James V. Staros received his undergraduate education at Dartmouth, where he became hooked on research and co-authored his first published scientific paper with his undergraduate research advisor. He was a NSF Graduate Fellow at Yale, where he earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry and a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry at Harvard.
Staros began his faculty career at Vanderbilt in 1978, serving as a department chair 1988-2002. In 2002, Dr. Staros was named Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Stony Brook (SUNY). In 2009, he became Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Provost of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a faculty appointment as Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, a position that he assumed full time in September 2014 when he stepped out of his administrative post.
In addition to leading a vigorous research program, Staros has been very active in bringing innovations into the science classroom and teaching laboratory. In 1991, in a successful proposal to the HHMI Undergraduate Biological Sciences Education Program, he designed a networked wet teaching laboratory as part of a total overhaul of introductory biology. In 1995, he posted his first hypertext syllabus for a course he taught in a computer classroom designed and built with support from another HHMI grant. More recently, he has been a strong proponent of Team-Based Learning (TBL), with the result that UMass Amherst has constructed seven IT-enhanced TBL classrooms on campus and has provided support for faculty converting courses to TBL format through its Center for Teaching & Faculty Development.