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New dean for College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Brigham Young University Academic Vice President C. Shane Reese announced today that Grant Jensen has been named the new dean of the BYU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

Grant Jensen

Jensen is currently a professor of physics and biophysics and the director of the Caltech Center for Cryo-EM at the California Institute of Technology. He will join the college and begin his five-year term as dean on November 1.

Grant replaces Gus Hart, who has been serving as interim dean since Reese was named Academic Vice President in June 2019.

“I appreciate the exceptional service and leadership that Gus has given to the college, particularly as the university has navigated the current pandemic,” Reese said. “Grant has been an extraordinarily productive researcher, maintaining high levels of external funding and national attention for his pioneering work in electron cryotomography while working alongside students in his lab. His experience, talents, and gifts will bless the lives of students and faculty at BYU.”

Jensen received a Ph.D. in biophysics from Stanford University and then did post-doctoral work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Brigham Young University, with a minor in mathematics, where he was named the 1994 valedictorian for his college.

Jensen has pioneered the field of electron cryotomography, an imaging technique used to produce high-resolution 3D views of cells and viruses. He has nearly 200 publications, many of which are in top peer-reviewed journals like Science, Nature and Cell, and which collectively have been cited over ten thousand times.

In 2014 he produced an online class on electron microscopy. In total nearly one million individual lectures have been watched so far. He will be releasing his first textbook, "An Atlas of Bacterial and Archaeal Cell Structure," later this year.

Jensen has received many prestigious grants to support his research including funding from the National Institute of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences has more than 3,600 students majoring in one of seven different departments.

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