RIP: Dr. Gopi Podila
Dr. Gopi Podila was among the three faculty members who were killed by Amy Bishop, a faculty member at University of Alabama who was denied tenure. The Indian American professor Podila’s research interests included functional genomics of plant-microbe interactions and plant molecular biology and biotechnology.
My condolences to the families of the victims. What more can I say about this insanity?
More about Dr. Padila from Hutsville Times:
Dr. Gopi Podila, who came to Huntsville 10 years ago, predicted the city was about to emerge as a biotech hub in the new South.
“Biotech has been a hidden gem here,” said Podila during an interview for the local R&D Report magazine in 2008. “You need a critical mass to be really visible. I think it’s getting there.”
Podila, 52, left a teaching position at Michigan Technological University in 2000 to become the chair of the Biology Department at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
“We needed a department chair who was an experienced researcher, an accomplished biologist,” said Dr. Lewis Radonovich, former UAH provost. “Gopi was a highly principled, fine human being. He was a solid man, a good man. He tried very hard to support his young faculty.”
…The Biology Department was the most popular in the College of Science, Fix said, teaching about 450 undergraduates. He said the biology faculty members were particularly cooperative. To some degree, that started with Podila.
“He was a leader for the department,” Fix said. “He was a very warm person. He was funny and a good advocate for his department.”
Rena Webb, who is working on her masters degree in biology, said Podila was her adviser. “He really is the nicest man I’ve ever known,” said Webb. “You don’t feel like a graduate student, you feel like part of a family.