Eric W. Overström was appointed the university's provost and senior vice president in April 2011, after serving as the provost ad interim for the prior academic year. As the chief academic officer, Overström is responsible for the overall quality of teaching and research activity of the university as well as oversight responsibilities for all fourteen academic departments, plus academic support and resource operations. He has led the university’s efforts to integrate academic deans of arts & sciences, engineering, and business into the leadership structure of the Institute while remaining a strong advocate for faculty needs and for the interdisciplinary, cross-departmental collaboration that is so characteristic of WPI.
A Fulbright Scholar, Overström joined WPI in 2004 as a professor of biology and head of the Department of Biology and Biotechnology following more than 20 years of academic service at Tufts University in the Schools of Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, and Dental Medicine. As a developmental biologist, his research has investigated the cell/molecular biology of mammalian eggs and embryos, somatic cell cloning, and assisted reproductive technologies through grant support from the NIH and USDA. His contributions in these fields have led to several patents in the field. He came to WPI having already fostered successful research collaborations with key biotechnology companies at the local, national, and international level.
Overström's leadership in the life sciences at WPI was instrumental to the creation of the Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park (LSBC), which opened in 2007. Since then, with Overström leading the charge, WPI has brought outstanding faculty and students into the life sciences programs, and has tripled research funding in this area. Through his leadership, the LSBC has come to serve not only as the school's focal point for graduate education and research in the life sciences and related bioengineering fields, but also as a strong contributor to the continuing development of life sciences industries in the Commonwealth.
Overström holds a BA in biology from the State University of New York at Oswego, as well as MS and PhD degrees in reproductive physiology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. As a postdoctoral fellow, he trained in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Harvard Medical School. At Tufts, Overström received various awards including the Tufts University's President's Award for Outstanding Achievement, and the Lauro F. Cavazos Award for Teaching Excellence. He is also a member of several scientific societies and associations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Cell Biology, the International Embryo Transfer Society, and the Society for the Study of Reproduction. Learn more about the Provost...