Particle physics research

Staff changes will support interdisciplinary research

The creation of a new leadership position within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) is among the measures announced on October 13 to support successful strategies and initiatives in support of research collaborative and interdisciplinary at Cornell.

Julia Thom-Levy, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named associate vice-provost for physical sciences, effective November 10.

The provost’s office also announced that Gary Koretzky, professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, is leaving his position as vice provost for academic integration in February to take a sabbatical. Paula Cohen, professor of biomedical sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine and associate vice-president of life sciences, will assume responsibility for the programs established under the university integration initiative.

Thom-Levy’s appointment complements two previously established assistant vice-president positions, one focused on life sciences (held by Cohen) and the other on social sciences, held by economics professor Maria Fitzpatrick. and public policy at the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy.

A particle physicist, Thom-Levy and her research groups are developing a range of detectors used at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider and facilities such as CHESS for applications and experiments in particle physics, properties of soft matter and fast dynamics. condensed matter under high pressure conditions.

In addition to his research activities, Thom-Levy has held the position of Vice-Rector for Academic Innovation since the position was created in 2017. The position facilitates the development and implementation of teaching methods based on the data. During his five years in this role, Thom-Levy created the Center for Teaching Innovation, extended the Active Learning Initiative to Cornell, and oversaw initiatives such as the transition to the Canvas digital learning environment, research grants educational innovation and the Gateway Courses Initiative.

“Julia’s enthusiasm and energy have been instrumental in advancing the Active Learning Initiative and establishing the Center for Teaching Innovation,” said Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff. “His leadership has positioned Cornell as a leader in educational innovation.”

The Office of the Provost is launching an internal search to fill the position of Vice Provost for Academic Innovation as Thom-Levy begins his new appointment.

“I am delighted to turn my attention to the challenges of research administration and to work with the new vice president for research and innovation,” said Thom-Levy, referring to Krystyn Van Vliet, vice president. – associate provost and associate vice president for research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who will succeed Emmanuel Giannelis as Cornell’s next vice president for research and innovation in February. “This is a remarkable opportunity to support and facilitate excellence in research at Cornell.”

Koretzky, as vice provost for academic integration since 2018, has led efforts to facilitate and nurture strategic collaborations between faculty at Cornell’s Ithaca Campus, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Cornell Tech. Programs established under the initiative include research symposia that have brought together faculty from all three campuses; intercampus travel grants for doctoral students; and multi-researcher seed grants for cross-campus collaborations.

Koretzky said Cohen is uniquely positioned to continue academic integration work. “Paula has been a fantastic partner who has helped shape the initiative every step of the way,” he said.

Cross-campus projects conceived or seeded through the initiative’s efforts have gone on to receive an estimated $50.6 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and other sources.

“The return on investment is amazing,” Koretzky said. “The success of these collaborations is a testament to the remarkable creativity and dedication of our faculty.

Kotlikoff said the initiative’s results exceeded its initial goals.

“Through the programs Gary has built around scholarship, discovery and research, we now have a strong culture of cross-campus interaction,” Kotlikoff said. “We have social scientists based in Ithaca teaming up with engineers from Cornell Tech and Cornell Law School working with clinicians in Weill. The initiative has forged collaborations and interactions that would not have been imagined otherwise.

Koretzky, an immunologist, was also a key member of the leadership team that coordinated Cornell’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the nationally recognized COVID-19 testing and surveillance program. of the University. “The entire Cornell community owes immense gratitude to Gary for his tireless work during the pandemic,” Kotlikoff said.

J. Edward Anthony is a staff writer for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.