Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor
Years at SJSU: 6
Department: Biological Sciences
RSCA focus: Bacterial genetics, metabolism and physiology, bioengineering, systems level biology and one-carbon metabolism.
In Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Elizabeth Skovran’s lab, she and her student researchers are engineering methylotrophic bacteria to recycle rare earth metals and produce biodegradable plastics. Skovran has published 18 articles in peer-reviewed journals, served as a presenting author at 10 conferences, and has served as faculty advisor to students on dozens of presentations. She has received the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology award four times, allowing her to work with countless student researchers.
“The Skovran lab consistently has a dedicated, enthusiastic, vibrant group of students that enjoy solving metabolic and molecular puzzles,” she says. “Students develop and implement creative thinking skills to unravel the intricate and integrative nature of metabolism and to develop the applications that metabolic engineering permits.”
Skovran received the College of Science Outstanding Teacher Award in 2018 and was selected to participate in the 2017 University Grants Academy. But she takes as much pride in her students’ accomplishments as her own. She says that watching one of her undergraduate research students present at the West Coast Bacterial Physiology meeting—the only undergraduate to present—is a highlight of her career.
“Test the waters and get experience by conducting research and becoming a teaching assistant,” she tells students. “It is just as important to discover what you do not want to do as what you do want to do.”
Note: Congratulations to the 43 faculty members who received tenure and/or promotion for 2018-19. We have invited each faculty member to participate in a series of posts profiling their teaching, service, and research, scholarship and creativity activities. Those faculty who opted to participate will be featured throughout the fall semester on the Academic Spotlight blog and the digital sign in the Administration Building lobby.