Emory University has appointed Lanny S. Liebeskind, PhD, to a newly created position of director of university science strategies. The position was developed, in part, to help implement the science and technology portion of Emory's new strategic plan. Dr. Liebeskind, who most recently served as senior associate dean for research in Emory College, will continue to hold his appointment as the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry.
"As director of university science strategies, I intend to be a positive change agent for the sciences throughout Emory and work toward effective implementation of the Strategic Plan initiatives," says Dr. Liebeskind. "This is an exciting time at Emory, and one in which science and technology will play a central role in advancing our mission."
In addition to working toward effective implementation of the strategic plan initiatives, Dr. Liebeskind's goals in the new position will include helping Emory attain institutional growth that is aligned with its strategic priorities; achieving higher standards of excellence in research and teaching and higher national rankings of science departments; recruiting highly competitive faculty and students; creating greater opportunities for interdisciplinary research; and increasing understanding, interaction and shared purpose between the health sciences and the arts and sciences at Emory.
In his new position, Dr. Liebeskind will report directly to Michael M.E. Johns, MD, Emory executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center; Earl Lewis, PhD, Emory provost and executive vice president for academic affairs; and Michael J. Mandl, Emory executive vice president for finance and administration. He also will collaborate with Emory's vice president for research administration and associate vice president for strategic planning, and he will continue to serve as the primary liaison with the Georgia Research Alliance on behalf of Emory President James Wagner.
"Dr. Liebeskind will serve as a catalyst for integrating the tremendous scientific resources and intellectual capacity available throughout Emory University and helping advance our research mission," says Dr. Johns. "By focusing our priorities and coordinating our goals, we can expect to accomplish a great deal more than if our efforts were fragmented."
Emory's strategic plan includes three major cross-cutting initiatives in science and technology in which Emory can provide national and international leadership: (1) neuroscience, human nature and society; (2) predictive health and society; and (3) computational and life sciences.
The neuroscience initiative includes four main areas: neurobiology of wellbeing and disease; evolution and human uniqueness; interdisciplinary study of human nature; and neuroscience and public policy. Emory plans to develop a Comprehensive Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Center that will integrate translational research, clinical care and education, drawing not only on medicine, public health, and the resources of Yerkes National Primate Research Center, but also on law, business and the arts and sciences.
Emory has launched a comprehensive Predictive Health Initiative, along with the Georgia Institute of Technology, that aims to create a new model of healthcare focusing on the maintenance of health rather than the treatment of disease. The Predictive Health Initiative will combine the technological expertise of the two institutions in nanobiology, imaging, and genetics/metabolomics, include society-wide approaches of ethics, humanities, law, business, health policy, and economics, and build on Emory's expertise in population health. Emory's established programs and partnerships with local, national and international organizations in global health also will contribute to its efforts in predictive health.
The computational and life sciences initiative joins numerous strengths at Emory to establish a community that integrates the traditional science disciplines in exciting new ways, while spearheading innovative methodologies that combine computational and synthetic approaches to science and technology. The computational and life sciences initiative will promote three breakthrough concentrations where Emory can achieve technical excellence and competitive distinction in the next few years: Computational Science and Informatics; Synthetic Sciences; and Systems Biology. The intention is to leverage synergies among these three focus areas; to excel in terms of scientific relationships, faculty, programs and facilities; to become a driving force in education, basic and applied research, and knowledge transfer; and to provide a robust scientific foundation for other cross-cutting initiatives in predictive health and neuroscience.
Before serving as senior associate dean for research in Emory College from 2000 to 2005, Dr. Liebeskind was chair of Emory's Department of Chemistry from 1996 to 2000. He joined the chemistry department in 1985 and was named Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry in 1988. He received his bachelor's degree from S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo in 1972 and his PhD from the University of Rochester in 1976, followed by a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a National Institutes of Health Fellowship at Stanford.