University of Georgia professor/administrator selected to be KU’s next vice chancellor for research

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Shelley Hooks

The University of Kansas has selected a University of Georgia professor and administrator to be its next vice chancellor for research.

Shelley Hooks, the associate vice president for research at UGA and a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences at UGA’s College of Pharmacy, will begin her new role at KU on Aug. 4.

Barbara Bichelmeyer, KU provost and executive vice chancellor, praised Hooks’ career achievements in a news release announcing her selection.

“Throughout her career, Shelley has been a champion of multidisciplinary research, serving as an advocate for the advancement of innovation and discovery, and supporting the development of faculty, scholars and students,” Bichelmeyer said. “Shelley’s leadership will be essential in fostering a bold and unifying vision for the future of research, creative activity and engaged scholarship at KU.”

As vice chancellor for research, Hooks will lead KU’s research enterprise on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses and oversee research administration. She will help align the Office of Research with the university’s mission to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries.

“I am delighted to join the vibrant University of Kansas community,” Hooks said in the release. “I am eager to partner with KU faculty, staff and students to drive forward our shared goals of advancing research, fostering innovation and nurturing creativity in all fields.”

As UGA’s associate vice president for research since 2018, Hooks has overseen internal grants, awards and research personnel. She manages a portfolio of internal research funding programs and leads initiatives to support faculty, postdoctoral scholars and other research personnel. She also leads the Office of Research’s strategic plan and serves as a liaison among the office, academic units, centers, institutes and faculty.

Hooks previously served as the interim department head for UGA’s Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences and the interim director of the UGA Center for Drug Discovery.

As an independent investigator, Hooks focuses on signaling mechanisms and novel therapeutic strategies for cancer and neurological disease. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. She also has supervised a number of graduate and undergraduate students with a focus on mentorship of underrepresented trainees.

Hooks earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Clemson University and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Virginia. She completed her postdoctoral research at the University of North Carolina’s Department of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine.

Hooks will succeed Belinda Sturm, who has served as KU’s interim vice chancellor for research since November.


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