The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) at the University of Utah has named Dr. Alton Swennes as the Assistant Vice President for Research Infrastructure (AVPRI). This is a new position to enhance infrastructure support and resources for the university’s research community. Swennes began in his new role on July 1, 2023. He will report to Dr. Erin Rothwell, Vice President for Research.
As AVPRI, Swennes will oversee strategy for research space and shared research resources. He will work with other campus leaders to create strategy for investment and development of spaces and equipment, as well as explore opportunities for academic and commercial research partnerships. This work will be coordinated with Dr. Keith Diaz Moore, Associate Vice Provost for Institutional Design and Strategy, in efforts to create an integrated, “1U approach” to the university’s placemaking to foster discovery, innovation and impact.
“The University of Utah has set ambitious goals for research growth,” said Swennes. “Infrastructure will be a critical component in achieving these aims and I’m excited to continue working with Dr. Rothwell to realize this vision.”
About Dr. Swennes
At the U, Swennes is currently the Executive Director of the Office of Comparative Medicine and a Research Associate Professor in the Division of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Pathology.
Swennes has an impressive educational and academic background. He graduated from University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Swennes continued his post-graduate studies at Georgia, obtaining a Master of Science degree in Infections Diseases and then a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, Swennes did his Comparative Medicine postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Swennes joined the University of Utah on March 1, 2021, and has overseen physical infrastructure development and organizational restructuring for the Office of Comparative Medicine. He has also worked on developing the university’s gnotobiotics and zebrafish shared resources, as well as interinstitutional collaborative agreements with the George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
“As our university continues to grow in research activities, it’s critical we provide valuable support to accommodate our researchers, students, faculty and staff. Dr. Swennes will be a pivotal role in providing the resources, space, and collaborations that will help bring discoveries to the forefront. I’m excited to work with Dr. Swennes in helping make the U’s research infrastructure the best in the nation.”
For more information on the VPR Office, click here.