Search for Michigan Neuroscience Institute Interim Director 2020

The University of Michigan seeks to appoint an internationally renowned neuroscientist and academic leader to serve as the Interim Director of the Michigan Neuroscience Institute (MNI). The Interim Director has responsibility for the leadership and management of the MNI until the appointment of a permanent director at an undefined future date a year or more in the future.  The Interim Director reports to the Dean of the Medical School/Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, who is one of three executive vice presidents of the university reporting to the President.


The University of Michigan has longstanding strengths in the neurosciences and internationally recognized research programs in key areas of the field. U-M aims to leverage this established foundation and the campus-wide research strengths by means of the Michigan Neuroscience Institute, a Regent-approved institute with both a physical home and a virtual reach across the university.

Michigan seeks via MNI to create an integrated network that achieves synergy in the pursuit of addressing the most pressing questions in neuroscience at the foundational, translational, and clinical levels, while educating the future leaders in the field and distinguishing Michigan in the next era of neuroscience.  The MNI Interim Director will have the opportunity to lead this cross-campus institute that will integrate the entire spectrum of research- from basic science discovery to translational application in the clinic.

The Interim Director, who will be a current UM instructional track faculty member, is expected to be an internationally recognized neuroscientist who has a demonstrated capacity for multidisciplinary team building and distinguished leadership.  The Interim Director will work collaboratively with U-M leadership and neuroscientists to lay the groundwork for the eventual acceleration and broadening of the MNI vision and mission, which will occur with the future recruitment of a permanent Director.  The Interim Director will be eligible to apply for the permanent Director position.


  • Identify mechanisms to promote and leverage synergies across campus to prepare MNI for a future that capitalizes on the full depth and breadth of U-M neurosciences and fosters high-impact research extending from fundamental discovery to clinical translation and improving prevention and treatment of disease.
  • Begin to cultivate a highly-collaborative, inclusive, and diverse environment that provides rich and dynamic intellectual engagement, support for innovation and multidisciplinary work, and development of new collaborations, initiatives, infrastructure, and services that attract a wide range of outstanding investigators to the institute. As envisaged, MNI will function as a bridge across all of the neuroscience disciplines and neuroscience units on campus.
  • Manage the institutional investment in MNI to move toward national visibility for U-M neuroscience, MNI, and its affiliated faculty.
  • Identify signature research programs/themes to develop in collaboration with a critical mass of investigators and relevant stakeholders.
  • Lay the groundwork for the creation of a robust system for mentoring and developing early-career faculty.
  • Actively promote multidisciplinary, multi-school, large-scale grant proposals and provide project management and supplemental pre- and post-award administrative support.
  • Provide support and resources to strengthen the Neuroscience Graduate Program in order to promote graduate education in the neurosciences, partnering with the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, the Program in Biomedical Sciences and other school/college stakeholders.
  • Offer educational opportunities for the broader neuroscience community of learners and faculty (e.g., support the Neuroscience Boot Camp, new short courses on novel techniques, data analysis workshops, lecture/symposium series).
  • Develop, mentor, and retain outstanding new neuroscience faculty in partnership with academic departments. Pursuant to current university directives, recruitment is presently paused. Once resumed, partnering with academic departments to recruit exceptional neuroscience faculty will be considered.
  • Coordinate the campus-wide neuroscience community with a comprehensive and cutting-edge website profiling U-M neuroscience experts and compelling resources.
  • Begin the process of developing new research cores, in line with current economic directives, specific to the needs of neuroscientists and establish strong partnerships and service pathways with existing campus cores and resources.
  • Advocate for the neuroscience community at U-M and prioritize new initiatives that enhance faculty competitiveness, increase our scholarly excellence, and expand and diversify extramural funding.
  • Lead, in partnership with the Development and Alumni Relations Office, a robust philanthropic program.
  • Identify and pursue strategic public and private partnerships that allow MNI to prosper.
  • Elevate Michigan’s reputation and standing as a premier institution in the field of neuroscience.


The Interim Director of the Institute will report to the Dean/EVPMA of the Medical School.

Required Qualifications & Desired Attributes

We are searching for a dynamic U-M-based leader with a track record of internationally recognized accomplishments in neuroscience as well as substantial leadership experience. The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. and/or M.D.  The desired candidate will have a distinguished record of extramural funding and an exemplary portfolio of leadership, mentorship, training, and scholarly work. A demonstrated track record of a multidisciplinary approach to foundational questions in neuroscience and evidence of working across translational phases (e.g., basic science and clinical research) is strongly preferred. Leadership experience should extend beyond the level of a laboratory, up to and including a center director, unit/division director/chair, or dean role (or the equivalent). Evidence of strong leadership includes demonstration of creating and aligning around a common vision; developing and implementing a strategic plan; building strong, engaged teams; successfully launching and sustaining multidisciplinary programs; building sustainable infrastructure; exercising sound fiscal management; and fostering positive organizational cultures as well as successfully working across traditional boundaries. The candidate will have a proven track record of strong fiduciary and regulatory compliance with experience managing resources wisely and transparently. The candidate must exhibit excellent interpersonal, organizational, and oral/written communication skills.

Applications and Nominations

The Michigan Neuroscience Institute interim director search committee is being co-chaired by Lori Isom, PhD and Martin Myers, Jr., MD, PhD. Nominations should be sent to Laura Hessler ( by Monday, August 10, 2020.

Candidates interested in the position must apply via the application website by Monday, August 24, 2020. Applicants will need to submit a CV and a letter of interest (2 page limit). Within the letter of interest, candidates should include specifics regarding why they are interested in the position, leadership and administration experience, their vision for the Institute, and a summary of past accomplishments (clinical and/or research, diversity, innovation, collaboration, etc.).

Virtual interviews are expected to occur in September 2020.

Search Committee

Lori Isom, PhD (Committee Co-Chair)
Maurice H. Seevers Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Professor of Neurology

Martin Myers, Jr., MD, PhD (Committee Co-Chair)
Marilyn H. Vincent Professor of Diabetes Research
Professor of Internal Medicine
Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Director, Michigan Diabetes Research Center (MDRC)
Director, Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute

Cynthia Chestek, PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Joerg Lahann, PhD
Wolfgang Pauli Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Director, Biointerfaces Institute

George Mashour, MD, PhD
Robert B. Sweet Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology
Professor of Neurosurgery
Faculty, Neuroscience Graduate Program
Adjunct Professor of Psychology

Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, PhD
Michael I. Posner Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Chair, Department of Psychology
Faculty Associate, Survey Research Center

Leslie Satin, PhD
Joanne I. Moore Research Professor of Pharmacology
Professor of Internal Medicine

Srijan Sen, MD, PhD
Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Professor of Depression and Neurosciences
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Research Associate Professor, Michigan Neuroscience Institute
Associate Vice President for Research – Health Sciences
Research Associate Professor, Institute for Data Science,
Adjunct Professor of Psychology

Natalie Tronson, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology

Bing Ye, PhD
Burton L. Baker Collegiate Professor of the Life Sciences
Research Associate Professor, Life Sciences Institute
Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

Laura Hessler
Project Manager, Medical School Office of Research

Additional Information

Michigan Behavioral & Neuroscience Institute

Neuroscience Graduate Program

University of Michigan Medical School

Michigan Medicine

Michigan Medicine Office of Health Equity and Inclusion

The University of Michigan


Michigan Medicine seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan and to maintain the excellence of the University. We welcome applications from anyone who would bring additional dimensions to the University’s research, teaching, and clinical mission, including women, members of minority groups, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons and will not discriminate against any individual because of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status. The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.