Brigham Young University Dean of Life Science James Porter, and Dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Gus Hart, have announced Steven Castle as the new director of the Simmons Center for Cancer Research and Scott Weber as the new Associate Director.
Castle and Weber commenced their new roles on August 6th, 2020.
Castle succeeds Merrill Christensen who was the director of the center since 2014, and previously the associate director since the center’s beginning in 1997.
"We are grateful to Merrill Christensen for a productive six-year tenure as director. He was very successful in working with Philanthropies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to increase donations for student fellowships," said Porter.
As the Director of the Simmons Center for Cancer Research, Castle will be responsible for directing its vision, strategy, and programs. He will work closely with the Program Coordinator, board members, and University Administration to further the mission of the center.
"We are grateful for Steve's leadership style and strong science. We expect the center will continue to thrive with his insight and thoughtful approach," said Hart.
Castle is a Professor of Chemistry in the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 1995, followed by a Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute in 2000. He also performed an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Irvine from 2000-2002.
As associate director, Weber will support Castle in his endeavors as director, and work closely with the center’s staff to help facilitate the fellowship programs.
"Scott Weber is an excellent researcher and thinker. He will bring enthusiasm and competence to the associate director position," Porter said.
Weber is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from BYU and his doctorate from the University of Illinois. Prior to coming to BYU, he worked as a Post Doctoral Fellow and Research Instructor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at the Medical School at Washington University in St. Louis.