Rusyn Awarded Inaugural University Professorship, Recognizes Toxicology Pioneer As Namesake

Dr. Ivan Rusyn, with CVM Dean Eleanor M. Green, VIBS department head Jane Welsh, and Blanca Lupiani, dean of faculties and associate provost

Dr. Ivan Rusyn, a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVM) Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences (VIBS), is one of Texas A&M University’s first five faculty members to be bestowed the title of University Professor.

The designation of “University Professor” recognizes faculty who have demonstrated significant and sustained accomplishments in their discipline, earning national and international recognition. The award also highlights the recipients’ commitment to inclusivity, accountability, climate and equity in their department, college, and throughout their service at Texas A&M.

“We are extremely proud that Dr. Ivan Rusyn has been selected for this distinguished recognition,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M. “Dr. Rusyn is an established national and international authority on complex problems in environmental health and human health assessments and is greatly deserving of an inaugural University Professorship designation.”

As part of the award, the holder also has the opportunity to name the professorship for retired, emeritus, or deceased Texas A&M faculty member who has had an impact on their career and scholarship. Rusyn selected to name this professorship after the late Professor KC Donnelly, former department head of environmental and occupational health at the School of Public Health at Texas A&M, who passed away on July 1, 2009.

“This is a humbling honor,” Rusyn said. “I am indebted to all of my current and past trainees and colleagues for their hard work and encouragement and feel that this honor is shared by all of them. I also wish to recognize the legacy of KC Donnelly, one of the pioneers of environmental health and toxicology at Texas A&M. KC was and remains a role model and inspiration to many toxicologists who work to protect public health in Texas, United States, and worldwide.”

“KC Donnelly was an environmental scientist who played a major role in the Texas A&M University Superfund Project, which is now directed by Dr. Rusyn,” said Dr. Stephen Safe, a distinguished professor in the CVM’s Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology (VTPP). “KC was a wonderful colleague and mentor to students at this university and his many contributions to Superfund research were recognized by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), which annually awards KC Donnelly Externships for graduate student trainees to establish collaborations with other Superfund Centers. Thanks to Dr. Rusyn and NIEHS for their recognition of KC.”

Rusyn received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Ukrainian State Medical University in Kyiv and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in toxicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was professor of environmental sciences and engineering until coming to Texas A&M in 2014.

In 2017, Rusyn was awarded a five-year, $10-million NIEHS grant for the establishment of the Texas A&M Superfund Research Center, though which he and scientists from across Texas A&M are conducting four environmental research projects that work to translate science into the practice of mitigating the health and environmental consequences of exposure to hazardous chemical mixtures.

Rusyn’s areas of research include toxicology and environmental health sciences, especially developing highly mechanistic approaches to study the potential effects of environmental pollutants and other anthropogenic stressors on human health. He also focuses on the mechanisms of action of environmental toxicants, the genetic determinants of the susceptibility to toxicant-induced injury, and computational toxicology.

Recipients of the University Professor honor receive an annual stipend for three years, and as faculty members in good standing they retain the title of University Professorship throughout their career at the university.

Nominations for the distinction were submitted by department heads or deans, and the finalists were selected by a university committee and approved by the Provost.

Other recipients include: Vladislav Yakovlev, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering; Bhimanagouda Patil, Horticultural Sciences, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences; Deborah Bell-Pederson, Biology, College of Science; and Wendy Jepson, Geography, College of Geosciences.

For more information about the honorees and their professorship namesake, visit the Dean of Faculties website.

 

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Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Interim Director of CVM Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; jgauntt@cvm.tamu.edu; 979-862-4216