New VP for Research
Melur K. “Ram” Ramasubramanian has been appointed the University of Virginia’s vice president for research, UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan announced today.
Ramasubramanian will assume this position on Aug. 8 and will report to the president. He is currently program director for the Engineering Research Centers program at the National Science Foundation and D.W. Reynolds Distinguished Professor and department chair of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University, with a joint faculty appointment as professor of bioengineering.
Ramasubramanian will succeed interim vice president for research Philip A. Parrish, who will return to his previous role of associate vice president for research.
“Ram has accumulated a powerful combination of experiences as a world-class researcher, teacher and administrator,” Sullivan said. “He has served as a research university department chair and program director for one of the largest single center-level research funding mechanisms at the National Science Foundation.
University Establishes Two New Institutes
The huge societal challenges of global infectious diseases and a rapidly changing climate are now key transdisciplinary focus areas at the University of Virginia under two newly established, pan-University institutes.
The UVA Environmental Resilience Institute and the Global Infectious Diseases Institute will each bring together top researchers from a range of disciplines at UVA to tackle some of the biggest problems facing society.
Three years ago, the University began an initiative under its strategic Cornerstone Plan to tackle major 21st-century issues by establishing up to five institutes drawing on the University’s broad and specific intellectual capital. The UVA Data Science Institute – the first, and established in 2014 – facilitates data-intensive research, analytics, management and education across the University. The UVA Brain Institute, established last year, focuses on better understanding the human body’s most complex organ.
And now, major UVA resources are being dedicated to problems involving the environment and infectious diseases, globally related issues with myriad challenges.
Alison Criss, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, will head the Global Infectious Diseases Institute.The Institute will catalyze transdisciplinary research to combat the most notorious and urgent infectious threats afflicting humankind, including epidemics like Ebola, untreatable “superbugs” and the diarrheal infections that kill hundreds of thousands of children around the world each year. This institute will solidify UVA’s global footprint through international partnerships and collaborations while seeking new funding for high-impact, transformative research. By promoting scholarly activity revolving around infectious diseases, the institute will educate and train the next generation of lab, social science and clinical researchers, engineers, educators, policymakers and entrepreneurs.
Karen McGlathery, Professor of Environmental Sciences, will lead the Environmental Resilience Institute. The Institute will seek to accelerate solutions to urgent social-ecological challenges such as coastal flooding and storm impacts in coastal regions, as well as water security. This requires collaborative research where human, natural and infrastructure systems converge and that integrates new models, sensing tools, big data, narratives, designs and behavioral research.