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Alumni Biographies

Rodrigo A. Gutiérrez received his PhD with Pamela J. Green in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MSU in 2003. He then moved to New York University to do postdoctoral research work with Gloria Coruzzi. He was a pioneer of Plant Systems Biology to understand nitrogen regulatory networks using Arabidopsis as a model system. He moved back to Chile, his home country, in 2006 to start a strong research program in Plant Systems Biology at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile where he is currently Full Professor. He received several awards including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Early Career Scientist and the John A. Boezi memorial alumnus awards. He has made key contributions to understanding the mechanisms for nitrate sensing and developmental responses to changes in nitrogen availability in plants.

Ronald C. Desrosiers received his PhD with Fritz Rottman in Biochemistry at MSU in 1975. He then did postdoctoral research with Peter Lengyel at Yale University. He has had a distinguished career in primate virus research, including seminal discoveries about the simian immunodeficiency virus and its association with AIDS in rhesus monkeys. He headed the New England Primate Research Center at Harvard Medical School for 13 years and is currently at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In addition to his work on fundamental biology of disease-causing viruses, he has been active in public policy debate on AIDS vaccine development.

Raymond MacDonald received his PhD with Robert Ronzio in Biochemistry at MSU in 1974. After a postdoc at U.C. San Francisco with Bill Rutter he became a faculty member early in the evolution of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he has made key contributions to a number of areas including regulatory mechanisms for cell-type specific gene transcription in vertebrates, transcriptional control of organogenesis, and the nature cellular identity and its roles in maintaining the homeostasis of differentiated cells and disease prevention.

Howard C Towle received his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from Michigan State University under the guidance of Dr. John Boezi in 1974. He conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Bert O’Malley at Baylor College of Medicine, studying mechanisms by which steroid hormones influence gene expression in the chick oviduct model system. He then joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota where he did seminal work on thyroid hormone regulated gene expression and then on how changes in glucose metabolism in response to high carbohydrate diet influence hepatic gene expression and promote lipogenesis.