Colorado State University’s Infectious Disease Research Center is under new leadership as of May 1. Dr. Rick Lyons, formerly with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, joined CSU to oversee the Infectious Disease Research Center on the University’s Foothills Campus and the Infectious Disease Supercluster. Dr. Lyons replaced Dr. Ralph Smith, who retired from CSU on May 30 after more than 27 years of service.
Dr. Lyons, a doctor of internal medicine, has extensive experience in infectious disease research and leadership. For the past 16 years, while at New Mexico Health Sciences Center, he was a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease and Immunity. His research interests are focused on understanding the interaction of pathogens with a host, particularly for anthrax and tularemia. His laboratory has been a leading facility in the field of biothreats. Colorado State’s infectious disease research also focuses on biothreats, researching several diseases that could be used as a biological weapons.
“Colorado State University will continue to strengthen its expertise, strategic partnerships and global role in infectious disease under the leadership of Dr. Lyons,” said Dr. Bill Farland, Vice President for Research at CSU. “His dedication to understanding, preventing, diagnosing and treating infectious disease is visible through his international reputation for excellence in research and a capacity for leadership and vision."
Dr. Lyons received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Washington State University in 1976 and his doctorate in immunology and microbiology at University of Texas Southwestern in 1981. His medical degree is from UT Southwestern in 1987. He performed his internship, residency and fellowship in hematology and oncology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Dr. Lyons has received funding from the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency and the Department of Defense to study different aspects of host pathogenesis. He serves on the board of directors for the National Center for Genome Research and for the Biophysical Corporation in Austin. He sits on committees for the National Institutes of Health and the National Academy of Sciences, with a focus on translating research into products to fight infectious diseases.