New vice chancellor for research aims to support, highlight campus innovation

Joanna Groden

Joanna Groden (Photo: Jenny Fontaine)

As UIC’s new vice chancellor for research, Joanna Groden aims to spotlight the groundbreaking and interdisciplinary work happening on campus.

“UIC should be known for innovation and collaboration in research,” Groden said. “Our faculty are tremendously talented and also very willing to work with others. We have many institutes and centers that organize our research excellence in effective ways.”

Since Groden took her position at UIC on Sept. 17, she has spent the past few weeks meeting with leaders across campus, learning about UIC’s research portfolio.

“There are various unique facets to research in each of the UIC colleges, whether it’s in social justice, biomedical research or education programs,” she said. “It’s a large and diverse campus, with the backdrop of Chicago to provide its style and sense of energy.”

Groden said the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) helps to support campus research, including pre- and post-award management, proposal development, compliance with state and federal laws, and more. In addition to supporting current faculty, Groden said her role encompasses supporting and training the next generation of scientists, faculty and student researchers.

“My goals are to promote collaboration in order to ensure effective processes that allow research to flourish,” she said.

Before coming to UIC, Groden was professor and vice chair for academic affairs in cancer biology and genetics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She joined the faculty at The Ohio State University in 2005 and served in a variety of administrative positions in the College of Medicine, including vice dean for research.

“UIC is an immensely collegial community with strong leadership that is instrumental in attracting new people to UIC,” she said. “The Chancellor and Provost made a great effort to highlight the momentum in research at UIC, which were very significant in my wanting to join UIC.”

An internationally recognized researcher, Groden studies human genetics and has identified key genetic causes of colon cancer and other inherited cancers. Her research has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health since 1994.

“Being a researcher for many years, it seems a good time to contribute my experience as a faculty member, researcher, and administrator,” she said.

She previously was a faculty member and vice dean for research at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

She received her bachelor’s degree in biology at Middlebury College, Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Genetics at the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in human genetics at the University of Utah.

She has served on the boards and advisory panels of a variety of national and international funding agencies and scientific panels, including the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Counselors.

She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Gastroenterological Association.

Groden succeeds Mitra Dutta, who had served as vice chancellor for research since 2012.

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