Director of the National Primate Research Center

University of Washington Medical Center
Capitol Hill, Washington, US
Apr 28, 2021
May 11, 2021
Employment Type
Salary Type
The Director reports to the Office of Research and the Principal Investigator of the P51 base grant and is responsible for all aspects of the leadership and management of the primate center. As such, the Director must have a thorough awareness of the national biomedical research environment, trends and issues affecting non-human primate (NHP) research, a deep belief in the value of NHP as a model for understanding human health, a commitment to animal welfare, care and compliance; and a thorough understanding of national primate center operations.

The Director of WaNPRC leads an extensive scientific program that involves four divisions, each with leaders who are experts in their field of study, an animal resources and care division, an administrative unit that oversees grant funding and finances and an extensive cadre of core and affiliate members that drive center research activities. The Director must be able to foster a collaborative, team-building atmosphere among center members and staff and inspire energy and creativity for the benefit of the overall enterprise.

More specifically, the Director of the WaNPRC must:
Have earned a doctorate or equivalent terminal degree, credentials that are suitable for an academic appointment, and understand, value and inspire the highest quality of scientific discovery.
Be an established scientist and a recipient of peer-reviewed biomedical research support.
Have direct experience in or an understanding of and commitment to the NHP model in scientifically and ethically justified research.
Be familiar with and committed to the primate research center mission to serve as a national resource.
Think strategically, plan for effective change and implement those plans.
Have strong personal and professional ethics, maturity, and judgment.
Value diversity among the center staff and divisional membership and how to promote positive change that will enhance center productivity and scientific discovery.

It is also essential that the Director serve as a visible spokesperson for the primate center, communicating effectively within and outside of the University of Washington. Within the University, the Director must be skilled at navigating in a complex administrative environment and advocating for institutional resources and policies necessary for center operation. Externally, the Director will represent the WaNPRC at local, state, and national levels. The Director must establish strong and effective working relationships with the leadership of ORIP and relevant NIH personnel in order to continue the positive reputation that the WaNPRC has enjoyed with these critical funding agencies. In addition to communicating and advocating for the value of the Primate Centers research mission, this role will include responding to challenges presented by anti-animal research activists.

Evidence of the following experience and qualities in a Director is also desired:
Senior level administrative experience, preferably in an academic setting, and a collaborative, collegial, and transparent approach to leadership of center staff and research divisions.
Be an outstanding scientist with a highly visible, national reputation in the area of their research focus.
The ability to promote teamwork and research collaborations across disciplinary and University unit boundaries.
A strong commitment to foster and increase the volume of cross-unit research, with a specific emphasis on translational research projects.
An entrepreneurial spirit and an ability to support and encourage the entrepreneurial capabilities and research interests of the primate centers scientists.
Familiarity with the challenges of commercializing intellectual property, a commitment to promoting successful technology transfer, and an understanding of the role of a university in regional, state and national economic development.
An awareness of, and sensitivity to, anti-animal research issues and the personal mettle to manage challenges presented by anti-animal research activists.
A strong record of successful and creative fiscal management in an academic environment.
An understanding of program income management, including cost accounting, rate setting and indirect cost recovery policies, and its impact on strategic planning and center operations.
An appreciation of the importance of outreach activities, including fund raising, and a willingness to support primate center programs to advance the publics understanding of its research mission and contributions to the improvement of human health.
Outstanding interpersonal communication skills, creativity, energy, and flexibility.

Washington National Primate Research Center website:
The mission of the WaNPRC, in conjunction with the six other national primate research centers, is to provide an environment that supports outstanding biomedical research directed toward significant human health issues and nonhuman primate health and biology. The significance of the WaNPRC is directly in line with the mission of the NIH in its quest to advance the understanding of nonhuman and human biology with the specific purpose of improving the health of living beings. The WaNPRC strives to create a research environment that promotes diversity and inclusion within an innovative, yet well-established program for advancement of scientific discoveries and their application for improving the quality of life.

There are approximately 150 staff employees, 18 core scientists and over 30 affiliate scientists within the WaNPRC. All center scientists have primary appointments as faculty in UW academic units and/or collaborative research institutes. The overall budget for the center totaled approximately $26 million in FY2019. Primate Center operations are supported principally by a five-year core grant from the NIH Office of Research Infrasructure Programs (ORIP), which is due to expire on April 30, 2022. The center staff support general administrative, animal care and research support operations, pre- and post-award grants management, as well as information technology systems management activities.

The center has an Animal Resources Division that ensures care and welfare of the animals, supports the Macaca nemestrina breeding colony to ensure availability of characterized NHPs of this species, and provides technical research support to provide a foundation for scientifically and ethically justified research. The Animal Resource Division receives financial support from the P51 base grant, a U42 breeding colony grant, and a program income core.

Center Scientific Divisions
The WaNPRC conducts basic and applied biomedical research in its four divisions: Global Programs, Infectious Diseases and Translational Medicine (IDTM), Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine (GTRM) and Neuroscience.

The Global Programs Division has promoted international collaboration and field-based studies of NHPs for nearly 30 years. During the time, the Division initiated the WaNPRC's numerous internationally-based collaborative programs in Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Thailand, Mexico, India, and Laos, in addition to the long-standing programs in Indonesia. The Division has served as a model within the overall network of National Primate Research Centers and has been a source of efficient acquisition of primates and primate-related resources for investigators sponsored by NIH and other funding sources. Its programs focus broadly on the human-primate interface, addressing the issues of conservation biology and global health. More current issues addressing native habitat conservation reflects a broader understanding of the push to facilitate collaborative study of NHPs and other species within native habitat to more effectively combat zoonotic pathogen transmission. Thus the work of the division reflects a broad scientific paradigm that includes complementary work from the field - "bush-to-bench-to bedside."

The IDTM Division provides the WaNPRC and all national research entities with expertise and resources for the use of NHPs in infectious disease research. Importantly, the WaNPRC and the greater Seattle biomedical research community are significant leaders in HIV-AIDS research. The IDTM Division has also played a leading role in understanding maternal-fetal viral transmission, introducing a model for Zika virus infection, and animal models for malaria and other mosquito-borne infectious diseases. Most recently, in our nation's goal to develop an effective Covid-19 vaccine, the combined efforts of IDTM and GTRM scientists, using NHP and other animal models, are providing essential preclinical testing for product development. Transformative discoveries from COVID-19 vaccine development will undoubtedly advance other aspects of viral research and disease prevention.

The Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine (GTRM) Division is integrally involved in the field of gene modification to advance human health using novel gene therapy?and genome editing technologies. These tools have enormous potential for treating cancer, inherited genetic diseases and acquired infectious diseases. The GTRM Division Core and affiliate scientists are international leaders in the development of stem cell-based therapies and gene therapy approaches. The GTRM Division integrates genome editing and stem cell biology expertise with a wealth of discovery resources and experienced personnel found within the?WaNPRC. Current Division activities include an emphasis on hematopoietic stem cell therapy for cancer, HIV, genetic diseases (Fanconi anemia, severe combined immunodeficiency, and hemoglobinopathies) and the use of stem cells to regenerate the heart after myocardial injury. The GTRM Division is an international resource for these pivotal research studies.?

The Neuroscience Division focuses on advancing scientific understanding of the human nervous system through the use of NHP models. The Division consists of eight Core and eleven affiliate scientists with expertise in motor control, vision, memory, learning, and cognition. Major strengths of the Neuroscience Division include its extensive and productive collaborations, the methodological and thematic integration of research across laboratories, and ongoing development of innovative technologies for neurophysiological recording and stimulation to extend the utility of the NHP model for neuroscientific investigation. Members of the Division of Neuroscience serve as a resource for colleagues throughout the world, sharing software, reagents, data, and expertise with behavioral training, surgery, and data analytic techniques. Through service on local and national review panels, study sections, editorial boards, conference organizing committees, and through teaching and training of students and postdoctoral fellows, the Neuroscience Division serves as a focal point of a large, vibrant research community on the UW campus.

University of Washington
The UW's three campuses (Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell) offer more than 636 degree options, across 312 programs, to nearly 60,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Recognized as one of the world's preeminent public universities, the UW receives more federal research dollars than any other U.S. public university and in FY20 it received $1.63 billion in total research awards. With an annual budget of $8.25 billion, the UW employs more than 4,300 faculty and nearly 27,000 staff that manage its instructional, research and service activities. UW campus facilities, including the vibrant South Lake Union hub, provide a modern infrastructure that is essential for cutting-edge research, such as that spearheaded by WANPRC investigators.

Located only a few miles from the downtown core, and easily accessible by light rail, bus and individual transport mechanisms, UW is at the heart of Seattle's intellectual and spiritual vitality. Tens of thousands of students call the University District home - 72 percent of students live in campus housing or in nearby residences. The U-District, adjacent to the main campus, is an eclectic mix of historic sites, funky charm and a rapidly developing tech sector that the University fosters through support of startup companies and a strong partnership with the city and local neighborhoods.

PhD or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine OR equivalent degree; AND 10+ years of progressively responsible experience.

The successful candidate will:
Be an established scientist with a PhD or equivalent degree in one of the health sciences disciplines
Possess a significant record of personal success as a scholar and administrator
Be the recipient of peer-reviewed biomedical research support
Meet requirements for appointment to an academic department at the University
Have direct experience with nonhuman primate research, and value it as a model of understanding human health
Have a thorough awareness of the national biomedical research environment
Have demonstrated excellent financial acumen within a large scale, complex, and diverse working environment
Have strong personnel management experience, including a history of success with diversity, equity, and inclusion, with coaching and mentoring, team building, and leading conflict resolution.
Have strong personal and professional ethics.

Similar jobs

Similar jobs