Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A New Vision for Research

The Office of the Provost was pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lynda Bonewald, Lee M. and William Lefkowitz Professor of Oral Biology and Director of UMKC’s Bone Biology Research Program, as Interim Vice Chancellor for Research on October 15, 2009 . In her new position, which is an outcome of the strategic planning process, she oversees UMKC’s Office of Research and the research and economic development initiatives. Dr. Bonewald agreed to introduce herself for this week’s blog post.

Little did I think that I would be the one to fill the position recommended by the Life Sciences Task Force in 2003 when I first read the report. The position was described as “An able scientific leader…. given the authority and the responsibility to build life sciences at UMKC”. That is a tall order, but as Vice Chancellor for Research (Interim), a position created by the UMKC strategic planning process, I am creating objectives with the help of other leaders in our community to move life and health sciences at UMKC forward. These objectives include ‘achieving world-class programs’, obtaining the resources to do so, and ‘to work together with partners within the University and in the greater Kansas City area’.

With regards to my educational background, I received a BS in Biology from the University of Texas in 1973. I graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1984 with a PhD in Immunology/Microbiology. My postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Hospital in Charleston, SC in hematology was under the mentorship of Makio Ogawa, a world-renowned hematologist. I was recruited to the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas as an Assistant Professor in 1986 in the Endocrinology Division directed by Dr. Gregory Mundy, an internationally known Bone Biologist. In 2001, I was recruited to UMKC School of Dentistry Dept. of Oral Biology to establish a Mineralized Tissue Research Program. When I arrived, I was a full professor with two R01s and a program project. In 2005, I became a University of Missouri Curator’s Professor and in 2009, I established and became Director of the UMKC Center of Excellence in the Study of Dental and Musculoskeletal Tissues, a multi- and interdisciplinary center.

UMKC has considerable potential to become a leader in Life and Health Sciences. I am excited about growing and expanding this potential. I know many creative, productive scientists, strong, yet fair administrators, and many truly exceptional and dedicated support staff. Chancellor Morton and Executive Vice Chancellor Hackett provide committed, stable, and experienced leadership to UMKC. To become competitive with regards to funding and other types of awards, it is necessary for our Life and Health Sciences Schools to collaborate and work together. My goal is to create and provide a stimulating, supportive environment so that our dedicated, passionate scientists can be productive and successful by accomplishing their goals of discovery while training the next generation of dedicated scientists.

-Lynda F. Bonewald, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research Interim, Curator's Professor Lee M and William Lefkowitz Professor Director, Bone Biology Research Program Director, UMKC Center of Excellence in Mineralized Tissues, Univ. of Missouri at Kansas City School of Dentistry, Dept. of Oral Biology

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