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Jeff Yoder Named Professor of Biological Sciences and Executive Director of Genetics and Genomics Academy

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Jeff Yoder has been appointed professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and executive director of the Genetics and Genomics Academy (GGA), effective August 1. Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden and Senior Vice Provost for University Interdisciplinary Programs Rob Dunn made the announcement today. In his role as executive director, Yoder will work as part of a team of interdisciplinary leaders within the Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs. 

Headshot of Dr. Jeff Yoder
Dr. Jeff Yoder

“As a scholar, Dr. Yoder brings a rare comparative evolutionary approach to immunology and health. As a leader, he is committed not only to the research and graduate training missions of GGA, but also to the pursuit of novel partnerships that help to bring the professional benefits of an understanding of genetics and genomics to more of our students, staff and community members,” said Dunn. “I also want to thank outgoing executive director Fred Gould, who has been a consistent leader of and advocate for an understanding of genetics and genomics at NC State and in society. Fred helped bring together a group with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to develop a vision for the academy’s work and future.”

“We are delighted to have Jeff join our faculty in Biological Sciences,” said Carolyn Mattingly, head of the Department of Biological Sciences. “He has worked closely with our faculty for years, and this formal appointment will further strengthen our expanding multidisciplinary research programs.”

Yoder, who joined the NC State faculty in 2004, is currently a professor of innate immunology in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine. In his new role as executive director of the Genetics and Genomics Academy, he will be responsible for promoting and supporting collaborations across all research, training and outreach activities at NC State to forge a more interdisciplinary understanding of the genetic and genomic underpinnings of life on earth to sustain biodiversity and improve the wellbeing of the people of North Carolina and beyond. 

“We are excited that Jeff will continue his career at NC State, where he has already made such a positive impact,” said Arden. “Along with the interdisciplinary team at the Genetics and Genomics Academy, and the Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs more generally, he will continue to elevate the academy’s reputation in higher education scholarship.”

Yoder is a leader in comparative immunology with an emphasis on understanding how immune systems recognize and destroy invading pathogens while leaving their own cells unscathed. Although his research spans all vertebrates, he employs zebrafish, rodents and human cells as models for discovery. His current research is focused on how genetic diversity and exposure to environmental chemicals impact immune function. He has special interests in comparative genomics, comparative immunology, immunotoxicology, and genome engineering.

“I am honored and excited to step into this leadership role with the Genetics and Genomics Academy,” said Yoder. “By listening to and working with the GGA membership, I hope to build upon our current strengths in research and training while also developing new interdisciplinary opportunities for faculty and students in education, research and external engagement.”

He has served in the GGA executive committee since it was formed in 2021 and is the head of the GGA research committee. He also is director of the career development program for the Center for Human Health and the Environment, and immunology concentration area leader for the Comparative Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. He has served in various leadership positions for the Zebrafish Disease Models Society, and in multiple editorial roles including Section Editor for the Journal of Immunology

Yoder received his Bachelor of Science degree in biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and his Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University.

This post was originally published in Provost's Office News.