The Office of Research has named two new associate vice presidents—Shelley Hooks, a new appointment to the office, and Derek Eberhart, who has directed Innovation Gateway, UGA’s technology commercialization arm, since 2015.
Hooks, associate professor of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, joined the Office of Research part time Aug. 6 and brings an important faculty perspective to the work there. She succeeds Julie Moore in this role. Hooks’ responsibilities include oversight of programs that are important to faculty: internal grants and awards, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, UGA’s visiting scholars and research scientist appointments and promotions. She also is reinventing and invigorating regular meetings with research associate deans and other administrators responsible for research programs across the university.
“Ultimately, the Office of Research is here to serve and help the faculty pursue their scholarly and research endeavors,” said David Lee, vice president for research. “It’s important to have an active faculty member like Shelley on our team who can ably serve as an advocate, a sounding board and a conduit for other faculty.”
The Hooks Lab in the College of Pharmacy is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health. Her team studies the molecular pharmacology of cellular signaling pathways that regulate inflammation and how these signaling mechanisms break down in cancer and neurological disease. She joined UGA in 2004 as assistant professor and served as interim director of UGA’s Center for Drug Discovery from 2016-17, leading the establishment of the Drug Discovery core lab.
Eberhart, whose promotion was effective Sept. 15, has been integral to Office of Research efforts to broaden innovation and entrepreneurship at UGA, including through expansion of industry engagement. He led the merger of the previously separate intellectual property licensing and startup operations and has served as its director since 2015. Eberhart served on the UGA Innovation District Task Force and will play a key role in helping to implement this transformative project as a member of the new Launch Team.
“Derek has done an outstanding job of leading UGA’s technology commercialization efforts to new heights, while also expanding the mission of Innovation Gateway. His accomplishments and growing portfolio merit the new title and recognition,” Lee said.