Extraordinary Research at UGA

February 09, 2016
by Jere W. Morehead, President

The University of Georgia’s research productivity continues to rise, thanks in part to faculty hiring initiatives, streamlined processes for grants management, and, most importantly, the dedicated work of our remarkable faculty. Research expenditures, a clear signal of research strength, surged upward by seven percent at UGA last year, and early signs for fiscal year 2016 indicate this trend remains positive.

We recently concluded a presidential hiring initiative to recruit extraordinary, grant-active research faculty. Five internationally recognized faculty members joined UGA in 2015 through this initiative—including Dr. Eric Harvill, Georgia Athletic Association Professor in Medical Microbiology. Dr. Harvill studies respiratory pathogens, such as the bacterium that causes whooping cough, a potentially fatal disease that affects one million Americans each year. He is leading the charge to fight this and other communicable respiratory diseases with more than $5 million in external grant support.

Dr. Esther van der Knaap, Professor of Horticulture in the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics, joined UGA thorough the same hiring initiative, bringing with her more than $4 million in external grant support. Her research links the molecular function of genes to performance of fruit crops and has been featured in top journals, such as Science. Her work has significant implications for boosting the yield and quality of crops for the agriculture industry and for improving nutrition across the state and nation and around the world.

We were pleased that Dr. Pejman Rohani, Professor of Ecology and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Karen Burg, Harbor Lights Chair in Small Animal Studies; and Dr. M. Stephen Trent, College of Veterinary Medicine and UGA Foundation Distinguished Professor in Infectious Diseases also joined UGA through this initiative. Through the important work of these and other outstanding faculty members, UGA is improving human health, safeguarding and sustaining our world, and changing lives through the land-grant mission. To learn more about the research enterprise at UGA, click here.