Calendar and Open Positions
DIRECTOR and V. EVERETT KINSEY ENDOWED PROFESSOR
EYE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Applications and nominations are invited for the position of Director of the Eye Research Institute of Oakland University. The candidate must have a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree, a distinguished record of scholarly activity as evidenced by a strong publication record and a vigorous, nationally recognized vision research program. The successful candidate will have academic credentials commensurate with the rank of Professor and a record exhibiting a strong ability to attract research support, as well as demonstrating effective administrative skills. He/she will be the first V. Everett Kinsey Endowed Professor of Biomedical Sciences, and as Director will report directly to the Provost. The Director will be expected to provide leadership for a group of productive well-established and junior researchers while conducting his or her own active eye research program and interacting with clinical faculty in the investigation of disease-oriented visual disorders. An opportunity will be available to recruit two new junior faculty members, and endowment funds will be provided for partial support of the Director’s research, as well as Institute activities.
The Eye Research Institute is an independent academic unit of Oakland University, a state-supported institution on a 1,443-acre campus, 25 miles north of Detroit, with an enrollment of approximately 20,000 students in baccalaureate and graduate programs, and a relatively new School of Medicine, which was launched in 2010 in partnership with William Beaumont Hospital. Founded in 1968 by the renowned vision researchers V. Everett Kinsey and Venkat Reddy, the Institute has long been recognized as a major center for ophthalmic research, conducting basic science studies on eye diseases that cause vision loss, with the support of over $60M in external funding. NIH-funded faculty members, support staff and students conduct research on the biochemistry, physiology and molecular biology of eye tissues, with emphasis on the retina. Faculty members are able to devote nearly full-time to research and research-related training of Oakland University students. The Institute houses a Pediatric Retina Research Laboratory, with state-of-the art rodent retinal imaging equipment, which focuses on developing therapies for blinding eye diseases of infants. In addition, a formal affiliation exists between the Institute and the Ophthalmology Department of William Beaumont Hospital allowing for collaboration on clinical projects. Additional information may be found on the Institute’s website: https://www.oakland.edu/eri.
Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a curriculum vitae, copies of three significant publications, and a brief statement of research interests via http://jobs.oakland.edu/postings/10206, and have letters from three references submitted similarly. Questions or inquiries can be directed to Frank Giblin, Ph.D., Director, Eye Research Institute, and Chair, Search Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248 370 2395. The committee will begin reviewing applications by June 1, 2017, with an anticipated start date of August 1, 2017. The search will continue until the position is filled.
Oakland University is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to excellence through diversity.
Institutional and ERI Director Profiles
Oakland University is located on a beautiful campus of 1,443 acres approximately 25 miles north of Detroit, in Oakland County, Michigan. The University is a public institution with an enrollment of approximately 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as one of the nation’s 90 doctoral/research universities, Oakland University offers 132 bachelor’s degree programs and 138 graduate degree and certificate programs.
Academically, the University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences; the schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, and Nursing; the Eye Research Institute; the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine; the University Libraries; and the Honors College, which is one of the longest-established honors colleges in the nation. Administrative structuring includes the Office of Undergraduate Education, Office of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, Office of Research Administration, and other university academic offices.
The University Environment
Oakland University is emerging as one of Michigan’s premier public research universities. It is recognized for its exceptionally strong academic programs, student-focused curriculums and links to the region’s vibrant corporate and entrepreneurial culture. An emphasis on research is one of the three pillars of the Oakland University Strategic Plan 2025 at https://www.oakland.edu/president/strategic-planning/. Strategic priorities include providing substantial resources for enlarging the Oakland University research enterprise.
About Oakland County and Southeastern Michigan
More than 1 million residents enjoy the quality-of-life advantages available in Oakland County, including more than 1,400 fresh-water lakes, 88,000 acres of park land, miles of trails, and pathways for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Ample shopping, entertainment and restaurant destinations are among the county’s many advantages.
Oakland County is home to more Fortune 500 companies than several states including Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and South Carolina. In addition, southeast Michigan is the home of several other Fortune 500 companies, including General Motors, Ford, TRW Automotive and DTE Energy (The Oakland Press, 2012).
Oakland University’s contribution to the arts has moved beyond local boundaries to a place of prominence in the region. The University has a strong performing arts program with record-high enrollment numbers. The University also offers world-class cultural activities at Meadow Brook Hall, former home of the university’s benefactors. Meadow Brook Hall is a National Historic Landmark and serves as an historic museum and cultural center. Founded on Oakland’s campus in 1967, Meadow Brook Theatre is Michigan’s largest non-profit producing professional theatre. Meadow Brook Music Festival brings an annual summer program of world-class entertainment to campus.
The Eye Research Institute
The Eye Research Institute (ERI) was founded in 1968 by the renowned vision researchers V. Everett Kinsey and Venkat N. Reddy, with construction funds obtained from the NIH. In 1985, additional funds for expansion were received from the National Eye Institute (NEI). The Institute’s current total space is 15,200 square feet. Dr. Kinsey received the Lasker Award for his pioneering work on retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), research that continues today in the Institute with collaboration between ERI basic scientists and clinical faculty members, Drs. Kimberly Drenser, Antonio Capone and Michael Trese. Dr. Kinsey was also involved in the early stages of forming the National Eye Institute (NEI), which was established in 1968, the same year as the ERI. Kinsey received the Proctor Award for his elucidation of transport mechanisms that contribute to aqueous humor formation. Dr. Reddy, who lead the ERI for 22 years as Director, received the Friedenwald Award for his studies on aqueous humor dynamics and the complex movement of nutrients and electrolytes into and out of the lens. The current ERI Director, Frank Giblin, has been funded by the NIH for 40 years to study the mechanism of cataract formation. In 2007, he received the Kinoshita Lectureship Award for his studies on cataract.
The ERI is an independent academic unit of the University with a status equivalent to that of a school or college. The Director reports directly to the Provost, and the Institute is authorized to make primary academic appointments and grant tenure with professorial titles in Biomedical Sciences. The ERI shares a Committee for Appointment and Promotion (CAP) with the School of Health Sciences, and has its own Faculty Senate member. Institute faculty are members of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) faculty union; however, the ERI Director is an Academic Administrator. The Institute currently consists of four NIH-funded faculty members and a staff of 15. In the 1990’s, the ERI was comprised of a total of eight faculty, and is thus now looking to rebuild with new leadership and institutional commitment. Since its beginning in 1968, the ERI has received over $60M in external funding. The Institute also has a formal affiliation with the Department of Ophthalmology at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan (a 30 minute drive from Oakland University), allowing for collaboration on clinical projects and participation in the department’s residency training program.
In 2011, the ERI received funds from the Vision Research ROPARD Foundation to renovate space to establish a Pediatric Retina Research Laboratory, and equip it with state-of-the-art rodent retina imaging instrumentation, available for use by all Institute faculty. The aim of this laboratory is to develop therapies for pediatric eye diseases such as ROP, familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) and Norrie Disease. In 2014, the wife of Dr. Kinsey, Irene Kinsey Stare, left the ERI $3.7M to establish an Endowed Professorship in her husband’s honor. This will be the V. Everett Kinsey Endowed Professorship of Biomedical Sciences.
The mission of the Eye Research Institute is to:
- Conduct research in visual sciences and enhance understanding of fundamental processes in ocular tissues related to health and disease.
- Conduct research on the causes and possible cures for eye disease
- Offer research opportunities for ophthalmology residents and fellows
- Provide an environment for research training for advanced students (both undergraduate and graduate) who are interested in pursuing careers in visual sciences and the biomedical field
Current programs in the ERI include studies on retinal dopaminergic and melanopsin systems (Dao-Qi Zhang), peripherin/rds and the assembly of retinal outer segments (Andrew Goldberg), VEGF-induced signaling and retinal vascularization (Ken Mitton), and oxidative mechanisms associated with human cataract (Frank Giblin). The goal of the ERI’s Pediatric Retina Research Laboratory is to develop therapies for pediatric eye diseases such as ROP, familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) and Norrie Disease (Dr. Ken Mitton with adjunct clinical faculty members Drs. Kimberly Drenser, Antonio Capone and Michael Trese). In its 48 year history, ERI faculty have made major contributions to our understanding of aqueous humor dynamics, retinal energy metabolism, oxidative mechanisms in experimental uveitis, inherited eye diseases, cyclic GMP retinal signaling, corneal hydration mechanisms, UV light effects on the lens epithelium, oxygen as a cause of nuclear cataract, gene therapy for inherited retinal degeneration, and the role of extracellular matrix-modulating proteases in glaucoma.
Shared instrumentation support modules in the ERI include Molecular and Cell Biology (tissue culture suite, real-time PCR, DNA sequencing coordination) under the supervision of Dr. Ken Mitton, and Ocular Structure and Imaging (cryomicrotome, microtomes, histology process room, light microscopy, Zeiss AxioImager.Z2 fluorescence microscope with an automated motorized stage and Aptome module, Morgani digital transmission electron microscope) under the supervision of Drs. Andrew Goldberg and Victoria Kimler (EM Lab Manager). The ERI and the Department of Biological Sciences (located one floor below the Institute) share use of a confocal microscope. Shared instrumentation for rodent retinal imaging in the Pediatric Retina Research Laboratory includes a Micron-III system for bright field retinal imaging, fluorescein angiography and focal ERG, an Espion E3 full field ERG, a wall-mounted ophthalmic surgical microscope, and an Envisu R2200 Optical Coherence Tomography system. A state-of-the-art, AAALAC-accredited animal care facility is connected to the ERI by a private elevator.
Each year since 2001, the ERI has offered a Summer Undergraduate Program in Eye Research (SUPER) in which 5-8 students are awarded competitive $3,750 fellowships to work for 12 weeks with individual mentors on some aspect of vision research. Financial support for the program comes in part from the University’s Center for Biomedical Research. Thus far, over 80 students have passed through the program, with 75% of the graduates going on to attend medical, graduate or optometry schools.
Oakland University pays 50% of the academic year salary of each ERI faculty member, and returns to the Institute 25% of all indirect costs raised through external grants. Formal teaching is not required, which allows each faculty member to focus nearly entirely on research and research-related training of Oakland University students. Each faculty member is expected to raise 50% of his/her academic year salary, and 100% of summer salary, through external funding. The University provides support to pay for instrument maintenance contracts and salaries of the Institute’s Electron Microscopy Lab Manager and Operations Coordinator.
The ERI Director Position Profile
The ERI Director reports to the Provost, and provides leadership to advance the Institute’s primary mission of conducting research in visual sciences and enhancing understanding of fundamental processes in ocular tissues related to health and disease.
The responsibilities of the ERI Director are to:
- Provide leadership and direction to Institute faculty, staff and students.
- Maintain his or her own NIH-funded vision research program.
- Assist ERI faculty with obtaining NIH and other external funding.
- Monitor the ERI budget, and operate the Institute in a fiscally responsible manner.
- Participate in the recruitment and retention of ERI faculty.
- Participate in faculty promotion and tenure reviews.
- Serve on appropriate University committees.
- Be visible within the University and the community, nationally and internationally.
- Maintain a close interaction with the Beaumont Department of Ophthalmology.
- Ensure ERI regulatory compliance and safe working conditions.
- Oversee ERI undergraduate and graduate research.
- Work with the OU Development Office regarding donor funding.
- Help to maintain a high level of Institute morale.
The new ERI Director will be a dynamic leader who will elevate the Institute to the next level of prominence.
Required qualifications and desired characteristics include:
- A Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree.
- Academic credentials commensurate with the rank of Professor.
- A distinguished record of scholarly activity as evidenced by a strong publication record and a vigorous, nationally recognized vision research program.
- A record exhibiting a strong ability to attract research support, as well as showing effective administrative skills.
- An ability to provide leadership to productive well-established and junior researchers while conducting his or her own active eye research program.
- Exemplary communication and listening skills.