Steve Youngentob, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor For Research, to Retire in June


After seven years of dedicated service as senior associate vice chancellor for Research, Steven L. Youngentob, PhD, has announced plans to retire from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, effective June 30th.

Over the next two months, Dr. Youngentob will work with his replacement, Dr. Wesley Byerly, to ensure a smooth transition. Dr. Byerly joined UTHSC on May 2nd.

Dr. Youngentob came to UTHSC with Steve Goodman, PhD, vice chancellor for Research, from SUNY Upstate Medical University. “I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Steve Youngentob for the past fifteen years at two academic health centers,” Dr. Goodman said. “Steve has been the perfect partner in restructuring and revitalizing research at Upstate and UTHSC. As our UTHSC Office of Research Chief Operating Officer, he has been in the center of a complete overhaul of our research infrastructure. I want to say thank you, on behalf of the entire UTHSC research community for Steve’s successful efforts that have vastly improved our research environment.”

Dr. Youngentob, who is also a professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, joined UTHSC in 2015 and played a major role in the research evolution led by Dr. Goodman. He provided critical support and leadership in the execution of key pieces of the Operational Strategic Plan for Research. He shepherded a comprehensive restructure of research-related administrative and compliance offices that directly led to UTHSC’s ability to handle a growing portfolio of MTAs, CDAs, sub-awards, clinical trial agreements, and grant submissions, which, in turn, resulted in record-breaking growth in external grant and contract awards by FY21.

Primary among his accomplishments during his tenure was the unification of the Office of Sponsored Programs in 2017. The process involved bringing all pre-and post-award functions under the Office of Research, and fostering collaboration with the sponsored program offices on our Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville campuses.

Dr. Youngentob also led the campus through sweeping changes to improve regulatory compliance conduct and efficiency. He spearheaded the renewal and rebuilding of the Lab Animal Care Unit, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee, the Radiation Safety Committee, the Research Conflict of Interest Committee and the Office of Research Safety Affairs. He oversaw the creation and implementation of new streamlined electronic submission and review processes, and elevated quality and safety standards by requiring increased certifications.

The combined impact of Dr. Youngentob’s work in these broad-based initiatives has been enormous. The administrative burden on researchers has been greatly reduced, and the many individual offices he has revitalized now deliver a new level of support to researchers with increased accuracy, reduced turnaround times, and efficiency-related cost-savings. In addition, the mission and services of individual offices, groups and committees has been strengthened by the valuable oversight he provided faculty directors.

Other highlights of Dr. Youngentob’s contributions during his tenure at UTHSC include implementing structured oversight of UTHSC’s ten institutional research core facilities, optimizing their operations. He has helped shape research policies and plans, drafting many new documents, including the Allocation of Research Space Plan, UTHSC Oversight of Clinical Trials, the Investigator Award Credit Allocation, and the Procedure for Establishing Institutes and Centers. He also oversaw the writing of COVID-19 return-to-campus procedures and safety protocols for lab activities during the pandemic.

In addition to his talent and skills as an administrator, Dr. Youngentob is recognized as one of the world’s leading researchers in chemosensory systems. He is known for his groundbreaking research, and as a leader, collaborator, and mentor of graduate students.

Prior to joining UTHSC, Dr. Youngentob served for 30 years at SUNY Upstate, first as a professor in the Department of Neuroscience, then as associate dean of the College of Graduate Studies and professor in the Department of Psychiatry, and as associate director of the SUNY Developmental Alcohol Research Center. In 2015, the university presented him with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Dr. Youngentob graduated from the University of Georgia in 1976 with a BS in biology and obtained a PhD in physiology at Upstate Medical University in 1984.

The Office of Research thanks and recognizes Dr. Youngentob for his many accomplishments at UTHSC and for dedicating the last seven years of his professional career to help ensure we are well positioned to achieve our vision of becoming a world-class, interdisciplinary, and research-intensive health science center.

  • The Tennessee Institute of Regenerative Medicine (TennIRM) is presenting their inaugural annual symposium next month.The 1st Annual TennIRM Research Symposium will be held on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 from 9:00am – 4:00pm.  Attendance options are either in-person at the UTHSC Mooney Library, or virtually via zoom. Regardless of the option you choose, registration is required by January 24th, so REGISTER NOW!   The symposium will feature overviews of ongoing regenerative science research from TennIRM scientists, and a technology review of 3D bio-printing capabilities. Additionally, updates will be provided on ongoing regenerative science initiatives from affiliated organizations at the University of Memphis; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; UTHSC; and industry partners.   The  Tennessee Institute of Regenerative Medicine (TennIRM) brings together the expertise of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the University of Memphis, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with the goal of translating scientific discovery into new organ repair and replacement therapies for people suffering from organ damage.

  • New Dates Announced For Global Scientific Conference Recruited to Memphis by UTHSC, TennIRM The International Experimental Biology and Medicine Conference (IEBMC), a major scientific conference being jointly hosted by University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and the Tennessee Institute of Regenerative Medicine (TennIRM), has been rescheduled with an updated speaker lineup. Originally slated for October 8-10, 2021, the conference is now set to take place April 29-May 1, 2022 at the Central Station Hotel in downtown Memphis. The decision to reschedule was made out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health and well-being of conference participants and attendees. The annual event regularly attracts 250-300 attendees. As recently as early September, the virulence of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 in Shelby County, and the resultant increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, were still a cause for concern. The conference is also sponsored by the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine and its journal, Experimental Biology and Medicine, and is supported by industry and foundation partners. Steve Goodman, PhD, vice chancellor for Research at UTHSC, is chairing the conference planning committee and was instrumental in bringing the event to Memphis. “Every year this international conference is on a topic of great interest to the global scientific community,” Dr. Goodman said. “This year, the topic is regenerative medicine, and the creation and rapid growth of TennIRM was an important factor in bringing the IEBMC to Memphis.” Memphis is the first stateside location the global conference has chosen in its eight-year history. Along with the new dates, a revised list of speakers was announced, which include Arnold I. Caplan, PhD, director of the Skeletal Research Center and professor of Biology at Case Western Reserve University, as the new keynote. “We have an outstanding slate of speakers highlighted by our keynote lecturer, Dr. Arnie Caplan. Dr. Caplan is the researcher who discovered mesenchymal stem cells and is a leader in the field,” Dr. Goodman said. Thought leaders from around the globe in the area of regenerative medicine will present as plenary speakers, addressing a wide spectrum of basic, translational and clinical research topics during five plenary sessions: Stem Cell Biology, Organoids, Organs on a Chip, Regenerative Medicine and the Cardiovascular System, and Regenerative Medicine and the Nervous System. The plenary speaker lineup includes participants from leading research institutions across the United States and globally, the FDA Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies, and local speakers from UTHSC and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The conference, which provides an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to present their work to international experts, also extended the deadline for poster session abstract submittals to January 2022. For registration information or to submit an abstract, visit the event website, Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Contact Greg Harris, senior director of Development, UT Research Foundation, at The complete Speaker Lineup: Opening Keynote, Arnold I. Caplan, PhD, Case Western Reserve University Session 1, Stem Cell Biology: Jian Feng, PhD, State University of New York at Buffalo; Daniel Garry, MD, PhD, University of Minnesota; Hannele Ruohola-Baker, University of Washington; Shannon McKinney-Freeman, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Session 2, Organoids: Antonio Santos, PhD, Stanford University; Munemasa Mori, MD, PhD, Columbia University; Gábor Tigyi, MD, PhD, DSc, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Session 3, Organs on a Chip: John Wikswo, PhD, Vanderbilt University; Megan McCain, PhD, University of Southern California; Hyun Jung Kim, PhD, University of Texas at Austin; Peter Loskill, PhD, Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB Session 4, Regenerative Medicine and the Cardiovascular System: Robert Schwartz, PhD, University of Houston; W. Keith Jones, Loyola University Chicago; Y. James Kang, PhD, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Session 5, Regenerative Medicine and the Nervous System: Agnes Luo, PhD, University of Cincinnati; Guoli Ming, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania; Cindi Morshead, PhD, the University of Toronto Closing presentation: Sung Kyung, PhD, FDA Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies