Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor
Juan Alfonzo is a founding member of Ohio State’s Center for RNA Biology. He is a newly elected fellow of the Evolution Think Tank (ETT) at the University of Münster Graduate School for Evolution.
Alfonzo investigates the mechanism of tRNA editing in trypanosomes and also works on the largely understudied and still essential process of tRNA import into mitochondria. He has promoted the study of RNA locally at Ohio State’s Center for RNA biology and through international conferences.
Alfonzo served as chair of the RNA Editing Gordon Conference (2008) and co-organizer of the Protist RNA meeting (Trest, Czech Republic 2010). He has chair sessions in numberous RNA-focused conferences including RNA and DNA editing and modification (Aussois, France, 2007), the tRNA Conference 2016 (Jeju island, South Korea) and the RNA editing Gordon Conference (Ventura, California, 2017) and has been a member of the 2010 and 2018 tRNA Conference International Advisory Committee.
Alfonzo was a permanent member and chair of the NIH Pathogenic Eukaryotes Study section and served on many National Science Foundation panels. He was the chair of Microbiology Graduate Admissions and since joining Ohio State, Alfonzo created several new courses including a graduate course titled “The RNA World” as a way of engaging and welcoming students into the ever-growing OSU RNA community.
Alfonzo has always been passionate about teaching and mentorship, and firmly believes in establishing a relaxed learning environment for students. He also believes in always making himself available to students, with the philosophy that one is never "too busy for them" regardless of the circumstances.
Because of his dedication to teaching, Alfonzo recently received the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award.
Alfonso was a postdoctoral fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UCLA where his RNA training began and was awarded the Paul D. Boyer Award for outstanding postdoctoral training. He received his PhD in 1995 from Indiana University and joined the faculty at Ohio State in 2002.
For the full list of 2017 ASC Distinguished Professors, please visit the original article here.