ATLANTA—James A. Weyhenmeyer, vice president for research and economic development at Georgia State University since 2011, will join Auburn University as vice president for research on April 1.
Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health at Georgia State, will become the interim vice president for research and economic development. Rodney Lyn, senior associate dean for academic affairs and strategic initiatives at the School of Public Health, will become interim dean.
Weyhenmeyer came to Georgia State from the State University of New York, where he was the senior vice provost for research and economic development. He is an accomplished cell biologist and neuroscientist who has published widely on cardiovascular disease and stroke. Weyhenmeyer continues to hold an appointment as adjunct professor of cell biology, neuroscience and pathology at the University of Illinois. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 2018 Industry Growth Award from Georgia Bio, a private nonprofit organization that promotes the life sciences industry and university research in Georgia. The Industry Growth Awards are the highest honors bestowed each year, and recognize individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the life sciences industry.
Weyhenmeyer has led a period of unprecedented growth in research at Georgia State. Since fiscal year 2010, research expenditures have more than doubled, topping $200 million for the first time in fiscal year 2017. In the same interval, the university has risen 50 places in the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development rankings, a nationally recognized barometer of university research activity. Annual research awards of $122.7 million were received in fiscal year 2018, the fourth year in a row Georgia State has exceeded $100 million in external funding.
During Weyhenmeyer’s tenure, Georgia State has established 10 new university-level research centers and institutes, including the Institute for Biomedical Sciences and the Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science. He oversaw the construction of the Research Science Center, an advanced biomedical facility that opened in 2016. The third phase of the university’s Science Park, an eight-story infectious disease research facility, is in design and set to be completed in 2021.
A Regents’ Professor of Health Management and Policy and the founding dean of the School of Public Health, Eriksen has led Georgia State’s public health program since 2002. He is a leading authority on tobacco prevention and control, and led one of 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Prior to joining Georgia State, Eriksen was senior adviser to the World Health Organization and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health.
Lyn, associate professor, has served the School of Public Health as associate dean for academic affairs and interim director of the Department of Health Management and Policy, has previously held positions at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and Georgia State’s Department of Nutrition. His research is focused on childhood obesity prevention, school and community health, and the reduction of health disparities. Lyn directs the Policy Leadership for Active Youth initiative, a collaboration between Georgia’s research universities and statewide partners to address childhood obesity. Lyn’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Philanthropic Collaborative for a Healthy Georgia, among others.