2019 Election Results

Nominees were asked to confirm their nomination by providing a brief statement on why they want to serve if elected. These statements, with links (if available) to the PI’s home page, are posted below. See the full College/Unit CPI seat allocations for 2019-2020.

2019-2020 CPI election results are noted below.

Vice Chair

  • Stephen Maren (Psychological and Brain Sciences) – “As a member of the CPI executive committee and Liberal Arts representative on the CPI, I have been actively engaged in many issues of great importance to the TAMU/S research community. I would be pleased to represent the CPI as Vice Chair, and feel that I can represent the diverse perspectives amongst both the CPI and the broader research community on the challenging issues facing our members and research activity.” 

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

  • Pellois, Jean-Philippe (Biochemistry & Biophysics– “I am honored to have been nominated to serve on the CPI. I am a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and in the Department of Chemistry. My research focuses on studying membrane biochemistry, with an emphasis on the development of cellular delivery tools. My research has been funded by the NIH, NSF, the Welch Foundation, and CPRIT. I have been at Texas A&M for 12 years. I have not served on the CPI before. I am however deeply interested in enhancing the research capabilities on campus. I am well acquainted with issues of biosafety (BSL2 laboratory), graduate student recruiting (was chair of the recruiting and admission committee in my department), development (serve as contact point between TAMU Foundation and BioBio), and intellectual property (TAMU patent and NSF-ICORPS experience). I’ve also gained a broader understanding of the research community at TAMU while co-chairing the Innovation and Discovery sub-committee frameworks that can help promote the competitiveness of research on campus across all forms of research.”
  • Stelly, David (Soil and Crop Sciences “I appreciate the nomination and the chance to serve another term as representative for our College (COALS) in CPI. CPI continues to be an important asset to the research community to voice items of concern and to partake in various processes that influence institutional positioning for the future. Among the priorities for the near-term will be continuing the ongoing efforts to better organize, support, improve and awareness of our various kinds of “core labs”, which range in user-base and impact from institution-wide to collegiate, departmental and disciplinary. Proposals and grants management remain key areas of interest to all researchers, too. Computing, data management and IT security seem destined to continue increased amounts of our attention. We want our institution to strive to be one that is maximally conducive and supportive of our efforts to excel as researchers and as educators, as teams, as individuals and as an institution.”

College of Dentistry

  • Ouyang, Hongjiao (Endodontics) – “I am writing to express my gratitude of being nominated and interest in serving on the CPI committee. As a clinician who does heavy-duty research, this will provide me a good opportunity to get myself familiarized with the research engine at TAMU. More importantly, this will provide a good opportunity for me to serve as a liaison between the PIs’s community at TAMU and College of Dentistry and Department of Endodontics, which I am primarily affiliated with.”

College of Education and Human Development

  • Elliott, Timothy (Educational Psychology) – “Tim Elliott is a University Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and Human Development.  In his 32 years as an academician he has served at three different Research-intensive Category 1 universities. His work has been supported by three different federal funding agencies, and most recently, he worked with colleagues in public health to develop the Telehealth Counseling Clinic at Texas A&M with funds from federal grants and contracts with Medicaid.  Further, he has written about the role of external funding in graduate training and program development, with attention to the various models, benefits and issues that he has experienced with external funds in interdisciplinary projects (“External funding and competing visions for academic counseling psychology.”  The Counseling Psychologist, 2016). Other details about his career, experience, scholarly record and perspectives can be found at his website: http://telliott.education.tamu.edu/).  Elliott will bring an experienced and concerned viewpoint to his role as a representative to the Council of Principal Investigators.”

College of Engineering  

  • Banerjee, Debjyoti (Mechanical Engineering) – “As a candidate for CPI – Dr. Banerjee brings 6 years of experience from the Faculty Senate (including as a Leader of the Engineering Caucus for 2018-2019) after his tenure in 2011. He is passionate about strengthening the research infrastructure at TAMU and he is looking forward to serving in the CPI to learn, understand as well as enable changes that fosters a conducive research climate, augments ethical infrastructure and enhances the impact of our research enterprise. Dr. Banerjee is a Fellow of the Engineering-Medicine (EnMed) program at TAMU (2019). He was elected as Fellow of ASME (2016). Currently he is a Professor in the Mechanical Engr. Dept. and Petroleum Engr. Dept. (Joint Courtesy Appointment); Faculty Fellow in the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center; Affiliate Faculty in the Gas and Fuels Research Center and the Energy Institute (EI). He served as Associate Editor and Guest Editor (Special Issues) for the Journal of Heat Transfer and Journal of Nanotechnology in Engineering & Medicine. With PI (Law School) and Co-PIs in Philosophy Dept. and Psychology & Brain Sciences he recently received an NSF grant on the Ethics of Diversity: to Prevent Sexual Harassment in STEM Research & Practice. He was a Manager and Intellectual Property (IP) Lead in the Advanced Research & Technology (ART) division at Applied Biosystems Inc. (ABI) while serving as a Hiring Manager. Dr. Banerjee received 16 US patents, from his work at TAMU, ABI, Ciphergen Biosystems, NanoInk, and Coventor Inc. In a singular capacity, he developed from concept to a commercial product at NanoInk Inc. (called “InkWells™”, which are microfluidic platforms used for nano-lithography of bio-molecules). He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engr. from UCLA and MS from OleMiss. With a former Ph.D. student he cofounded Thermascape Technologies which won 5th prize overall, “Visualization Prize” and “Innovation Prize” in the Texas New Ventures Competition (2017).”
  • Kaihatu, James (Civil Engineering) – “Dr. James Kaihatu is a professor of Civil Engineering with a joint appointment in Ocean Engineering. He is also an Associate Department Head for Research in Civil Engineering. Dr. Kaihatu earned an B.S. degree from California State Polytechnic University (1986), an M.S. degree from the University of California (1987), and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Delaware (1994), all in Civil Engineering. Prior to joining Texas A&M as an assistant professor in 2006, he held positions as a Research Oceanographer with the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center, MS (1995-2006), a postdoctoral associate at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC (1994-1995), and as a Hydraulic Engineer with the Coastal Engineering Research Center, U.S. Army Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, MS (1987-1989). A primary area of his research involves modeling, theory and measurement of ocean surface waves, with an emphasis on wave nonlinear behavior and breaking in the nearshore zone. Recent interests at TAMU have included modeling of tsunami inundation, storm surge modeling, modeling of transport of contaminated sediment during extreme events, and the impact of waves and surge on coastal infrastructure during hurricanes. His research has been supported by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Texas Sea Grant, and the Qatar National Research Fund. He has broad experience in large collaborative efforts, both in leadership roles and as a team builder. As the Associate Department Head for Research in Civil Engineering, he has worked toward facilitating collaboration among department faculty and identifying opportunities for research funding and collaboration external to the department, college, and university. Dr. Kaihatu believes in the strength of the research enterprise at Texas A&M and will work toward assisting PIs by advocating to improve the communication and responsiveness of research services to address PI needs. He has served on several committees which worked toward improving services for PIs, and believes that the Council of Principal Investigators is the most effective organization to bring these improvements about.”

College of Geosciences

  • Fitzsimmons, Jessica (Oceanography) – “It is an honor to be nominated to represent the College of Geosciences on the Council of Principal Investigators. I have been an Assistant Professor in the College of Geosciences since 2015 in the Department of Oceanography. My lab studies inorganic nutrient, pollutant, and tracer chemical cycling in open ocean seawater, as well as in the coastal Gulf of Mexico, and we value our international reputation in making high precision and accuracy concentration, isotope ratio, and speciation analyses. Since joining Texas A&M, I have participated in sole-author, multi-PI, and multi-institution collaborative grants that have raised >$5 million from the National Science Foundation, the State of Texas, and corporate sponsors for both basic research and education projects. My collaborators span nearly all departments in the College, as well as GERG and IODP, and my membership in the International GEOTRACES Program also gives me experience as a sole-PI from Texas A&M operating within a large-scale collaborative program. I am also Co-Director of the R. Ken Williams Radiogenic Isotope Facility, which serves the inorganic concentration and isotope analysis needs of the College of Geosciences and the University as a whole. I am motivated to serve on the CPI in order to improve the support structure for core facilities and related research infrastructure, expand research opportunities and resources that can better the Texas A&M research enterprise, and advocate for the streamlining of guidelines and procedures presented to PIs during the proposal and active project phases of research. If elected, I plan to work hard to understand and communicate your concerns to the CPI in order to simplify processes and increase transparency in the research sector of Texas A&M.”
  • Grossman, Ethan (Geology and Geophysics) – “I am pleased accept nomination as a College of Geosciences representative to CPI. I am a Professor and the Michel T. Halbouty Chair in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, joining the faculty at TAMU in 1982. Over the years I have had an opportunity to conduct research funded through NSF, Department of Energy, American Chemical Society, USGS, and the State of Texas. I have also served as Acting Executive Associate Dean and Acting Associate Dean for Research in the College of Geosciences from 2007-08. Currently I serve as Co-Director of the Stable Isotope Geosciences Facility in the College of Geosciences, and Director of the Mass Spectrometry for Isotope Analysis of the Mass Spectrometry Collaborative Core at TAMU. As a geochemist working with carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen isotopes, I have interacted with colleagues from several colleges in paleoclimate, environmental, and energy research. If elected, this would be my second stint on CPI, having served many years ago when I was an Associate Professor. I believe this aggregate of experience gives me a broad perspective and deep understanding of the issues facing TAMU researchers at all levels, and a strong desire to advocate for support of research facilities, research staff, faculty, and graduate students.”

College of Medicine

  • Andrews-Polymenis, Helene (Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology) – “I am a Professor in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology in the College of Medicine, and have a joint appointment in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. I have held a faculty position at TAMHSC, and now TAMU since 2005, have experience leading research conducted funded by NIH, USDA (NIFA) and DARPA, have served on both NIH and USDA study section, and serve as a reviews editor at the journal Infection & Immunity. I have previously served the Council of Principal Investigators as a regular member, as a member of the executive committee, and as the Vice Chair and Chair. My primary purpose on the CPI is to represent the interests of the COM research faculty in the significant issues of policy related to research. In order to accomplish this, I will communicate with COM faculty in advance of CPI meetings to solicit input for each meeting. I will communicate faculty concerns and suggestions to the CPI and administrators that appear before this group, and provide feedback after each meeting to COM faculty. I will work on behalf of individual investigators to resolve any significant issues that can be influenced via the CPI. Finally, I hope to promote a constructive dialog with the administration on all issues that can improve the research environment on campus.”

College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

  • Gaddy, Dana (Veterinary Integrative Biosciences) – “I am a Professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, and an NIH funded interdisciplinary researcher in musculoskeletal biology and endocrinology. As a member of the CPI I would be committed to: 1) encouraging the development of researchers and research capabilities on the TAMU campus, 2) being a voice for research-intensive faculty at all levels of TAMU system, 3) providing a conduit for both the TAMU administrators and research-intensive faculty at all levels of the TAMU system, and 4) enhancing opportunities to participate in multi-investigator and interdisciplinary research projects that can be leveraged for extramural funding.” 

School of Public Health 

  • Han, Gang (Epidemiology and Biostatistics) – “I would be honored to serve as a member of the Council of Principal Investigators. Faculty in Texas A&M School of Public Health (SPH) greatly value the rich opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other schools in the TAMU community. I am willing to do my best to further enhance the connection and collaboration for the SPH faculties to facilitate the development of their research agendas. With the background in analytical sciences, I would be glad to help with relevant issues in the CPI. It would be my great pleasure to promote and assist the research of all investigators in TAMU.”

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 

  • Walker, Jamie-Rae (Recreation, Parks & Tourism Sciences – Dallas Center) – “Having navigated SRS, IRB, Workday and other programs and services in order to manage funded projects and programs, I have a strong understanding of why we need an Extension perspective and voice on the CPI. Furthermore, as System and Agency resources and policies continually face change, I think it is key to communicate these updates with Extension faculty and staff.”

Texas A&M School of Law 

  • Eckstein, Gabriel (Program in Natural Resources Systems – Dallas) – “I would be honored to serve on the Council of Principal Investigators (CPI) as a representative of PIs for the Texas A&M School of Law. Our law school and its faculty are developing a commitment to interdisciplinary research and collaborations, and recognize the wealth of opportunities that the TAMU community has to offer. We also recognize that law and policy are critical to most research endeavors at the investigation, implementation, outcomes, and/or recommendations stages, and yet are often neglected or absent from such work due, in part, to the reality that the legal community historically has not engaged in funded research. As a representative of the law school on the CPI, I would focus my efforts on overcoming the challenges and obstacles to our legal colleagues engaging in these worthwhile endeavors. Among other initiatives, I would seek to connect law school faculty with other TAMU and TAMUS researchers, assist colleagues to pursue their respective research agendas, facilitate the process for obtaining external support and research partners, and seek to further engender a culture and climate of interdisciplinary research and collaborations at TAMU that includes my law colleagues. My commitment to interdisciplinary and funded research is based largely on my own experiences working with colleagues in diverse disciplines, as well as having secured a number of external and internal funding opportunities for various projects, including some in collaboration with other TAMU colleagues.”

Texas A&M Transportation Institute 

  • Kovar, James (Roadside Safety and Physical Security Division) – “Howdy! My name is James Kovar, and I am an Associate Transportation Researcher in the Roadside Safety and Physical Security Division of TTI. I started with TTI in 2013 as a student employee and finally became full-time in 2017. I have experience managing projects from groups ranging from small private sponsors up to large national research organizations. I would like to become a CPI representative so that I can promote TTI’s interests within the CPI and also provide information from my perspective as a new researcher. I believe it is important to engage my fellow new researchers to ensure TTI and TAMUS have a strong future.”

*The CPI defines a “PI” as a PI or Co-PI on at least one externally reviewed and funded project or grant within the previous three years. –see bylaws, Section 2. Representation, A. Definition of PI

**see bylaws Section 2. Representation, F. Allocation of Seats