Internationally renowned scholar, researcher and academic leader Lawrence B. Schook has been named Vice President for Research at the University of Illinois, pending approval by the Board of Trustees, President Michael J. Hogan announced today.
Schook has served as interim vice president for research since March when the position was created as part of a senior administrative relignment to streamline and strengthen the university's research mission.
"Larry's leadership and vision have been everything we expected and more," said Hogan. "He has reached out across our campuses, and his work to foster collaboration will elevate our already distinguished record as a pioneer in breakthrough research and discovery."
Schook said he aspires to make the University of Illinois a model research university. His goals, he said, include streamlining research processes, ensuring access to the arts and humanities through technology, supporting collaborative research efforts, promoting public/private research partnerships, and developing the infrastructure and facilities to encourage innovation and economic development.
"I've really enjoyed spending the last few months talking with our faculty and identifying opportunities to strengthen our research enterprise," said Schook. "I am honored to accept the position of vice president for research, and I am delighted to guide our efforts to identify unmet societal needs that have solutions that build on our strengths as a university and truly bring value to our campuses, our communities and our nation."
As vice president for research, Schook serves as the senior research officer of the university. He advises the president on matters of research, intellectual property, technology commercialization, economic development activities and other matters designated by the president. Schook will be responsible for managing the university's nearly $800 million research enterprise, including relevant offices, policies and programs. He will also work closely with both the Office of Governmental Relations to communicate teh university's research priorities on a local, state and federal level, and the Office of the Vice President for Health Affairs to integrate technology breakthroughs into healthcare advances.
Schook also serves as a professor in the Department of Animal Sciences on the Urbana-Champaign campus and director of the Division of Biomedical Sciences. He holds joint appointments in bioengineering, surgery, nutritional sciences and pathology, and has faculty appointments with the Institute for Genomic Biology and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He is recognized internationally as a scholar in comparative genomics and exploiting genomic diversity to understand genetic diseases. Schook is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a recipient of the National Institutes of Health, Swiss National Fund and Pardee fellowships. He has written more than 200 published works, edited six books and is founding editor of Animal Biotechnology.
Trustees approved changes to the university's senior administrative structure in 2010. Their goal in these and other actions was to further advance the University of Illinois as one of the nation's preeminent research universities. The vice president for research positon was designed to elevate the university's already distinguished record in research and clincial care, while utilizing existing resources as effectively as possible.
The Office of the Vice President for Research was established by re-titling the Vice President for Technology and Economic Development and expanding important responsibilities for the University's vast externally-funded research enterprise into that portfolio.