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

    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.

  • Edward Hawrot, PhD

    Edward Hawrot, PhD

    Senior Associate Dean for the Program in Biology, Alva O. Way Professor of Medical Science

    Dean Hawrot is the administrative and academic leader of Brown's Program in Biology. He maintains a research program focusing on the molecular and structural basis for the specificity of drug-receptor interactions, especially in the brain. In particular, his lab is trying to understand the functional significance of the various related subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor found in neurons. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is better known for its mediation of synaptic transmission at the junction between motor nerves and skeletal muscle, but related variants in the brain are likely involved in nicotine addiction and in the cognitive-enhancing effects of nicotine.

    Dean Hawrot is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Biophysical Society, and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

    Dean Hawrot lectures in Biotechnology in Medicine (BI017) and in the medical school pharmacology course.

  • Katherine Smith, PhD

    Katherine Smith, PhD

    Associate Dean of Biology Undergraduate Education, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    A member of the Brown faculty since July 2008, Dean 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.

    Dean Smith teaches and pursues research in the field of Conservation Medicine.  She leads the new course Living Biology at Brown & Beyond as part of the Biology Program's Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. Dean Smith is a first generation student who is an active member of Brown's College Curriculum Council and Global Health Initiative. She is a faculty member in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

    Dean Smith is the recipient of the 2014-15 Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Advising and Mentoring in the Biological Sciences.