Paul W. Ludden is SMU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Formerly dean of the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Ludden joined SMU in 2007. He is a scholar in environmental biochemistry and holds a tenured professorship in the Department of Biological Sciences. As the University’s chief academic officer, he oversees all aspects of academic life, ranging from admissions and faculty development to supervision of SMU’s seven schools, library system, and international programs.
A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Ludden received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Nebraska in 1972 and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1977. After a Rockefeller postdoctoral fellowship at Michigan State University, he served as an assistant professor at the University of California-Riverside. In 1981 he returned to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he rose to the rank of full professor.
At Wisconsin, he directed the Biochemistry Graduate Program for 14 years and taught in the highly regarded Biocore Program for undergraduates. Continuing his administrative career while pursuing his research interests, he served as assistant chair of the Biochemistry Department and later as executive associate dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, at Wisconsin.
In 2002 Ludden joined UC, Berkeley as dean of the College of Natural Resources and professor of plant and microbial biology. In addition to his duties as dean, he taught a first-year seminar and co-taught the core microbiology course for undergraduate majors. While at Berkeley, he held a concurrent appointment as a faculty member at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and represented Berkeley on several environmental science groups and in the University-Industry Consortium.
An expert on microbial biochemistry, Ludden with his students has published more than 175 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. His work was chosen by the NIH for a 10-year Merit Award that provides support for his laboratory.
Ludden has received numerous honors, among them the Steenbock Career Development Award, the Romnes Faculty Fellowship, and the WARF Mid-Career Award at Wisconsin, the American Society of Microbiology Graduate Teaching Award, and an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University in Sweden. Elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he is a member of the American Society of Plant Biologists and the American Society of Biological Chemists.
His contributions to the profession include serving as panel manager for the USDA Competitive Grants Panel; as co-chair of the Board of Examiners for the Graduate Record Examination in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; and as a member of the NIH Microbial Physiology and Genetics Study Section. Ludden has served on numerous other university, government and business advisory boards and panels.