We are thrilled to welcome Professor John Kuwada as the new Director of Asian/Pacific Islander Studies. Dr. Kuwada is Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
Professor Kuwada is recognized on campus as an advocate on issues concerning the communities of for Asian and Asian American faculty, students and staff. He has served in numerous capacities in LSA, Rackham, and Provost-level appointments. Professor Kuwada chairs the newly-estabished organization Indigo: The LSA Asian and Asian-American Faculty Alliance. whose mission is to promote an inclusive climate in which Asian and Asian-American faculty flourish in teaching, research, service and leadership. Professor Kuwada comes to the directorship of A/PIA Studies with the strong support of A/PIA Studiesʻs core faculty and the leadership of the Department of American Culture and the College.
During World War II, Professor Kuwadaʻs grandparents and other relatives were interned in Arkansas. Since they had lost homes and businesses in California, they went on to establish new lives in the heartland after the war.
Professor Kuwada received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1980. He completed NSF and NIH postdoctoral fellowships at University of California, San Diego, and joined the faculty at University of Michigan in 1987. He directs the Kuwada Lab in conducting research on evolutionarily conserved families of genes that regulate brain neural circuits. In 2012, he founded Biology Education in Cambodia (BEC) to provide expertise and training in teaching modern biology at the Royal University of Phnom.
The energy and enthusiasm Professor Kuwada brings to this role is summed up in his comment, “WE are not INVISIBLE so let us not be SILENT”!