Dr. Patrick Stover joined the Texas A&M University System in 2018, when he was appointed Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M AgriLife. In this role, he oversees the organization’s teaching, research, extension, and service missions. These vital pursuits are carried out by more than 5,000 employees of the Texas A&M System’s statewide agricultural agencies—Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Texas A&M Forest Service, and the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory—as well as the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. As dean of the College, Dr. Stover leads more than 7,800 students and 400 faculty members in 14 academic departments.
Dr. Stover sees the greatest opportunities for transformational advances at the borders among disciplines, such as human and animal health, environmental sustainability, economic development, and social welfare. These opportunities provide incentives to strengthen collaboration across the agency’s research faculty; among its research, extension, service, and education programs; and with external partners all over the world. Strong collaborations and the new ideas and technologies they generate maximize the impact of AgriLife’s work.
Previously, Dr. Stover served as director of the Cornell University Division of Nutritional Sciences, which is among the largest and highest ranked academic nutrition programs globally. The Division of Nutritional Sciences grew markedly during his tenure both in its research funding and its portfolio of academic programs. Dr. Stover led efforts to aggressively recruit and diversify the faculty, secure extramural research support, and expand the division’s audiences through on-campus and distance education. He also created key partnerships with external groups such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as with the private sector.
Awards and Honors
In 2016, Dr. Stover was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences and served as president of the American Society for Nutrition. In 2014, he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Also in 2014, Dr. Stover received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, the Osborne and Mendel Award for outstanding basic research accomplishments in nutrition from the American Society for Nutrition, and a MERIT award from NIDDK-NIH. In 1996, he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Clinton, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. He was selected as an Outstanding Educator four times by Cornell Merrill Presidential Scholars.
Dr. Stover’s research team has focused its work on studying one-carbon metabolism, a process essential for replicating the genome and maintaining genome stability. Aberrations in one-carbon metabolism, due to interactions among nutrition and common gene variants, are tightly linked to several common human pathologies. The Stover research group investigates the chemical, biochemical, genetic, and epigenetic mechanisms, and the associated pathways, within the one-carbon metabolic network. These processes underlie the relationships among nutrition, metabolism, and risk for birth defects, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. The essential vitamins B12, folate, and riboflavin play a central role in one-carbon metabolism; a primary focus of the group’s research has been to understand the regulation of folate cofactor partitioning among the anabolic pathways within the metabolic network and the role of this regulation in disease etiology.
Dr. Stover’s dedication to land-grant universities stems from his upbringing in rural Pennsylvania. A first-generation college student, Dr. Stover graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, went on to earn a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from the Medical College of Virginia, and then completed his postdoctoral studies in nutritional sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.