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Texas A&M biologist Mark Zoran at the podium in The Zone Club at Kyle Field
Texas A&M biologist Mark Zoran delivers remarks at the inaugural College of Arts and Sciences Annual Awards Ceremony on May 2, 2023. | Image: Chris Jarvis, Arts & Sciences Marketing & Communications

Dr. Mark J. Zoran, a professor of biology and a neuroscientist at Texas A&M University, has been appointed interim dean of the Texas A&M College of Arts and Sciences, effective Aug. 1.

Zoran, a well-respected and accomplished faculty member, researcher and leader, has served as executive associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences since June 2022. Prior to that, he held the same position since 2018 in Texas A&M's former College of Science. He has spent two decades in college administration, serving since 2003 as an associate dean for graduate studies and subsequently for both graduate studies and faculty affairs in the College of Science. From 2017-18, he also was acting associate provost for graduate and professional studies.

Zoran’s appointment was announced July 31 by Texas A&M Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Alan Sams.

“We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Dr. Zoran for stepping into this important role and to the College of Arts and Sciences faculty for your support and participation in the nomination and selection process,” Sams said.

Zoran joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1991 as a member of the Department of Biology, where he researches the development and regeneration of brain connections and how the biological clock controls those synapses, brain functions and behaviors. His research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation — funding that has enabled him to make a significant impact on dozens of graduate and undergraduate researchers affiliated with his cellular and developmental neurobiology-based laboratory during the past 30 years.

Equally accomplished in the classroom, Zoran teaches an undergraduate physiology course and has taught graduate courses in neuroscience. He also collaborates in a learning community through the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning focused on STEM teaching professional development for graduate students who are interested in academic careers. In 2008, he was recognized with a Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching at the college level.

A native of DePue, Illinois, Zoran earned a master’s degree in biological sciences from Illinois State University in 1981 and a doctorate in zoology/neurobiology from Iowa State University in 1987. He completed postdoctoral research at Iowa State prior to coming to Texas A&M, where he also is an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Biological Clocks Research and the Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience.

“It is an honor to be asked to serve the College of Arts and Sciences in this role,” Zoran said. “Together with our outstanding faculty and staff and our Aggie students, both current and former, we will continue to enhance our academic programs and provide outstanding and transformational learning experiences. As we continue to build the Arts and Sciences college and bolster our broad spectrum of research endeavors, we look to make lasting impacts on the state, nation and world.”

Zoran succeeds Dr. José Luis Bermúdez, professor of philosophy and the Samuel Rhea Gammon Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M, who had served since May 2022 as interim dean of Arts and Sciences and as a professor in the Department of Philosophy since 2010. A national search for the permanent dean currently is underway.

Learn more about Zoran and his teaching, research and professional service accomplishments or the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Team.