Brad Day will join the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as associate vice chancellor for research and innovation initiatives beginning November 1, Vice Chancellor for Research Deborah Crawford announced today.
Day, a UT alumnus and Knoxville native, currently serves as the Foundation Professor of plant, soil, and microbial sciences at Michigan State University. His research focuses on how plants utilize molecular-genetic and cellular interactions to defend against pathogen infection. He has received continuous funding by the National Science Foundation since 2007, and more recently, by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Asian Development Bank.
“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Day back to UT—to the institution where he discovered the joys of scientific inquiry and prepared for the very successful academic career that he created,” said Crawford. “Brad brings a tremendous breadth of perspectives and unique insights to his new role where he will work with faculty and administrators to lead our research enterprise to new heights.”
Last month, Crawford announced a new organization and mission for the Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED) aimed at providing UT faculty based in Knoxville, Nashville, and Tullahoma with the support necessary to conduct world-class research, scholarship, and creative work and to enhance the impact of this work in Tennessee and around the world.
The Division of Research and Innovation Initiatives (DRII) supports this mission by providing services that help faculty pursue promising new lines of inquiry, compete for awards and recognitions, submit high quality proposals, and find promising new multidisciplinary partners. DRII also invests in and supports the university’s research cores, works with OIT to support the community’s research cyberinfrastructure needs, and champions the university’s strategic research initiatives and multidisciplinary centers and institutes.
Day also brings invaluable federal expertise to the university, having served as program director in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Integrative Organismal Systems where he was responsible for identifying projects for funding, management of continuing grant awards, strategic planning around new areas of research, and working with other program directors in the review and funding of cross-disciplinary proposals.
Day said he is excited to serve his alma mater in this new capacity and sees opportunities to expand UT’s influence at the state and national level as well as on the world stage.
“I have watched from afar as our faculty and student scholars—through innovation and dedication to their field—have elevated the UT’s reputation as a leading research university,” said Day. “I truly believe that UT has the talent, the resources, and the commitment of the institution’s leadership to advance UT as a global research leader.”