Biological Sciences presents new faculty candidate

Debby Hernandez, Staff Reporter

The biological sciences department presented the first candidate as they seek hiring a new biology professor, who gave a seminar on his knowledge and goals on Monday.

Thomas Canam, an assistant biology professor, said the department is looking for someone with experience teaching genetics and plant physiology.

Osman Radwan is currently a visiting assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with 10 years of experience in biological sciences.

He also performed postdoctoral research assistance at the university from 2007 to 2012.

Radwan began his career in Egypt where he was an assistant professor at Zagazig University.

He came to the U.S. in 2005 from Egypt because of the broader opportunities and support in biological research.

“I grew up in a small village in Egypt, and this is why I was very interested (to learn) about plant disease and how a plant response to disease, and how a plant controls (it),” Radwan said.

He said his passion for biology developed around his high school years when he decided to attend an agricultural school and do plant research.

Radwan received his doctorate in molecular plant pathology in Blaise Pascal University in France.

He obtained his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Egypt.

He has performed lectures in molecular biology of microbe-plant interactions and plant genomics.

One of his future goals for Eastern is to have the responsibility of teaching about genetics and plant molecular biology.

Radwan said Eastern’s small student to faculty ratio allows for a “good interaction.”

“The classroom is more important to interact with students,” he said. “I like the opportunity.”

Another goal is to establish a good research program for undergraduate and graduate students and do research with them.

Radwan has been an adviser for 14 undergraduate and three graduate students.

He would also like to continue his research toward “discovering genes and genetic mechanisms underlying biologically and economically important traits to crop producers,” according to his resume.

Radwan has obtained various travel awards such as the soybean precision genomics workshop in Columbia, Missouri in 2013, and was an invited visiting scholar in Canadian Government Laboratories in 2004.

Requirements for the position of a new biology faculty member include having evidence of academic accomplishment and experience and necessary background to develop new courses at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Other requirements include having research with the potential to attract both undergraduate and graduate students and demonstrate possible effective mentoring of students involved in research.

Canam said two more candidates are expected to visit.

He said the final decision will be made by the end of February while the candidate will be contacted in mid-March.

The new faculty member would begin their position possibly around August at the beginning of the fall semester.

The next candidate will present their seminar at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Buzzard Auditorium.


Debby Hernandez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].