Trachette Jackson joins OVPR to lead DEI research efforts


Trachette Jackson, a mathematical oncologist who has spearheaded national efforts during the past two decades to diversify the academic research pipeline, will join the Office of the Vice President for Research to lead strategic research endeavors around diversity, equity and inclusion.

Trachette Jackson
Trachette Jackson

Her three-year appointment as the University of Michigan’s inaugural assistant vice president for research – diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives begins April 1. Jackson will maintain her roles as a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor and professor of mathematics in LSA.

As assistant vice president for research, Jackson will partner with Rebecca Cunningham, vice president for research, to promote and support the infusion of DEI principles in all aspects of the university research portfolio.

Throughout her career, Jackson has developed and implemented programs that expand opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in higher education.

She helped launch a national association to create research networks for women in mathematics. She also developed the Marjorie Lee Browne Scholars Program at U-M to encourage talented, underrepresented minority undergraduates to pursue doctoral degrees in mathematics.

“I welcome this opportunity to play a pivotal role in strategic planning that will potentially lead to tectonic shifts in the ways we consider DEI when fostering new research, reviewing funding decisions and award nominations, and supporting our research community,” Jackson said.

As the university transitions toward DEI 2.0, Jackson will lead the development and implementation of the OVPR DEI strategic plan, which aims to enhance DEI best practices across the research enterprise. She also will work to expand DEI research, scholarship and creative practice at U-M.

“As a research community, we all play an essential role in fostering a society that is humane, equitable and just,” said Cunningham, the William G. Barsan Collegiate Professor of Emergency Medicine.

“The principles of diversity, equity and inclusion must be ingrained in every aspect of our research and research ecosystem — from team formation and idea conceptualization to implementation and uptake in society — which is why I am incredibly excited for Dr. Jackson to lead our research enterprise in this important space.”

Jackson, who received a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, joined U-M in 2000. Her research focuses on developing mathematical approaches to address critical questions associated with tumor progression and targeted molecular therapeutics.


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