January 1, 2017– The Center for Bioinformatics & Computational Biology is extremely delighted to welcome Dr. Karen Hoober as our new Assistant Director for Graduate Education and Outreach.

As the Assistant Director, Dr. Hoober will serve as a primary resource for all students and faculty about matters concerning degree requirements, curriculum options and academic policies in all stages of student progression through the Bioinformatics graduate programs. She will formulate and implement the Center’s educational recruiting and outreach activities, including development of outreach materials and organizing Center events. Dr. Hoober will also manage the graduate programs, including cross-campus coordination and program assessment, and lead development projects to expand the PhD, Master’s (MS/PSM) and Graduate Certificate programs.

“Dr. Hoober is uniquely qualified with both teaching, mentoring and curriculum development experience at University of Delaware, as well as industrial experience in business management and strategic planning. She will bring her passion for education, knowledge, and leadership skills to expand our graduate programs, meeting the growing training needs through online programs and in strategic areas such as big data analytics and medical informatics.” says Dr. Cathy Wu, Edward G. Jefferson Chair and CBCB Director.

Dr. Hoober is coming to CBCB from the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at UD where she is a doctoral graduate and instructor. Sharing a deep understanding of the University’s high level of educational excellence, Karen has over 15 years’ experience teaching biochemistry, mentoring students, and developing course curriculum. She continues teaching CHEM214 Elementary Biochemistry and has added CHEM106 Elementary Bioorganic Chemistry to her curriculum more recently.

Dr. Hoober has also been an accomplished researcher whose work in discovering a new family of disulfide-bond forming enzymes has led to a new field of study with growing biomedical implications. Karen’s doctoral work at UD on avian egg white sulfhydryl oxidase uncovered a new family of enzymes that generate disulfide bonds in eukaryotes from algae to humans. In humans, these Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase (QSOX) proteins were previously known as growth factors, but the human QSOX1 enzymes have now been shown to be targets of pharmacological intervention. Knocking down the enzymatic activity leads to an impaired ability of cancer cells to invade and adhere to surfaces, while its overexpression in tumors of breast, pancreas and prostate is associated with a poorer outcome for cancer patients. Dr. Hoober’s work has now assumed importance in biomedicine and has been cited by Web of Science more than 440 times.

“With Dr. Hoober’s background in both teaching and research, she is an excellent addition to our CBCB team.  I’m looking forward to working with her in finding innovative ways to provide hands-on bioinformatics training opportunities.” says Dr. Shawn Polson, Director of Bioinformatics Core Facility and Research Assistant Professor, Department of Computer & Information Sciences and Department of Biological Sciences.

Building on her years of professional experience, and with her passion, institutional and program knowledge, and strong connection with students, faculty and affiliates, Dr. Hoober will bring our interdisciplinary Bioinformatics graduate education and training programs to the next level. We are excited to welcome Karen to our CBCB team!