million in extramural funding and has been published in the world’s most selective journals. Strand’s research has been cited at a level that places him in the top 1 percent of cited entomologists and the top 5 percent for biology and biochemistry.
Strand conceived and wrote a revision of the department of entomology’s curriculum that has been credited with enhancing the educational experience of students. He teaches undergraduate survey courses and has trained more than 50 graduate students and postdocs.
“Dr. Strand brings the same level of dedication, creativity and ingenuity to teaching as he does to his research,” wrote CAES Dean J. Scott Angle and several colleagues in a nomination letter.
Strand’s research has identified the genes that allow parasites to prey on agriculturally important pests and revealed mechanisms that allow the immune systems of insects to fight off parasites.
His university service includes appointments on committees related to the research mission of the institution. He also is a member of the university’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases and Faculty of Infectious Diseases.