Presentations from the monthly Council of Research Administrators/Center Directors meetings
Members of MU's Council of Research Adminstrators/Center Directors meet each month to engage in wide-ranging discussions related to all aspects of MU's research enterprise. During the spring of 2018, council chair Mark McIntosh, vice chancellor for research, graduate studies and economic development, asked participants to provide attendees with an overview of their school/college's research strengths, priorities and plans for the future. These presentations, given over a series of meeting dates, will be posted as they become available.
College of Veterinary Medicine:
Chris Lorson, Professor of Veterinary Pathobiology and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of Veterinary Medicine
The College of Veterinary Medicine, Missouri’s only institution that confers the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, traces its history back to 1884, when a single course for veterinary science was added to the university’s curriculum. Today the college, its teaching hospital, diagnostic lab and other associated facilities are among the nation’s preeminent veterinary research and teaching venues. In his presentation, Chris Lorson, professor and associate dean, provides an overview of the size and scope of Veterinary Medicine’s current research enterprise, introduces key research administrators and their roles, and details areas likely to yield future growth.
Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology:
Jill Kanaley, Professor and Associate Chair, Nutrition & Exercise Physiology
Scientists and scholars working with MU’s Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology are dedicated to using research, teaching, and nutrition and physical activity outreach to improve health outcomes. It is the only MU department that spans three colleges, the School of Medicine, the College of Human Environmental Sciences, and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources — a configuration that has allowed it to become a model of interdisciplinary research and education across campus. In her presentation, Jill Kanaley, professor and associate chair, provides an overview of NEP’s current research projects and initiatives, along with details of plans for future collaborative endeavors.
College of Arts and Science:
J. Chris Pires, Professor of Biological Sciences and Associate Dean for Research; Jill Ferguson, Arts and Science Grants Office Lead
The College of Arts and Science, MU’s oldest and largest division, is home to academic and research programs spanning a wide range of foundational disciplines, among them the humanities, fine and performing arts, and social, behavioral and natural sciences. In their presentation, J. Chris Pires, professor of biological sciences and associate dean for research, and Jill Ferguson, Arts and Science grants office lead, discuss George Smith’s recent Nobel Prize, describe a major research initiative aimed at advancing the science of addiction prevention, and provide an overview of strategic priorities related to A&S science and scholarship.
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources:
Marc Linit, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Extension and Director of the CAFNR Research and Agricultural Experiment Station
Founded in 1870, MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at MU is a global research and educational leader. Each day scientists and students at CAFNR’s collection of academic divisions work to address many of the most significant challenges in our world today, including problems related to human health, food production and environmental sustainability. During his presentation, Marc Linit, senior associate dean for research and extension and director of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, discussed how CAFNR’s research productivity contributes to the success of MU’s land grant mission and bolsters its AAU status. He also described how CAFNR-administered research facilitates and centers continually make meaningful contributions to the health and prosperity of millions of Missourians.
PET Imaging Center, College of Veterinary Medicine:
Jeffrey N. Bryan, DVM, Associate Professor of Oncology and director of the Comparative Oncology Radiobiology and Epigenetics laboratory
Opened just last year, MU’s PET Imaging Center has already proved invaluable in boosting the accuracy and speed of diagnoses of human and animal cancers, cardiovascular disorders and neurological diseases. It is also providing important new capabilities for plant science research. Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging test that provides a real-time window into how organs and tissues are functioning. Computed tomography (CT) is an imaging procedure used to create detailed anatomic pictures. Examples from Dr. Bryan’s presentation show how, when combined, these PET/CT scans provide functional and structural data that are advancing “science at the intersection of humans, animals, and ecosystems.”
Radiopharmaceutical and Radiotracer Institute:
Silvia Jurisson, Director and Professor of Chemistry & Radiology
Richard Ferreri, Co-Director and Research Professor, MURR, Department of Chemistry
For more than 25 years, MU has been a leader in developing interdisciplinary research and educational programs in radiopharmaceutical and radiotracer sciences. At the Radiopharmaceutical and Radiotracer Institute, Director Silvia Jurisson and Co-Director Richard Ferreri work to advance basic and applied investigations as part of a broad, interdisciplinary research program in molecular imaging and targeted radiotherapy. Dr. Jurisson, Dr. Ferreri and their RSI colleagues are primarily engaged in the design, formulation and study of novel radiolabeled biomolecular in vivo targeting agents with diagnostic and therapeutic potential. A major focus, as is detailed in their presentation, has been the development of cancer-specific radiopharmaceuticals.
Sinclair School of Nursing:
Vicki S. Conn, Associate Dean and Potter-Brinton Professor of Nursing
Since its first class of nurses graduated in 1904, the University of Missouri has been a leader in nursing education, practice, service, extension and research. Today, more than ever, the Sinclair School of Nursing is dedicated to strengthening its status as one of the nation’s top-tier research programs. In her presentation, Vicki S. Conn, associate dean and Potter-Brinton professor, describes how research faculty and graduate students, working across a range of programmatic strengths, are conducting numerous extramurally supported investigations that promise significant improvements in patient care.
School of Health Professions:
Judith Goodman, Associate Professor of Communication Science and Disorders and Associate Dean for Research, School of Health Professions
The MU School of Health Professions is the UM System’s only school of health professions and is home to the state’s only public-health program on a health-sciences campus. Judith Goodman, associate dean for research, provides details on how faculty at the School have successfully advanced a rapidly expanding research enterprise. Featured investigations include work in several critical, health-related issues, among them mechanisms underlying disorders, the development and assessment of innovative interventions, and the public health mission of preventing disease and promoting health in communities and individuals.
MU Research Reactor:
J. David Robertson, Associate Director for Research and Education, MURR
The University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) is a 10-megawatt facility that ranks as the nation’s most powerful university-based research reactor. Even worldwide, few facilities can compare. Among the other important services provided, faculty and staff at MURR use this unique national resource to develop radiopharmaceutical products that have saved or extended the lives of thousands of cancer patients. In his presentation, J. David Robertson, MURR’s associate director for research and education, describes the full range of research-related activities conducted at MURR, as well as numerous examples of how such activities allow for fruitful interactions between academia and industry.
College of Engineering:
Sheila A. Grant, Professor of Bioengineering and Associate Dean of Research, College of Engineering
Long recognized as a world leader, MU’s College of Engineering boasts 150 years of globally significant contributions to research, education and service. As part of its commitment to supporting today’s faculty, students and post-docs, the college has recently identified four “pillars of pursuit” that will guide new advancements: Educating Engineering Leaders, Big Data Analytics, Biomedical Innovations, and Sustainability in Food, Energy, Water and Smart Cities (InFEWSed). Dr. Grant’s presentation centers on how these four areas, and the strategic priorities the College has adopted to bolster them, are at the core of the College’s vision of becoming the nation’s “College of Choice” for top engineering faculty, students and post-docs.
College of Education:
Matthew K. Burns, Professor of School Psychology and Associate Dean for Research, College of Education
Since its establishment as a state-mandated Normal College for the instruction of teachers in 1868, MU’s College of Education has used research-based professional practice and training to provide educators and professionals with the tools they need to create a truly educated citizenry. In his presentation Dr. Burns describes how the college's mission, "Educating Missouri, our Nation and our World," can best be achieved by emphasizing the importance of three research-related themes: Infrastructure, Communication, and Incentives. Progress related to discovery, innovation and advancement within these areas, he says, has already led to a number of high-profile successes, among them a doubling of the College’s research and development expenditures over the past four years.
Interdisciplinary Plant Group:
Robert E. Sharp, Professor of Plant Sciences and Director, IPG
Established in 1981, MU’s Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG) is a community of MU faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows and professionals who are pursuing novel, creative, and transformative ideas in the field of plant biology. By encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation between scientists engaged in plant molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, evolution, ecology, and computer science, the IPG seeks to stimulate joint research projects that will enhance scientists’ understanding of how plants grow and develop in changing environments. Dr. Sharp’s presentation describes the rich history of plant sciences at MU, recent achievements by IPG-related faculty, students and post-docs, ongoing IPG research programs and facility upgrades, as well as an overview of promising international partnerships.
Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center:
Walter Gassmann, Interim Director and Professor in the Division of Plant Sciences
The Bond Life Sciences Center was created in 2004 to help scientists span boundaries in pursuit of investigations ranging across the entire spectrum of life sciences’ research. This "culture of innovation" enables its more than 40 faculty investigators from 12 academic units to bring unique perspectives to bear on problems in human and animal health, the environment and agriculture. Dr. Gassmann’s presentation provides a detailed overview of how the LSC is structured, its administration, its programs intended to further its collaborative culture, as well as promising new investigations and discoveries.
College of Human Environmental Sciences:
Dr. Jung Ha-Brookshire, HES Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Textile and Apparel Management
MU’s College of Human Environmental Science houses an array of teaching, research and extension activities, including exceptional undergraduate and graduate programs. For more than 115 years, HES has been deeply rooted in the land-grant mission, its programs serving as MU’s “window on the world.” Dr. Jung Ha-Brookshire’s presentation provides a comprehensive overview of HES’s six core areas of research and teaching, with detailed information on important projects currently being pursued by its faculty and students.