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“Creating a Tropical Rainforest Environment” A Message from Dr. Steven R. Goodman


Tropical rainforests exist close to the equator and receive 60 to 160 inches of rain per year. The temperature ranges from 700 to 850 degrees F, creating a warm and humid climate. This in turn leads a diverse microbiome with 40 to 75% of biotic species found in rainforests. This unique environment houses half of the world’s animal and plant species. We have been hard at work for the last 18 months creating a rich rainforest-like environment for UTHSC researchers. What steps have we taken to create this environment?

We started by seeding the clouds with the highly successful CORNET Awards; then provided a vision and architectural plan with the Operational Strategic Plan for Research; and improved the infrastructure by creating a business plan model for research cores and improving LACU function while streamlining IACUC proposal review (see Steve Youngntob’s article in this Rainmaker edition). We created an Office of Research Development to alert you to grant opportunities, and a Research Office of Marketing and Communication that gets out the word on your research accomplishments and educates through Hot Topics and other mechanisms.

Dr. Redfearn

Now I will announce two new steps towards building the tropical rainforest environment for research. We have opened an Office of Scientific Writing. We hired a very accomplished Director for this office, Dr. Richard Redfearn (pictured). Richard has a PhD in Chemistry from Duke University, with background in Organic and Biochemistry; and served as a faculty member at Rhodes College before refocusing his career on assisting faculty on writing successful grants. Most recently, Richard served as Grant Training Manager at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Redfearn has written a large number of scientific articles and grant applications, and is a member of the Grants Professional Association, and the National Organization of Research Development Professionals. At UTHSC Richard will assist faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students in the writing of successful research grants and scientific manuscripts. The Office of Scientific Writing will assist the research community at our Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville campuses. We are pleased to welcome Richard to our Office of Research Team.

My second announcement is the purchase of InfoReady Review by our Office of Research Development. InfoReady Review will be used for limited submission grants (i.e., opportunities that require an internal, pre-application selection process because of funding agency limitations on the number of applications accepted from a single area or institution). It will also be utilized for intramural funding opportunities, including CORNET Awards, bridge funding and new grant support. Questions regarding InfoReady should be directed to Lisa Youngentob, our Director of the Office of Research Development. Next month we will also be rolling out Elsevier’s Pure for your use, on targeted funding opportunities. More on this later.

The Vice Chancellor for Research and the Office of Research have put major effort into creating a rainforest-like experience for our investigators. We will continue doing so in 2017 with major announcements on the horizon. Look for the rainbow. Our goal is your success.

-Steven R. Goodman, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research