John Lopes has been named associate provost to lead Clemson University’s Graduate School.

Lopes, currently associate dean for operations and graduate and postdoctoral programs for the College of Natural Sciences at UMass, was chosen after a national search. He will begin his new position at Clemson on Aug. 15.

Photo of John Lopes

John Lopes will become associate provost and dean of the Graduate School Aug. 15.

“John stood out among several strong candidates to lead the Graduate School,” said Robert Jones, executive vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. “His academic, administrative and research experience are well-aligned with our ClemsonForward targets to double the number of doctoral degrees we award and to increase externally funded research.”

In his position at UMass, Lopes was responsible for departmental and interdepartmental graduate programs. The college, the largest at the University of Massachusetts, has about 7,200 undergraduate and more than 1,000 graduate students, including 850 doctoral students.  He was also responsible for the operations of more than 20 College of Natural Sciences buildings and off-campus facilities that support its land-grant mission. Most recently, Lopes was involved in efforts to increase multi-modal education opportunities in the college.

As associate provost and dean of Clemson’s Graduate School, Lopes will be responsible for coordinating all graduate programs and for advising the provost on policies and regulations pertaining to graduate studies, admissions and the granting of degrees. Clemson’s current graduate enrollment is 5,282 in 50 doctoral and approximately 86 master’s degree programs. Increasing the number of doctoral degrees conferred each year is a priority for the University outlined in the ClemsonForward strategic plan.

Lopes became associate dean at UMass in 2015 after he was head of microbiology. He previously had been a professor and associate chair in the department of biological sciences at Wayne State University. He began his career as an assistant professor at the Loyola University of Chicago Medical School.

Lopes was born in Portugal and moved to the U.S. at an early age. He received a Bachelor of Science in zoology with a chemistry minor from the University of Rhode Island, a Ph.D. in biology from the University of South Carolina and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Carnegie Mellon University.

His scholarship is in the area of molecular genetics. His research group contributed to understanding regulation of gene expression using the model budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Specifically, he focused on genes required to make membrane phospholipids. His work was supported by the American Cancer Society and National Science Foundation.

Lopes will be moving with his spouse, Teresa. They have three sons, the youngest of whom will be attending college in the fall.

“I am very excited to work with the graduate students at Clemson University to enhance their overall experience and prepare them to impact our world,” Lopes said. “I look forward to partnering with the fantastic staff in the Graduate School and dedicated colleagues across the campus to develop a common vision for the graduate school. I thank Provost Jones for the opportunity to serve the community in our mutual goals to grow the size and reputation of graduate programs at Clemson University. Go Tigers!”