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Biology professor arrested in shootings on Alabama campus

A biology professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) has been charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of three professors during a biology faculty meeting yesterday. Three other people were wounded.

Amy Bishop, who trained at Harvard, has been at UAH since 2003. The New York Times is reporting that she had been denied tenure, appealed the decision, and learned on Friday that she had been denied again.

Killed in the shooting were biology department chair Gopi Podila and professors Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson. Chris Gunter, former genetics editor for Nature, remembers Podila as “the nicest guy who worked to build [a] biology research community for years”.

The Huntsville Times reports that Bishop had been seen as a rising star at the university who had developed, along with her husband, a mobile cell incubation system. “My colleagues think it will change the face of tissue culture,” she told the paper in 2006. “She was just really passionate about what she was doing, and very energetic,” Stuart Obermann, who used to be on the board of the local BizTech technology incubator, said to the Times yesterday. “I’m really quite shocked.”

The best place for updated news is the Times web site. Nature will also have more on the story in the coming days.

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    Mel said:

    What a terrible story. How stressful must your job be to want to take the lives of others away? There’s no excuse. Amy must have had mental issues. They should do psych tests as well.

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