Dr. Michael J. Benedik is the Vice Provost And Chief International Officer for Texas A&M University. He serves as an advisor to the Provost and President and provides leadership for campuswide initiatives in concert with the provost, deans, vice presidents, and the dean of faculties. He currently facilitates multi-college interdisciplinary curricular programs, academic strategic planning, and cross-campus initiatives. Prior to his appointment as Vice Provost, Dr. Benedik served as the Dean of Faculties, Faculty Ombuds Officer, and Speaker of the Faculty Senate.
Dr. Benedik’s research focused on using molecular biology and genetic tools to study and engineer bacteria. One major thrust of his research was developing novel microbial approaches for the biotechnology industry as applied to environmental bioremediation. An example of this work is the genetic engineering of proteins useful to remove the highly toxic chemical cyanide released in waste water after industrial and mining use.
A second area of research is antibiotic resistance and tolerance to antimicrobials developed by bacteria, especially with dormant cells. The project involved elucidating the signals that lead to the dormant state and eventually to develop therapeutic interventions that can “wake” these bacteria before antibiotic therapy ceases.
Dr. Benedik has mentored 35 graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scientists. He has served as PI or co-PI on more than $6 million in external research grants and published more than 100 scientific papers and chapters.