February 13, 2004

Baruchin named to new research position

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Andrea Baruchin, Ph.D

Baruchin named to new research position

Andrea Baruchin, Ph.D., has been named director of Strategic Planning for the Office of Research, effective Feb. 1. The new position was created to help expand the research enterprise at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

For the past three and a half years, Baruchin has been associate director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and director of Neuroscience Development, where she had a major role developing educational, outreach and fundraising programs. She brings this experience, as well as her 10 years of experience in science policy for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to her new post, where she will develop a strategy to link basic and clinical research components and to take advantage of new funding opportunities.

“I’m excited about this position because the research enterprise at Vanderbilt is growing, and I have the challenge of helping it move forward,” Baruchin said. “This position fits my experience like a glove, and I’m looking forward to using my skill set to help make the goals of the Medical Center a reality.”

Baruchin will be working closely with Dr. Jeffrey R. Balser, associate vice chancellor for Research, who helped create the new post.

“I felt we needed a leader to help guide us through the process of developing a strategy to link these components of our research enterprise (basic science and clinical outcomes), and at the same time, take greatest advantage of the funding opportunities coming on line from the NIH and other agencies,” he said. “We feel very fortunate to have Dr. Baruchin, who has a strong background in science as well as extensive experience in science administration and strategy development.

“It was exciting to find a person already at Vanderbilt who has developed extraordinarily strong credentials for this leadership position, who already knows many of our people, and can really hit the ground running,” he added.

Prior to her work at Vanderbilt, Baruchin spent 10 years at the NIH, serving as associate director for Science Policy for the National Institute of Mental Health and chief of Science Policy for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“Andrea will leverage her extensive experience at NIH to identify key opportunities for federal funding, and will help us take optimal advantage of funding opportunities that are cohesive with our strategic focus,” Balser said.

Baruchin also will partner with Balser to develop a campus-wide consensus for the next phase of the research enterprise plan, and she will work with the scientific and administrative leadership to implement the newly developed initiatives.

Baruchin earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Natural Sciences from the State University of Buffalo. She then served as a research assistant in the Pathology Department of Dartmouth Medical School, before accepting a teaching position at Mater Dei College in Ogdensburg, N.Y. Baruchin chaired the Math/Science Teaching Area at Wadhams Hall Seminary College in Ogdensburg before returning to graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Neurobiology and began her career with the NIH.

“I’ve had a varied history because I’ve always taken advantage of opportunities as they have arisen in my career,” Baruchin said. “And this is certainly a wonderful opportunity.”

“Dr. Baruchin is a unique individual, and we are excited about the impact she will have on the growth of our research enterprise,” Balser said.