Program in Biology faculty and leadership aim to help students deepen their understanding of biology at the environmental, organismal, cellular, and molecular levels.

  • photo of Mukesh Jain

    Mukesh K. Jain, MD

    Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences, Senior Vice President of Health Affairs

    Mukesh K. Jain, MD, is the eighth dean of medicine and biological sciences at Brown University and the Frank L. Day Professor of Biology. His tenure as dean began March 1, 2022.

    A physician-scientist, Dean Jain is internationally recognized for studies that established a central role for Kruppel-like factors, a family of DNA transcription factors, in cardiovascular biology, innate immunity, and metabolism. Prior to his appointment at Brown, Dean Jain was chief academic officer at University Hospitals health system in Cleveland, vice dean for medical sciences at Case Western Reserve University, and Harrington Endowed Scientific Director of the Harrington Discovery Institute. In these roles, he oversaw basic and clinical research, a portfolio of programs with robust federal and non-federal annual research funding, more than 200 full-time staff, and one of the nation’s largest graduate medical education programs, with over 1,100 residents and fellows.

    Nationally, Jain’s clinical and academic contributions have been recognized through numerous honors including election to the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation — an organization for which he is a past president— the Association of American Physicians, and the Association of University Cardiologists. In 2017, Jain and five colleagues (including two Nobel laureates) founded the Physician-Scientist Support Foundation, a nonprofit that strives to build a sustainable and diverse physician-scientist workforce through financial and research support for fundamental discoveries that improve human health.

    Dean Jain has a distinguished record of successfully training independent investigators, many of whom have established independent research programs with R-level funding at leading academic medical centers including Harvard Medical School, University of California San Francisco, Baylor College of Medicine, Emory University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Tokyo. He served as principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health T32 grant focused on the training of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral candidates.

    After earning a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Buffalo, Dean Jain earned his medical degree from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine. He completed residency in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and fellowships in research and cardiovascular disease at Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He subsequently joined the Cardiovascular Division at Brigham and Women’s and was an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School until moving to Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals in 2006.

  • Thomas Roberts

    Thomas Roberts

    Senior Associate Dean for the Program in Biology, Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

    Thomas Roberts is the administrative and academic leader of Brown's Program in Biology. With training in comparative physiology and biomechanics, Dean Thomas joined the University in 2004. His research addresses fundamental principles of skeletal muscle function within the context of locomotion. He has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation since 1990, and his work has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals such as Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Journal of Physiology. His professional memberships include the American Society of Biomechanics and the Society for Experimental Biology.

    Dean Roberts has taught courses in human anatomy, environmental physiology, and biomechanics. He earned his BA in biology from the University of Chicago and his PhD from the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Department at Harvard University.

  • Katherine Smith, PhD

    Katherine Smith, PhD

    Senior Associate Dean of Biology Education, Associate Professor of Medical Science

    A member of the Brown faculty since July 2008, Dr. Smith received a BS in Biology from The University of New Mexico and a PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology from The University of California Santa Barbara.

    Before arriving at Brown, she was a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow with the EcoHealth Alliance and University of Georgia where she contributed scholarship on the health and environmental risks of the global wildlife trade. Dr. Smith is a member of the Division of Biology and Medicine leadership team at Brown University. As Associate Professor of Medical Science Dr. Smith teaches courses on Planetary Health to undergraduates and medical students and co-chairs the Planetary Health Curriculum Integration Committee at The Warren Alpert Medical School. She is recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Advising and Mentoring in the Biological Sciences.