Fermin appointed dean for graduate studies


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (August 26, 2013) — Cesar Fermin was recently appointed as dean for Graduate Studies and Research. He is also professor of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

He served as project director for the Tuskegee Research Center in Minority Institutions from 2008 to 2011 and is the international academic and scientific adviser for Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago in the Dominican Republic. August 2011, Fermin was appointed as associate dean for Graduate Studies and Research.

Before coming to Tuskegee University in 2006, he worked at Tulane Medical School Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine where he served from 1988 to 2005 as director of Morphological Services, including diagnostic electron microscopy, digital imaging, and electronic communication matters.

At Tulane, he also maintained two research initiatives funded by the National Institutes of Health, NASA and other foundations: Retroviruses infectivity (leading to three patents) using in vitro analysis of human tumor derived cells and developmental neurobiology (plasticity) of balance/equilibrium that allows vertebrates to remain erect, control motion, and resist gravity.

The neurobiology research demonstrated the biogenesis of biological nano-crystals, and differentiation properties of neurons and axons that transmit signals from the ears to brain centers. He evaluated biomarker properties of the calcium binding protein S100ß and recently started interdisciplinary projects seeking answers to questions that bridge the nano-material-nano-biological boundary.

The retrovirology research demonstrated multiple-simultaneous cell membrane entries by HIV particles to T cells. With his colleague, Robert Garry, Fermin discovered the new Human Intracisternal A-type Retroviral Particle (HIAP).

Fermin has been featured in peer-reviewed journals, symposia, book chapters, and scientific proceedings. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology-chemistry from Universidad National Pedro Henriquez Ureña in the Dominican Republic in 1974. He studied English at Florida Institute of Technology in 1975 where he also obtained a master’s degree in cell biology in 1977 and a Ph.D. in biology in 1981. From 1981 to1983, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and served there as an assistant professor from 1983 to1988 before becoming an associate professor at Tulane Medical School.

For more information on Tuskegee University’s Graduate Studies and Research please visit (www.tuskegee.edu/gsr)

© 2013 Tuskegee University

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