Lynch Term Chair in Biology: Andrew Binns

A new term chair in biology has been created and its first incumbent has been named. Dr. Andrew Binns received his B.A. in biology at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and his M.A. and Ph.D. in developmental biology from Princeton. After postdoctoral study at Rockefeller University, he began his career at Penn in 1980. Today, he serves as chair of the department of biology.

Dr. Binns' research interests are focused in the area of microbial biology and the study of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a bacterium that has the unique ability to transfer both DNA from tumor-inducing plasmid and proteins encoded by the plasmid into plant cells. The Agrobacterium then engineers the plant cell so that it reproduces indefinitely and supplies nutrients for the bacterium. This process has led to routine genetic engineering of plants.

Dr. Binns' lab has produced a steady stream of publications and he has participated in symposia and meetings around the world. An active University citizen, Dr. Binns, this year received the Dean's Award for Mentorship in Undergraduate Research.

Mrs. Carolyn Hoff Lynch, PT'69, established this term chair in the summer of 2000. In her role as a Penn volunteer, Mrs. Lynch chairs the Biology Advisory Board, is a member of the Trustees' Council of Penn Women, and is on the Board of Trustees. Her interests at Penn include a strong commitment to minority issues, the advancement of women in the sciences, and the biological sciences.

Mrs. Lynch is president of The Lynch Foundation, a public foundation that provides support in the domains of healthcare, religious work, education, and museums. She is a board member of The Boys & Girls Club of Boston, a director of The Campus School at Boston College, a trustee of Deerfield Academy, a trustee of The Peabody-Essex Museum, a trustee of Gregorian University, and an overseer at the New England Conservatory of Music. Her awards and citations include an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Emmanuel College, honors from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Alexis De Tocqueville Society Award for Leadership from the United Way, and the Papal Honor of Saint Gregory Award.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 8, October 17, 2000

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