Prosser, Thün join OVPR leadership team as research AVPs


Lisa Prosser and Geoffrey Thün have joined the Office of the Vice President for Research and will play lead roles in advancing research and scholarship around the health sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts.

Prosser was appointed associate vice president for research – health sciences, and Thün was named associate vice president for research – social sciences, humanities and arts. Their three-year appointments were approved Sept. 23 by the Board of Regents and are now in effect.

“Professors Prosser and Thün bring a wealth of experience and expertise to our team, and throughout their careers, they have truly embodied the university’s vision for serving the world through research and scholarship,” said Rebecca Cunningham, vice president for research and the William G. Barsan Collegiate Professor of Emergency Medicine.

“Their collaborative approach and distinguished history of service and leadership across the university research enterprise will build upon our tremendous strengths in the health sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts.”

Based on the latest Higher Education Research and Development Survey from the National Science Foundation, U-M ranks first in research volume as it relates to both the social sciences and the humanities. The university also ranks in the top 10 as it relates to health sciences research volume.

In her new role, Prosser, the Marilyn Fisher Blanch Research Professor of Pediatrics, will partner with schools, colleges, institutes and centers to expand and strengthen activity within the health sciences, while fostering collaboration across other disciplines. She also will lead new research initiatives and work closely with OVPR units and programs, including the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center.

Prosser, who also is a professor of health management and policy in the School of Public Health, directs the Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center, one of the largest health services research centers that focuses on children, and she most recently served as the assistant dean for research faculty at the Medical School.

“The University of Michigan is extraordinary in its long history and tradition of collaborating across disciplines,” Prosser said. “I am excited to have the privilege to join OVPR and look forward to working together across campus to identify new opportunities to support and enhance our leading health sciences research.

“With a focus on collaboration and partnership within our outstanding research community, it is possible to make our leading research even more innovative, collaborative and inclusive.”

Thün, professor of architecture, has dedicated much of his career to partnering with individuals across a variety of disciplines and external organizations to advance new research initiatives, and with his new role in OVPR, he will continue that collaborative approach to advance work in the social sciences, humanities and the arts. He plans to further integrate the university’s expertise in these areas across other disciplines.

Thün also will work closely with OVPR units and programs, including the new Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention and the Research Catalyst and Innovation Program, which also launched this year.

Thün is co-director of the university’s Urban Collaboratory, which fosters collaboration among researchers, city leaders and residents so they can identify and address emerging challenges in 21st-century urban centers. He most recently served as senior associate dean for research and creative practice at the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

“We are in an era where a transdisciplinary approach is anticipated to be at the core of advancing research impacts across the myriad challenges of our time, unlocking new thinking to better serve society,” Thün said.

“It is an honor to join the OVPR team and serve the U-M research community. I look forward to working with colleagues across units and disciplines on our campuses to deepen and intensify engagement toward innovation in discovery, the production of new knowledge and positive change.”


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