This is another in an ongoing series of profiles of faculty members who have recently achieved tenure. These profiles are intended to provide illustrations of how some faculty reach that goal.
Samuel Bouyain is just getting started.
The French-born, Oxford-educated biologist was recently granted tenure, but he says he achieved the milestone not by focusing on tenure, but by looking beyond it.
“To say it is a goal means you stop there, and that’s not what I am about,” Bouyain said. “What I wanted to do was to work on interesting biological problems and get some answers to the questions I had. This led to papers and getting a grant from NIH. But I just wanted to be the best research scientist I could be, and it just so happened that the goals I had were the same ones that earn you tenure.”
Born and raised in Paris, Bouyain earned his diploma of Engineer in Chemistry at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris. He went on to earn his DPhil in Biochemistry at Oxford (UK), followed by postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins.
It was his desire to focus intently on his science that led him to UMKC’s School of Biological Sciences.
“UMKC offered the availability of all the facilities that I needed, on site, to do the work,” he said. “I didn’t have to farm it out elsewhere or rely on external equipment. The hardware was present already so I could hit the ground running.”
Indeed. He established an independent research lab, and has had eight papers published since 2010, including two in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A UMRB research grant provided initial support. He kept busy outside the laboratory as well, recruiting graduate students and participating in extramural grant review and editorial work.
That still leaves time for him to immerse himself in Kansas City life – attending Sporting Kansas City and Chiefs games, symphony performances at the Kauffman Center and exhibits at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
“Culturally, I think Kansas City is really, really nice. There is a lot here,” he said.
From an Oxford don born and raised in Paris, we’ll take that compliment.