GSBSE Announces New Program Director

“I am happy to announce the appointment of Dr. Clarissa Henry as the new Program Director of the  (GSBSE),” Dr. Kody Varahramyan, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School.

Henry, a faculty member in the University of Maine School of Biology and Ecology, has been associated with the GSBSE since its inception in 2006. She has a distinguished professional record, including extensive experience in research and graduate education.

She has an impressive list of career highlights:

  • Visiting faculty for the Advanced Microscopy Course at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in 2012
  • Co-organizing the Northeast Society for Developmental Biology meeting at Woods Hole in 2014
  • Serving on the NIH Skeletal Muscle and Exercise Physiology study section from 2013-2017
  • Elected to the board of the Zebrafish Disease Models Society
  • Co-Vice Chair for the Gordon Myogenesis Conference in 2019
  • Co-Chair for the Gordon Myogenesis Conference in 2021

Genetic muscle diseases, such as Muscular Dystrophy, are the focus of Henry’s research lab work. By studying muscle dysfunction in zebrafish they hope to promote improved muscle health and quality of life.

Henry has mentored 11 graduate students during the course of her career. To fund the research and support her efforts she was fortunate to receive grants from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, March of Dimes Foundations, National Institutes of Health, and along with GSBSE faculty members Wheeler, Townsend and Oxburgh received an MRI award from the National Science Foundation to purchase a Leica Light Sheet microscope.

Henry says she is looking forward to her tenure as the Program Director of the GSBSE.

“My favorite part of being in GSBSE is watching students grow as scientists,” said Henry. “The explicit inclusion of bioscience and engineering in GSBSE is somewhat unique and I’m most excited to increase the collaboration and interaction between these two disciplines.”