Dr. Christopher R. Meyer, a Central Valley native who currently is a program director in the Division of Biological Infrastructure at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA, is the new dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at Fresno State.
Meyer is a biochemist with extensive teaching, mentoring and leadership at Cal State Fullerton. He has a vision for collaborative and synergistic scientific research related to water, food and energy, said Provost Lynnette Zelezny, who announced the appointment. Meyer will start at Fresno State this summer.
An alumnus of the California State University system, Dr. Meyer will bring vision and stability to the College of Science and Mathematics, and research prominence to Fresno State and the Central Valley.
Meyer started his second appointment in August 2015 at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he participates in management of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program, leads the Research Coordination Network for Undergraduate Biology Education program and serves as the biology representative for several NSF programs, including the Inclusion Across the Nation of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science program.
His NSF-funded lab focuses on the generation of biodegradable and renewable carbon sources.
Meyer joined the faculty at Cal State Fullerton in 1994 after postdoctoral research at Michigan State University. He served as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 2010-15.
He developed and taught innovative lab, lecture, and general education courses to diverse undergraduates and master’s degree students, and successfully integrated research into a lab course resulting in a high impact paper with student authors.
His experiences at Fullerton also include service as the acting coordinator for the Health Professions Committee, acting director of the NIH Minority Scientist Development Program, liaison for Research and Faculty Grant Writing, and as a governing board member of the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology.
He also served as a mentor for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute program.
Meyer has brought in millions of dollars in external funding and published and presented work with students at many regional, national, and international meetings. His students have won regional and national awards for their research and gone on to top graduate and professional schools as well as successful careers in industry.
He has also served as principal investigator on significant conference grants, including an innovative Ideas Lab that brought together scientists from the U.S. and U.K. to collaborate on enhancing photosynthesis, and a national conference in Fullerton focusing on enhancing student centered research at predominantly undergraduate institutions.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from California State University, Chico in 1985 and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, Riverside in 1990. He served as a postdoctoral scholar (1990-93) and a visiting research assistant professor (1993-94) at Michigan State University.