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VOL. 130 | NO. 113 | Thursday, June 11, 2015

Goodman to Accelerate Research in UTHSC Post

By Andy Meek

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When Dr. Steven Goodman starts his new job next month as vice chancellor for research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, he will get under way on a mission to build a strong team of scientists that helps accelerate the university’s research efforts.

GOODMAN

That's one of several components to his new role, which starts July 27 and also includes directing the development and implementation of the research strategy for a school that wants to be known as one of the top biomedical research institutions.

Goodman, who comes from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University where he was the former vice president for research, also will be responsible for crafting research opportunities at UTHSC. Ensuring there’s state-of-the-art infrastructure to meet the needs of the university’s researchers as they compete for funding also is part of his purview.

Goodman told The Daily News several things attracted him to Memphis and to the university, not the least of which was the opportunity to continue his decades of experience and interest in leading medical research efforts.

“They have an outstanding faculty,” Goodman said of UTHSC. “Chancellor (Steve) Schwab and the rest of the leadership are extremely supportive of research and the research enterprise, and there’s a willingness to look at different ways to improve the research enterprise that have not been tried before and to be creative about it.”

Among his other duties, Goodman will represent UTHSC to outside funding organizations, government agencies and partner institutions and advocate for research and related activities to general audiences.

In his previous role with the SUNY system, which he joined in 2008, Goodman alternately filled a variety of senior-level administrative positions. While there, he helped create and served as director of research collaborations at the local level as well as nationally and internationally. He’ll pursue a similar kind of cross-pollination of research at UTHSC, where he said fostering collaborations internally as well as externally will be paramount.

“The job is about increasing collaboration internally between the faculty in different colleges and different departments,” he said. “But it's also external, increasing collaborations with St. Jude and even going beyond that and increasing collaborations throughout the state of Tennessee and the U.S.

“We’re going to be working on all of that, because the greater the network that each individual faculty member has, the less they feel isolated in terms of the research they’re doing. It also gives greater critical mass to any specific subject matter, whether it be cancer or diabetes or infectious diseases or neuroscience.”

In a statement about Goodman’s arrival, Schwab noted that each year the UTHSC faculty and staff get, on average, almost $100 million in research funding from federal institutions and private foundations.

For his part, Goodman’s career over three decades of research-focused work has included a look into the makeup and function of cell structures called membrane skeletons. He's also done extensive research around sickle cell disease.

“Research is the basis for all the improvements we have in terms of the practice of medicine,” Goodman said. “It’s essential for the health of the people in the state, across the nation and around the globe that we continue to do the best possible research.

“I’ve been doing research for a very long time, and I’ve been involved in various aspects of creating research collaborations for about 30 years now. It has been a major part of my life and something that I really enjoy doing.”

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