May 27, 2020

Amanda Bryant-Friedrich named dean of the Graduate School

Amanda Bryant-Friedrich has been selected to serve as the next dean of the Wayne State University Graduate School. She will begin on Aug. 1, 2020.

Bryant-Friedrich comes to Wayne State from the University of Toledo, where she’s served as dean of the College of Graduate Studies since 2016 and in the added role of vice provost for graduate affairs since 2018. She earned her master of science in chemistry from Duke University in 1992 and her Ph.D. in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1997 from Ruprecht-Karls Universität in Heidelberg, Germany.


“The mantra guiding my professional activities is access. Doors open to an inclusive, welcoming and supportive environment that fosters success for all who have the ability and desire to participate in the academic enterprise is my purpose,” said Bryant-Friedrich. “Wayne State has all the key elements to fulfill this mission. I am honored to have the opportunity to join this excellent community of students, teacher/scholars and leaders in higher education at this pivotal time in history.”

Bryant-Friedrich is currently a professor of medicinal and biological chemistry in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toledo. Her research interests center around the study and use of naturally and synthetically modified nucleosides and nucleotides in the determination of disease etiology and drug design and development.

She is a fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also is a leadership fellow of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Before joining University of Toledo, Bryant-Friedrich spent her early years in the academy at Oakland University and at Wayne State. 

Bryant-Friedrich has a strong record of leadership, Provost Keith E. Whitfield said, and "will be an excellent complement to Wayne State's strong team of deans, as we face the historic challenges posed by COVID-19."

"I want to thank the search committee, particularly chair Roland Coloma, for their diligent and hard work in identifying a strong pool of applicants, conducting interviews and organizing the virtual visits. This was not the normal way we recruit deans, but they did an outstanding job of conducting an inclusive process that identified an outstanding finalist," Whitfield said. "I also want to thank Ingrid Guerra-Lopez for her service as interim dean of the Graduate School. She has provided — and will continue to provide — important leadership during this transition."

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