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William E. WaldenWilliam E. Walden
Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity

William Walden is Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity. He is also a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Medicine and since 2006 has served as Director of the college’s Office of Graduate Diversity Programs, which works to increase the number of underrepresented students who enter and successfully complete College of Medicine PhD programs.

In 2006, Professor Walden secured National Science Foundation funding for a Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) program through the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. As Director of that program, his goal has been to increase the number of underrepresented minorities obtaining PhD degrees across campus in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. In August 2007, the second cohort of 12 BD fellows began their graduate studies. Professor Walden has also worked with the Summer Research Opportunities Program since 1994, chairing the steering committee much of that time, and he has served as external evaluator for an NIH-funded Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD) program at Indiana University, which has similar goals to the Bridge to the Doctorate program. 

Professor Walden arrived at UIC in 1987 as an Assistant Professor. In 1992, he was promoted to Associate Professor and began his five-year tenure as Associate Department Head of Microbiology and Immunology. He became a full Professor in 2004, and was a member of the Campus Promotion and Tenure Committee from 2004-2007 – serving as committee co-chair for two years. In addition, Professor Walden served as a 2006-2007 Fellow of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation-Academic Leadership Program (CIC-ALP), which annually mentors a select group of promising administrators for advanced leadership opportunities.

Professor Walden received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Morgan State University in Baltimore and his doctorate in molecular biology from Washington University in Saint Louis. His research is in the area of cellular iron regulation and iron-related gene expression in eukaryotes.  He has served on NIH Study Sections, the proposal review committee of the Leukemia Research Foundation, and as a reviewer of proposals for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Research Corporation, and the Illinois Cancer Council.  Professor Walden also frequently serves as a reviewer for major journals including Science, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Bacteriology, Molecular and Cell Biology, PNAS, and BBA.