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Northwestern forms search committee for vice president for research

Committee will begin its work immediately

Northwestern University announced today, Oct. 24, the formation of a search committee to identify the vice president for research. Former Vice President for Research Jay Walsh was promoted to senior adviser to the president for research and science. Milan Mrksich, the Henry Wade Rogers Professor at Northwestern, is serving as interim vice president for research.

The committee will be chaired by Dr. Elizabeth McNally, the Elizabeth J. Ward Professor of Genetic Medicine, professor of cardiology and biochemistry and molecular genetics, and director for the Center for Genetic Medicine. The search committee, including representatives from the student body, staff and faculty, will identify a slate of candidates. Search firm Opus Partners has been engaged to support the search.

Provost Jonathan Holloway said the committee will begin its work immediately and will engage the Northwestern community throughout the fall to solicit input about the desired attributes and experience of the vice president. It also will seek assistance in identifying prospects. There will be opportunities for students, staff and faculty to offer feedback for the committee to inform the search.  

Members of the Northwestern community are invited to share feedback, submit questions and recommend candidates by contacting the search committee at  

Committee Members: 

  • Dr. Elizabeth McNally, chair, director, center for genetic medicine; Elizabeth J. Ward Professor of Genetic Medicine; professor of cardiology and biochemistry and molecular genetics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Dr. Sarki Abdulkadir, vice chair for research, department of urology; John T. Grayhack, MD, Professor of Urological Research; professor of urology and pathology, Feinberg
  • Kate Cosgrove Booth, director, Northwestern University Conflict of Interest (NUCOI) office
  • Valerie Bullock, Ph.D candidate, engineering sciences and applied mathematics, Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Sumit Dhar, associate dean for research; Hugh Knowles Professor of Hearing Science, communication sciences and disorders; fellow, Hugh Knowles Center, School of Communication
  • Mark Francis, associate provost for operations and facilities, Office of the Provost
  • John Haugen, associate general counsel, Office of General Counsel
  • Carole LaBonne, professor and chair, department of molecular biosciences; Erastus O. Haven Professor of Life Sciences, Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Claire Landis, director, administrative services, Office for Research Finance and Administration
  • Dr. William Lowe, vice dean for academic affairs; Thomas D. Spies Professor of Genetic Metabolism; professor of medicine (endocrinology), Feinberg
  • Teri Odom, chair, department of chemistry; Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, Weinberg, professor of materials science and engineering, McCormick
  • Julio Ottino, dean; Distinguished Robert R. McCormick Institute Professor; Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, McCormick
  • Joe Paris, director, research computing services, Northwestern Information Technology
  • Celeste Watkins-Hayes, professor of sociology and African American studies, Weinberg; associate vice president for research, Office for Research

The following members of the Office of the Provost will serve as search committee staff:

  • Andrea Bueschel, associate provost for strategy and policy
  • Dan Pattley, coordinator for strategy and policy
  • Samantha Haevers, administrative assistant