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Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives


As Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, Melina works with faculty and deans on University-wide academic initiatives. She supports efforts with the Marine Biological Laboratory, the University’s international centers, emeritus faculty, as well as the Administrative Modernization and Shared Services initiative. She works to establish clear lines of communication between the Provost’s Office, the divisions and schools, faculty, and students regarding current and emerging academic initiatives and supports the Provost on other efforts that impact faculty life.

Melina is the William Rainey Harper Professor in the College and the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and is a member of the Committee of Neurobiology and the Committee on Computational Neuroscience. She is also a Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1998 and joined the faculty in 2002. At the University of Chicago, Melina’s service has included terms on the Council of the Senate, Council of the College and on the Board of the Laboratory Schools. She was also a Dean for Faculty Affairs in the Biological Sciences Division.

Melina’s research examines how the brain evolves and how the brain works with the body’s musculoskeletal mechanics to generate movement and respond to sensory input from the environment. She collaborates with engineers to explore biological models that inform the design of engineered underwater propulsion systems. Melina was a National Academies/Howard Hughes Medical Institute Education Fellow and received a National Science Foundation CAREER award. At the University of Chicago she has received a Wayne C. Booth Graduate Student Prize for Excellence in Teaching and a Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring.