Making an Impact through Research

January 17, 2017
by Jere W. Morehead, President

Faculty at the University of Georgia are making a positive impact on the world by conducting research that creates tangible benefits, from vaccines that protect us from devastating diseases to drought-resistant crops that bolster our food supply. Working with industry partners, the University of Georgia translates many of the discoveries made by our faculty into products for the marketplace. For the last three years, in fact, UGA has been ranked among the top five universities in the nation for translating research to the market, and to date, UGA has introduced 622 products derived from faculty research, including 35 in the last fiscal year.

The Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) has been a valuable partner in supporting translational research at UGA. The University welcomed our 17th GRA Eminent Scholar, Dr. Dennis Kyle, to campus this month. Dr. Kyle is one of two GRA Eminent Scholars who have joined the University during this academic year, and he is the fifth to join us in the past two years. One of the nation’s leading infectious disease researchers, Dr. Kyle will serve as the Director of the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. He will apply his expertise in malaria and other parasitic diseases to the development of new drug therapies that will save lives worldwide. GRA Eminent Scholar Dr. Karen Norris was recruited in the fall to join the Center for Vaccines and Immunology, launched by GRA Eminent Scholar Dr. Ted Ross.

The University is investing in state-of-the-art facilities to further expand translational research. In Griffin, the new the Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center has been completed and will be dedicated on January 30. On the Athens campus, construction continues on the Center for Molecular Medicine, which will house up to 10 research groups working to develop new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases that affect millions of people. Turfgrass research facilities in Athens, Griffin, and Tifton are being renovated and expanded to support research on this commodity, which generates significant revenue for Georgia businesses and for UGA. We remain grateful to the state of Georgia for its generous support of these critical facilities projects.

As we continue to grow the research enterprise at UGA and build our capacity for translational research, our faculty are increasing the University’s positive impact on our state, nation, and world.