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Wayne State University

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to inform you that Vice President for Research Stephen M. Lanier has told me of his intention to transition from his current position to the faculty in the Pharmacology Department of Wayne State University’s School of Medicine. We will begin a national search immediately for a replacement; meanwhile, Steve will remain vice president for several months until an interim can be appointed to serve throughout the search process.

While I’m saddened by this news, I want to take a moment to celebrate the many accomplishments our research division has enjoyed under Steve’s capable leadership.

Steve joined Wayne State in 2014 as vice president for research and professor of pharmacology, where he has helped to conceptualize, develop and implement initiatives to address local, regional and global societal challenges across all aspects of our educational, research and service missions. These initiatives involved several intercollegiate and interdepartmental thematically-focused cluster recruitment projects anchored to focus areas relevant to our mission as a public urban research university.

Under Steve’s guidance, WSU achieved these key research milestones:

  • Opened the Integrative Biosciences Center, a $90 million multidisciplinary research facility.
  • Reversed a decade of decreased research funding, with research awards rising to over $320 million in FY21.
  • Facilitated WSU attaining numerous large-scale funded research projects that showcase the university’s strong research enterprise, including the Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors, one of a select few environmental health sciences core centers in the nation funded by NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
  • Grew our training program funding portfolio with the recent additions of the $1.97 million NIH T34 program: Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC); the $1.2 million NIH T32 training program: Chemistry-Biology Interface Predoctoral Training Program; and reinvigorating the $2.5 million NIH T32 training program: Initiative for Maximizing Student Development.
  • Improved research operations resulting in our Institutional Review Board receiving a five-year reaccreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, along with full reaccreditation from AAALAC International's Council on Accreditation for providing and maintaining an excellent program of laboratory animal care and use.

Not only did Steve provide the steady guidance and vision needed over the past eight years that resulted in these achievements, but he also pursued his scientific work in the Pharmacology Department, which led to the development of new concepts in the field of cell signaling as well as the generation of a number of tools that are widely used in the research community.  

Please join me in thanking Steve for his leadership, dedication and hard work that helped ensure that Wayne State operates a world-class research enterprise — and in wishing him well in his endeavors as a faculty member.


M. Roy Wilson

M. Roy Wilson


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