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Michael Forstner named first Chair of Genetics at Texas State

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
December 5, 2007


Michael Forstner

Michael Forstner, a professor in the Department of Biology at Texas State University-San Marcos, has been named the inaugural holder of the Alexander/Stone Chair of Genetics.

Forstner will hold the endowed biology chair for a six-year term.

Dr. Mary Alexander was a genetics professor in biology here, and way back when, she taught an undergraduate zoology major by the name of Mike Forstner,” Forstner explained. “I held out a long time to take her genetics course, because it was my biggest interest other than chasing snakes.

“Dr. Alexander left an endowment to the university to establish this chair,” he said. “It was her desire to help ensure that genetics research would prosper in this department in the future. She invested in that future.”

Forstner’s areas of research include vertebrate systematics and population genetics.  The majority of his projects comprise genetic and physical surveys of endangered or threatened species, including ongoing work with the endangered Houston Toad.

Forstner came to Texas State in 1999 from Florida Atlantic University. He earned his B.S. in zoology from Texas State in 1988, his masters from Sul Ross State in 1991 and his Ph.D. in genetics from Texas A&M University in 1995. 

About the Alexander/Stone Chair of Genetics

The Alexander/Stone Endowed Chair of Genetics is named for Mary Louise Alexander (1926-1994) and William Stuart Stone (1907-1968).

Alexander earned her Ph.D. studying mutagenesis in Drosophila under the supervision of Stone. She continued her research at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, the Oak Ridge and Brookhaven National Laboratories and in Edinburgh, Scotland, before finishing her career as a professor at Texas State.

Stone’s major field of study was radiation genetics. He served as a consultant for the Atomic Energy Commission, the National Institutes of Health, the Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Research Council, among others. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1960 and concluded his career as a vice chancellor in the University of Texas System.