Robert P. Elde, Ph.D.
Robert Elde was named dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences in October, 1995. A 1969 honors graduate of North Park College in Chicago, Elde received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1974. He joined the University faculty in 1977 and is the J. B. Johnston Land Grant Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Neuroscience. Elde received an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1996.
During Elde’s tenure as dean, he has worked to improve the quality of education and research at the College, and to apply research to enhance human health, the environment, and agriculture in Minnesota and beyond. Among his accomplishments, Dean Elde has:
- Led reorganization of the University’s biological sciences programs to strengthen and refocus education and research.
- Led planning for buildings that enable great biology, including the Molecular and Cellular Biology Building, the Cargill Building for Microbial and Plant Genomics, University Enterprise Laboratories, and the Raymond Lindeman Research and Discovery Center at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.
- Recruited strong department leaders, who hired talented faculty and increased the quality and impact of research within their departments.
- Improved field stations at Cedar Creek and Lake Itasca by elevating education and research programs and adding facilities.
- Created many programs to improve the undergraduate experience, including Nature of Life, a community-building program for freshmen held at Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories.
- Founded University Enterprise Laboratories, a privately funded incubator for start-up biotech companies and chaired its board for six years.
- Founded the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment and chaired its executive committee for five years.