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Hector Flores named Dean of College of Science at Texas State

Date of Release: 02/21/2005

Dean Hector E. FloresSAN MARCOS—Hector E. Flores, Ph.D., whose research interests lie in plant biology and biotechnology, has been named Dean of the College of Science at Texas State University-San Marcos.

“Dr. Flores’ extensive background in research, teaching and administration is precisely the right foundation for leadership of our College of Science,” said Texas State President Denise Trauth. “I also value his special interest in the education of Hispanic students. I look forward to working with Dr. Flores in the development of the college and in implementing the University’s strategic plan.”

Flores studied biology at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Lima, Peru; B.S., 1973) and horticulture at the University of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez; M.S., 1977) before earning his M.Phil. (1981) and Ph.D. (1983) in biology from Yale University.

Flores joined the Pennsylvania State University (State College, Penn.) in 1978 as Professor of Plant Pathology and Biotechnology, where he developed an active national and international program which balances basic and applied research in plant biology and biotechnology via individual and collaborative efforts. He was also adjunct professor of biology and faculty member in the Intercollege Graduate Programs in Plant Physiology and Ecology, and the newly created Life Sciences Consortium. He served as Director of the Science, Technology and Society Program at Penn State from 1996-1999 and between September 1999 and September 2001 Flores was program director for metabolic biochemistry at the National Science Foundation. In 2003 he became Dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, Ark.) and professor of biological sciences, while also holding a research appointment with the Arkansas BioSciences Institute.

As a researcher, Flores has received more than $6 million in competitive grants as both co- and principal investigator from federal, state and other competitive programs including private foundations. His research projects have centered around the metabolism and biochemistry of biologically active compounds produced in plant roots, and the uses of plants for nutrition, pharmaceutical and agrochemical applications. Flores has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARCO Chemical Company, Pennsylvania Research Corporation, Hawaii Biotechnology Group, Charles Lindbergh Fund and The McKnight Foundation. In 1987, Flores was awarded a Summer Fellowship from the National Health Sciences Foundation (Japan).

Flores is also strongly committed to international collaborations. Over the past 20 years he has hosted visiting scientists and advised graduate students from China, Costa Rica, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, China, Egypt, Brazil, Japan and the Philippines.

Between 1994-2000 he led an international initiative for research and training in Latin America, focusing on Andean root and tuber crops and supported by The McKnight Foundation. Flores has also developed innovative approaches to biology and science teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels, including several new courses in plant biotechnology, specialized plant biochemistry, science and creativity, and Seeds of Change: the Uses of Plants.

He is on the editorial board of several international journals and has done extensive service for Federal and private agencies and professional organizations, and been an international consultant for the U.S. State Department.