Anthony Carruthers stepping down as dean of Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

UMass Medical School Communications

May 15, 2017
  Anthony Carruthers, PhD

Anthony Carruthers, PhD

After a distinguished and influential career as a scientist, mentor and dean, Anthony Carruthers, PhD, will leave his post as dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in early 2018, according to an announcement by Chancellor Michael F. Collins and School of Medicine Dean Terence R. Flotte.

“When Tony joined the biochemistry laboratory of Don Melchior here in February of 1982, he was a new postdoctoral fellow, fresh from his PhD studies at King’s College in London. He and his wife, Lorraine, arrived in Worcester with two suitcases and the intention of remaining for only two years,” Chancellor Collins said. “Over the next 35 years, Tony participated in a revolution in his field, where protein-mediated transport across cell membranes is now understood to include more than a thousand unique proteins—each remarkable in its specificity and biology. His work, funded continuously since 1983, continues to result in new insights, new publications, new graduate students and a deeper understanding of protein-mediated glucose transport.”

Dr. Carruthers has mentored 15 PhD students and is always quick to acknowledge that it is their work and the insights and support of his UMMS colleagues that have advanced the field so dramatically, Collins said.

“If he had simply chosen to run his successful and innovative lab while here, his accomplishments would unequivocally deserve our admiration,” said Dean Flotte, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and executive deputy chancellor. “But as you know, Tony has done much more.”

Carruthers was a member of the core faculty at UMass Medical School who understood that for their own research and the institution to make a measurable, positive and sustainable impact, they would also have to do the work of building a research enterprise supportive of the educational and clinical missions laid out in our founding charter. This meant participating in the hard but necessary work of recruiting, nurturing and mentoring faculty, developing programs and curricula, and creating a vision for a rapidly changing institution on the move, Flotte said.

Carruthers has served as founding faculty member in the Program in Molecular Medicine; interim chair and then vice chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; and for the past 15 years, dean of the GSBS. His legacy includes changes in the GSBS that have emphasized multidisciplinary opportunities for students; innovative, research-focused curricula; increased professional development for students and postdoctoral fellows; strategies promoting the recruitment and retention of students from all socio-economic backgrounds; and a thriving, engaged community of teachers, learners and staff committed to improving the human condition by advancing scientific knowledge. 

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