Tricia R. Serio, Ph.D.

Areas of Achievement: 
Higher Education, Science, Advancing the Climate of Inclusivity in STEM, Molecular Biology

Tricia Serio was born in Belleville NJ in 1970 and became a first-generation college graduate in 1991, earning a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University. She completed her graduate work in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics as a fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University (M.Phil 1995, Ph.D. 1997). From 1997 through 2002, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, where she began her life-long interest in and research on self-perpetuating protein conformation in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model for severe neurodegenerative diseases in mammals. Her research has been recognized with numerous awards including a postdoctoral fellowship from the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund, the Howard Temin Award from the National Cancer Institute, the Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, and the Mid-Career Award for Research Excellence from the American Society for Cell Biology.

Prof. Serio began her independent career as an Assistant Professor at Brown University in 2002 and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2008. At Brown, she became passionate about graduate education, serving as director of the graduate program in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology and co-principal investigator on an NIH training grant supporting the program. She spearheaded a redesign of the graduate curriculum and mentoring program, and her efforts were recognized with the inaugural award for Excellence in Graduate and Postdoctoral Teaching and Mentoring in the Biological Sciences.

In 2012, Prof. Serio became Professor and Department Head in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona. At UA, she continued her efforts to advance graduate education and mentorship, directing the graduate program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and serving as the co-principal investigator on an NIH training grant supporting the program. She championed a climate of inclusivity and teamwork within the graduate program, department, College of Science, the University of Arizona and internationally by raising awareness through her service, writing, and leadership. During this time, Prof. Serio was honored by selection for the Academic Leadership Institute, the Op-Ed Project, and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Public Affairs Advisory Committee.

In 2017, Prof. Serio moved to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst as Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Dean of the College of Natural Sciences.