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School of Medicine professor named Regents Professor

Jon T. Skare recognized with prestigious Regents Professor Award
John Skare

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents recently awarded Jon T. Skare, PhD, professor and associate head in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis & Immunology at the Texas A&M School of Medicine, with the Regents Professor Award and title of Regents Professor. Chairman of the Board of Regents Bill Mahomes says this award honors accomplishments from research to service over the last year that exemplify the Texas A&M System’s commitment to finding solutions and serving Texas. Since its inception in 1996, only 306 A&M System faculty members have been recognized with the Regents Professor Award. Skare is among 14 faculty members selected for the prestigious designation this year.

Skare’s lab studies the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Because of his work, significant progress has been made toward understanding the disease, which infects nearly 500,000 people per year. Skare’s research team has identified important regulators that promote the movement of the Lyme disease pathogen from ticks into infected mammals. His work has also characterized Borrelia proteins that promote infection and prevent clearance. Work in the Skare lab has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1999, and Skare has trained more than 25 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, as well as numerous undergraduates, in his research group. Many of his trainees have gone on to successful careers in industry and academia.

Skare received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Irvine in 1986, his PhD from Washington State University, and his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California-Los Angeles in 1996. He has been a faculty member at Texas A&M ever since, where he has served various administrative and teaching roles.

“I think the most important part of my job is the training of students—undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. That’s what is important in the end—at least to me,” Skare said. To him, the students are truly what make this job rewarding. “They make it all worth it,” he said. “It is a great and a humbling honor to be recognized!”

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