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Two professors selected as seventh, eighth Fisher Endowed Chairs

Joel Moore, assistant professor of geological sciences, and Petra Tsuji, assistant professor of biological sciences, have been selected as the seventh and eighth respective recipients of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences.

Moore and Tsuji will each receive a monetary award of $15,000 every year for three years that may be used for a summer faculty stipend, professional travel, research equipment and supplies, and undergraduate student research support.

“The Jess and Mildred Fisher endowed professorships allow us to make strategic investments in junior faculty members who show outstanding promise as researchers, teachers and research mentors,” explains David Vanko, dean of the college.

“As evidence of the program’s success, the first six Fisher Endowed Professors—in whom we’ve invested a total of $240,000—have since been awarded more than $1.8 million in grant funding for the university. That’s a return rate of 750 percent!”

Joel Moore

Joel Moore

Moore joined the faculty of the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences in August 2011, and currently teaches physical geology, environmental geology and hydrogeology. His research focus is biogeochemistry, with applications to weathering, global tectonics and atmospheric CO2, and his endowed chair project will examine the environmental fate and consequences of the application of road salt.

Before coming to Towson, Moore served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geological Sciences at Northwestern University. He earned his B.A. in Geology and History from Wheaton College, and his Ph.D. in Geosciences from the Pennsylvania State University.

Petra Tsuji

Petra Tsuji

Since August 2011, Tsuji has been a faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences, where she teaches cellular biology and genetics. Her research goal is to elucidate the mechanism by which various dietary molecules, particularly those containing selenium, allow for intervention strategies in colorectal cancer. She has already engaged eight undergraduate students in this research.

She previously served as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute’s Laboratory of Cancer Prevention at the National Institutes of Health. Tsuji earned a Vordiplom (B.S.) and her Diplom-Biologin (M.S.) at the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, an M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Charleston, a Ph.D. in Biomedicine/Molecular Biology from the Medical University of South Carolina, and an M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in the Biological and Physical Sciences was established in 2005 as part of a $10.2 million gift to the College of Science and Mathematics from the Robert M. Fisher Foundation. Its purpose is to honor the memory of the Fisher family by incorporating research opportunities into the undergraduate learning experience through the support of the scholarly growth of highly promising faculty researchers in the physical and biological sciences who are in the early stages of their careers at Towson.

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