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Holbrook, USF VP of Research and Innovation, Elected Chair of ORAU Board

April 4, 2011

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) is pleased to announce that Dr. Karen A. Holbrook has been elected chair of its Board of Directors. The board provides policy and fiduciary oversight of ORAU operations for its membership.

Dr. Karen A. Holbrook

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Holbrook served as president of the Ohio State University for five years and is currently serving as senior vice president for research, innovation and global affairs and professor of molecular medicine at the University of South Florida (USF) and a member of the Washington Advisory Group. She also represents USF on the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions.

"I am honored to be working with ORAU in this manner," said Holbrook. "It is an organization that provides significant benefits to our universities in terms of state-of-the-art programs that benefit faculty, students and our nation."

Holbrook earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in zoology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1963 and 1966, respectively. After teaching biology at Ripon College for three years, she earned a Ph.D. in biological structure from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1972 and pursued postdoctoral training in the Department of Dermatology. She became an instructor and later assistant professor, associate professor, associate chairman, and professor of biological structure and medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, gaining a national reputation for her expertise in dermatology. Showing the leadership skills that characterize her career, she also served as associate dean for scientific affairs.

In 1993, Dr. Holbrook moved to the University of Florida at Gainesville, where she was vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School as well as professor of anatomy and cell biology and medicine (dermatology).

In 1998, Holbrook joined the University of Georgia, where she served as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost—as well as professor of cell biology and adjunct professor of anatomy and cell biology and medicine at the Medical College of Georgia. At Georgia, she helped create the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, two new colleges, and the New Media Institute. She strongly supported the efforts of faculty and research leaders to successfully expand Georgia's federal research funding.

In 2002, she became president of The Ohio State University, where she led one of the nation's largest and most distinguished universities dedicated to teaching, research, and service. She presided over an era of escalating student credentials and success, annual giving and enhanced research accomplishment as measured by external support of programs. The University's Columbus campus includes medical, cancer, heart and lung, and veterinary hospitals; dental and optometry clinics; and specialized research centers.

In addition to ORAU, Holbrook currently on several boards, including the boards of the Institute for International Education, Southeastern Universities Research Association, ACT®, and Techne, Inc. She has been deeply involved in national and regional efforts to strengthen graduate education in America and has been active in economic development partnerships at the community and state levels.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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