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Renee LeClair

Renee LeClair, PhD

Chair, Department of Basic Science Education

Riverside 1 Room 241

Education and Training

  • Rice University: Ph.D.
  • University of Maine: B.A.

My journey to become an educator started at the University of Maine, Farmington where I intended to receive a degree in Secondary science education. Very quickly in this career path I realized that so much of what I was learning was not being implemented in the classroom, mainly because of tradition and unreactive ‘status quo’. My frustration led to motivation and a graduate degree at Rice University where I achieved a PhD in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology (2005). My research focus was in spectral chemistry and yeast genetics and I was personally challenged with finding the ‘relevance’ of my work. So I took a post-doctoral fellowship in vascular biology focusing on fibrotic remodeling (Mentor Volkhard Lindner, Maine Medical Center Research Institute 2005). This line of research has remained a passion and despite being diffuse from my original PhD research goals, I have been able to apply various skill sets to solve more clinically relevant problems. At the University of New England, I developed educational leadership skills under the guidance of some excellent colleagues. During my tenure at UNE, I was part of a team of faculty members who transitioned an otherwise traditional delivery of Medical Education into a truly integrated format that provided a cutting edge educational experience while I also maintained an active funded research laboratory. In 2013, I had the opportunity to move to a new medical school, University of South Carolina. In transitioning this position at the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, Greenville (USCSOMG), I adapted my skill sets to a clinical environment and conduct diverse patient related studies, ranging from neuropathic pain post chemotherapy to the post-surgery incidence of atrial fibrillation. In my current position as Chair of the newly formed Department of Basic Science Education I hope to use these skills to provide strong and supportive leadership for faculty and staff to excel in a novel setting.