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Dr. Brian Herman named new vice president for research at the University of Minnesota

October 25, 2012

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has announced that Dr. Brian Herman will be the university’s new vice president for research, effective January 1, 2013, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

“I am delighted that Brian has accepted my invitation to lead the university’s research enterprise, and look forward to working with him in the years ahead to further advance the excellence of the University of Minnesota,” said U of M president Eric Kaler. “Dr. Herman will play a critical role in leading our effort, as Minnesota’s only research and land grant university, to solve our most significant challenges and advance our state’s economy.”

Herman comes from the University of Texas (UT) where he has served for the past two years as the Chancellor’s Health Fellow in Collaboration for the UT System and Special Assistant to the President for the UT Health Science Center. He is a full professor of cellular and structural biology, receiving his doctorate from the University of Connecticut Health Science Center and postgraduate training from Harvard Medical School.

A central figure in the university’s senior leadership, Herman will oversee all aspects of research at the University of Minnesota’s five campuses, providing guidance and support to individual researchers, managing the university’s research enterprise, identifying future directions and research facility and infrastructure needs. According to the most recent survey conducted by the National Science Foundation, the University of Minnesota had $786 million in research and development expenditures (a 6 percent increase over the previous year) and retained its eighth-place ranking among public research universities. The university’s research expenditures have grown 49.4% since 2004, the fifth-largest growth rate among public universities and seventh-largest overall.

"The University of Minnesota is well positioned to lead the nation in the use of entrepreneurial approaches to solve some of society's most challenging issues,” said Herman. “I am very excited about joining a prestigious, successful institution and facilitating in any way I can the success of the students, faculty and staff in their research endeavors."

An accomplished scientist, researcher, and academic administrator, Herman has both system and campus administrative leadership experience, broad and deep knowledge of the health sciences, and experience successfully working with the private and public sectors, including with the Legislature and other elected officials.

Following his postgraduate training, Herman joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He later became professor and chair of the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology for the UT Health Science Center from 1998 to 2004, and Vice President for Research at the UT Health Science Center from 2004 to 2011. He is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of cell death and the applications of optical imaging technologies to the study of cellular, tissue, and organismal physiology and pathophysiology. He has received two NIH merit awards and served on multiple NIH and NSF study sections including a four-year term on the NIH Cell, Development and Function-2 study section, on two of which he served as chair. Herman has published more 450 papers, book chapters and abstracts, edited four books and trained 26 students and 27 postdoctoral fellows during his scientific career.

Outgoing Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy will retire in December 2012 after seven years at the post.

Vice President and Medical School Dean Aaron Friedman and College of Science and Engineering Dean Steve Crouch co-chaired the search committee for this position.

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