Claire M. Fraser, president and director of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), Rockville, Md., will address graduates at Virginia Tech’s 25th National Capital Region Commencement Ceremony at 3 p.m., Sunday, May 15, at the Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Va.

Fraser also is a professor of pharmacology and microbiology and tropical medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine.

Fraser, who oversees numerous major research projects, including the genomic sequencing of Bacillus anthracis, has been at TIGR since the institute was founded in 1992. Prior to assuming the title of president in 1998, she served as the Institute’s vice president of research and director of its Microbial Genomics Department. Virginia Tech and TIGR recently formed an alliance to enrich the university's basic research capacity in the life sciences and enhance TIGR's computational and experimental capacity.

Previously, Fraser was a researcher at the National Institutes of Health, including three years as chief of the Section of Molecular Neurobiology at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

She is a member of National Research Council committees on countering bioterrorism and on domestic animal genomics. Fraser also has served on review committees of the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and the National Institutes of Health.

Her numerous academic and professional honors include the E. O. Lawrence Award from the Department of Energy; the ASM Promega Biotechnology Award; honorary Doctor of Science degrees from RPI, the University of Bergen and the University of Minnesota; a Computerworld Smithsonian Award for Innovation in Information Technology; an IMAS Award from The Institute for Mathematics and Advanced Supercomputing, and a RPI Alumni Association Fellows Award. She is a member of six professional societies and a three-time winner of Maryland’s Top 100 Women award.

Fraser has published more than 230 articles in scientific journals and books. She edited two volumes in the Receptor Biochemistry and Methodology series on neurotransmitter receptors and has been a reviewer for nine scientific journals, currently serving on the editorial boards of The Journal of Biological Chemistry and Current Biology. She is a former editor for Comparative and Microbial Genomics and for the International Encyclopedia of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Fraser is a summa cum laude graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.

Virginia Tech has fostered a growing partnership with the greater metropolitan Washington D.C., community since 1969. Today, the university’s presence in the National Capital Region includes graduate programs and research centers in Virginia's Alexandria, Falls Church, Leesburg, Manassas, and Middleburg. In addition to supporting the university’s teaching and research mission, Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region has established collaborations with local and federal agencies, businesses, and other institutions of higher education.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.


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