University Distinguished Professor of Integrative Biology

Virginia Weis is a University Distinguished Professor of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University and the Dr. Russ and Dolores Gorman College of Science Faculty Scholar. She has been at OSU since 1996 and served as Head of Integrative Biology for nine years from 2011-2020. Her research group studies the symbiotic relationship between corals and their microbial algal partners. These symbioses are central to the health of coral reef ecosystems and when the partnerships breakdown due to environmental stress such as global warming, the entire reef ecosystem is threatened. Her group studies the molecular and cellular signaling between the coral host and algal symbionts. This work helps inform the development of solutions for saving reefs. Weis’s current focus includes efforts to create coral germplasm repositories to preserve coral biodiversity. She has instructed thousands of undergraduate students in introductory biology, invertebrate zoology, and the biology of symbiosis. Throughout her time at OSU, Dr. Weis has received millions of dollars in extramural funding to support her research program and trainees. She has authored over 100 publications and mentored and trained 20 PhD students, 13 postdoctoral fellows and over 100 undergraduates. Dr. Weis earned a doctorate in biology with a focus area in coral reef biology and coral symbiosis from the University of California at Los Angeles.