David Engelke, Ph.D., appointed dean of CU Denver graduate school

August 19, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

Professor of Biological Chemistry David R. Engelke, Ph.D., has been appointed dean of the Graduate School at the University of Colorado Denver, effective Oct. 1. At CU Denver, he will oversee educational programs for more than 6,000 graduate students.

Engelke joined the U-M faculty in 1983 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1989 and full professor in 1996. He has served as interim chair of Biological Chemistry since July 2013.

Engelke has a long history of leadership at the university and school levels, including associate dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and assistant dean for graduate and postdoctoral studies in the Medical School. He also is founding director of the Program in Biomedical Sciences and has served as interim director of the Medical Scientist Training Program and director of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program.

During more than three decades at Michigan, he has earned many accolades for his research, teaching and service, including the U-M Faculty Recognition Award and Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, the Medical School’s Distinguished Faculty Lectureship in Biomedical Research, and induction into The League of Educational Excellence. In 2007, he received the Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award from the Rackham Graduate School.

Recognized for his pioneering research on the biosynthesis of small RNAs, his contributions in the area of gene silencing and pre-tRNA processing by RNase P have made him a leader in the field. In a landmark achievement, his laboratory elucidated the RNA and protein composition of eukaryotic RNAse P and demonstrated the absolute requirement for protein components in the function of this RNA-based catalyst, or ribozyme, distinguishing this enzyme from its bacterial counterpart.