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Appointment of Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

June 27, 2022

TO:UMMC Faculty, Staff and Students

FROM:  Dr. LouAnn Woodward
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
Dean, School of Medicine

SUBJECT: Appointment of Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Joey Granger, dean of the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences and professor of physiology and biophysics, as associate vice chancellor for research, pending IHL Board of Trustees approval.

Dr. Granger will succeed Dr. Richard Summers, who has served admirably in that role since 2013 and as I announced earlier will retire as associate vice chancellor later this month.

Dr. Granger will begin his new role effective July 1. He will remain as dean of the SGSHS, a position he’s held since 2008.

The associate vice chancellor for research leads the Medical Center’s discovery enterprise, shepherding our basic, translational, clinical, and population science research programs. This includes oversight of our centers and institutes, laboratory core facilities, and research-related administration offices. The Office of Research is also the central conduit for UMMC’s extramural funding, which totaled more than $123 million in fiscal year 2021.

Joey GrangerDr. Granger is a proven and dynamic leader in research and education areas. Under his leadership of SGSHS, he has grown the school through new degree programs and increased enrollment. He has also made significant contributions to our clinical mission through his steadfast dedication to building and maintaining training pathways for physician-scientists.

Reared in Erath, Louisiana, Dr. Granger completed his undergraduate work in biology at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and then earned his PhD in physiology and biophysics at UMMC. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Mayo Clinic and later joined the faculty there, then served as an assistant and associate professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School before returning to UMMC as a professor of physiology and biophysics in 1990.

Dr. Granger’s research emphasis is the mechanisms and pathogenesis of hypertension. His laboratory focuses on preeclampsia, a disorder characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy and is one of the leading causes of maternal and fetal mortality. Granger and his trainees have identified compelling drug targets for future treatments, including one now in a National Institutes of Health-funded clinical trial. Over the course of his career, Granger has brought more than $50 million in extramural funding to UMMC and published more than 300 manuscripts that received  over 24,000 citations.

He has established one of the largest groups of preeclampsia-focused basic scientists in the United States, making UMMC among the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s top-funded programs for this research area. Perhaps one of the best indicators of Dr. Granger’s suitability for this role is his skill in and dedication to training excellent researchers. At least eight current UMMC faculty came through the Granger lab as PhD students or postdoctoral fellows, including Dr. Barbara Alexander, Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and Dr. Babbette LaMarca, chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Dr. Granger has a deep understanding of research administration. Beyond the management of his own laboratory, he leads UMMC’s Cardiovascular Renal Research Center and is the principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health-funded Hypertension and Cardiorenal Diseases Research Training Program. In 2019, be became the PI for the Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research, a $20 million NIH-funded grant which he and his team successfully renewed for five years in 2021.

The honors Dr. Granger has earned include election as a Fellow of the American Physiological Society, the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control Leadership Award, the SEC Faculty Achievement Award and the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Distinguished Scientist Award. He served as Chair of the AHA Council on Hypertension and president of the American Physiological Society, in addition to numerous other committee membership and leadership roles at the local and national level.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Granger in his role as associate vice chancellor for research.

I also ask you to join me in thanking Dr. Summers for his decades of exemplary service to UMMC. He has had an enormous influence on the Medical Center, from teaching students and residents, to serving patients in the Emergency Department, to driving massive growth in the research mission. During his tenure as associate vice chancellor, we have had record numbers of grant submissions, numbers of grants awarded, and levels of extramural funding. UMMC established an enterprise data warehouse, opened the Translational Research Center and the Clinical Research and Trials Unit, among other stellar accomplishments. The research mission and Dr. Summers’ stalwart leadership were essential to our COVID-19 response. We will miss him dearly.

Thank you.