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Voy Named UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute Education and Bredesen Center Director

The University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute has announced Brynn Voy as its new education and Bredesen Center director, beginning August 1. Voy is joining UT-ORII from the UT Institute of Agriculture and will build on efforts to expand graduate research opportunities for students across the UT System, as well as attract top graduate students from around the world.

“Brynn brings to this role excellent leadership experience; a strong background as a researcher, educator and mentor; and a deep understanding of UT and ORNL,” said UT-ORII Interim Director David Sholl. “We are absolutely thrilled to have her join our team and help us meet and hopefully, exceed our goals of recruiting 100 UT-ORNL researchers and student mentors, and 500 graduate student leaders.”

Voy is a professor of Animal Science at UTIA and will maintain her UT faculty position. Prior to joining UT as a faculty member, she spent 13 years at ORNL, first as a postdoctoral fellow in the Mammalian Genetics and Genomics Group and then as a staff scientist in the Systems Genetics Group. Voy received her Ph.D. in physiology and bachelor’s degree in zoology from UT Knoxville.

Voy’s research spans the gap between human and animal health, with a teaching focus on systems physiology. She has mentored more than 100 students ranging from high school to graduate students. In 2018 Voy was awarded the UT Knoxville Educational Advancement Faculty Mentor Award after being nominated by her students.

“Brynn is an exceptional teacher, researcher and leader,” said UTIA Senior Vice Chancellor/Senior Vice President Keith Carver. “Her role leading the Bredesen Center into the future will benefit the program’s graduate students and help to integrate the critical research of UTIA even more fully into UT-ORII’s research portfolio.”

As a native Tennessean, Voy said she was drawn to this position because of its potential impact to the state she was raised in and continues to call home.

“We’re in a really unique position as a land grant here, that we have a national laboratory in our backyard,” Voy said. “That is a huge benefit, a huge opportunity, because of the high-level, big science, team-based, cutting-edge capacity that is at ORNL. Most other universities can only dream of having that as a resource.”

Voy will be filling the position that has been held on an interim basis by UT Knoxville faculty member Philip Rack. Rack will continue at UT-ORII part-time during the transition before returning full-time to his role at UT.

About the UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute

Leveraging the resources and expertise of both institutions, the UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute is a hub for world-class discovery and innovation, interdisciplinary graduate education, and talent development. UT-ORII’s research portfolio is currently focused on areas of collaborative strength of national and statewide importance: advanced materials and manufacturing, and energy storage and transportation.

UT-ORII’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education features three UT Knoxville doctoral degrees: Genome Science and Technology, Energy Science and Engineering, and Data Science and Engineering.

For more information on UT-ORII and its joint graduate research opportunities, please go to