Date: August 8, 2005
CONTACT: Sally Logue Post, sally.post@ttu.edu

LUBBOCK, TX – Dr. Dean O. Smith, a neuroscientist and former senior vice president for research and dean of the Graduate Division at the University of Hawaii, has been appointed vice president for research at Texas Tech University, President Jon Whitmore announced today.

Smith, who also has served as associate dean of the Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, will lead efforts to expand Texas Tech’s research enterprise and the commercialization of research discoveries. He will assume his new duties Sept. 1.

“Dean Smith brings to the table a dynamic research background, an entrepreneurial approach and a powerful intellect,” Whitmore said. “He has an impressive record of securing research funding and of establishing results-oriented research teams. I consider him to be supremely qualified to lead Texas Tech’s research efforts into the future.”

As vice president of research, Smith takes on a program of initiatives supported by a combined total of $45.8 million in external funding. Whitmore said Smith will be charged with expanding Texas Tech’s research capacity through the pursuit of federal, state, and corporate funding. In addition, he will coordinate interdisciplinary research with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Smith is an honor graduate with a degree in biology from Harvard. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in biological sciences from Stanford University. He served as senior vice president and executive vice chancellor at the University of Hawaii from 1997 to 2001. Since 2001, he has been a professor in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii.

In that role, he has been the principal investigator for two National Institutes of Health grants totaling $18.5 million for research into the cellular basis of immunological and neurological disease. In addition, he is Hawaii’s principal investigator in a six-state $10 million NIH grant that is studying networking technologies and applications.

While an administrator at the University of Hawaii, the institution’s Manoa campus jumped from 68th to 54th nationally in federal research funding. In addition, the university rose from third-tier to the top 25 among national research universities in U.S. News and World Report rankings.

Smith replaces Dr. Robert M. Sweazy, who is stepping down after serving as Vice President for Research since 2001. Dr. Sweazy has served as a faculty member and administrator at Texas Tech since 1970.