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 2021-22.
2021-22 CPI election results are noted below.
- Bangerjee, Debjyoti (Department of Mechanical Engineering) “If elected as vice chair – I will work on different strategies for reducing bureaucratic procedures in our research enterprise to make it easier for PIs in their endeavors (from proposal submission to grant negotiation to project deliverables/ execution). In addition, I would like enhance interactions between research administration and PIs with the goal of improving transparency in the policy/ decision making processes (e.g., if graduate student stipends are increased – they should be done with proper and long-term feedback from the PIs in different units within TAMUS, rather than being informed by an abrupt memo).”BIO: Prof. Debjyoti Banerjee was awarded 17 US Patents. His research is at the interface of bio/micro/nano-technologies, thermal-fluids sciences and engineering-ethics. He is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering since 2005; as J.J.Cain Faculty Fellow-I in the College of Engineering [COE], with Joint Courtesy Appointments in Petroleum Engineering and Department of Medical Education in College of Medicine [COM]. He is a Fellow of Engineering Medicine [EnMED]: involving Houston Methodist Hospital, COE and COM. He is a member of STRIDE (Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence) and was recognized as “ADVANCE Diversity Champion”. He co-founded the “Ethics Roundtable” – with colleagues in Law School and the College of Liberal Arts [COLA]. From NSF (CCE-STEM) grant, he is collaborating with Law School and COLA (Philosophy Department and Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences) on sexual harassment while implementing learning module on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) in the undergraduate class: ENGR 482 (Ethics and Engineering). He is implementing the “innovation competency” modules for the Academy of Physician Scientists (APS): from a $2.5 million grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. He participated in McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, MBA Technology Transfer Challenge; REU; USRG and SURE. He served as a member of the Faculty Development Leave (FDL) committee; University Grievance Committee (UGC); and the University Disciplinary Appeals Panel (UDAP). He participated in the Council for the Built Environment (CBE) chaired by the Vice President for Finance at TAMU (VP-Finance); and represented the Faculty Senate [FS] as ex- officio member of the University Staff Council (USC). He was a member of the Provost task force (Graduate School Task Force). He was elected to his third consecutive (3-year) term to the TAMU Faculty Senate (FS), elected twice to be the Leader of the Engineering Caucus (FS) and was an elected member of the Executive Committee (FS).
Bush School of Government & Public Service
- Dague, Laura (Department of Government & Public Service) “I am an associate professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, and a Research Fellow with the Bush School’s Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy. My research is in health economics, with a focus on the economics of health insurance and Medicaid. I consistently work with interdisciplinary teams to study health policy questions using survey and administrative data sources and quantitative econometric methods. Reflecting this, at Texas A&M I hold affiliations with the Department of Economics, the Department of Health Policy and Management, the Center for Health Systems & Design, and the Institute of Data Science. I am a faculty affiliate at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty, a Research Associate in the NBER’s Health Economics program, and an associate editor of the Journal of Health Economics. My research has been funded by government and foundation grants as well as policy evaluation contracts from the state and federal governments. I have been serving as the Bush School’s Council of Principal Investigators representative as an alternate for the late Dr. Portney since Fall 2020. If elected for a full term, I will continue to represent the interests of the diverse social science and policy researchers on our faculty, with particular interest in human subjects research issues, data protection issues (including classified data and HIPAA), and facilitating research administration including contract negotiation timelines. I will always welcome your input on issues that need to be brought to CPI and will do my best to highlight anything learned at CPI that may need attention from you.”
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
- Gehring, Kerri (Department of Animal Science) “I am a professor in the Department of Animal Science, and I am honored to have been nominated for the CPI. If elected, I am willing to represent researchers, both on- and off-campus, within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and those in other disciplines across the university. My research focuses on food safety, quality, and nutrition, and I have received funding from USDA, commodity organizations, and private companies. So, I understand and appreciate the diversity in research funding requirements, as well as the expectations and frustrations that are associated with securing, disseminating, and gaining recognition for our research programs. I think CPI has a valuable role within our university by helping ensure that our research and teaching programs remain competitive. Additionally, I believe CPI provides an opportunity for PIs and administration to build upon our strengths and improve upon our weaknesses. I am committed to promoting and enhancing the research capabilities for all investigators.”
- Straight, Paul (Department of Biochemistry/Biophysics) “I am thankful for the nomination and would gladly serve as a member of the CPI representing the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I am an Associate Professor in Biochemistry & Biophysics and a member of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics faculty. Having arrived at Texas A&M in 2008, I have over these 13 years developed a great appreciation for the scale and diversity of our collective research enterprise. My research group has been funded through both federal and foundation awards. We currently focus on an NIH-funded study of genetic and chemical interactions between bacteria. We work extensively with core facilities in metabolomics (IMAC), protein chemistry (PCI), and microscopy (MIC), which has given me a deep appreciation for having robust research infrastructure at A&M. I believe the CPI has a critical role in maintaining the outstanding Texas A&M research environment and serving as a voice for the research community. I have been active in service, including faculty and graduate recruiting committees, grant and journal reviews, and as an advisor for student associations. If elected, I will use my experience to work with the members of the CPI and research community to sustain and enhance a modern, effective, and innovative research environment at Texas A&M.”
- Tarone, Aaron (Department of Entomology) “I would gladly assist my colleagues in representing the interests of PIs across the campus. I do National Institute of Justice, Texas, and NSF-funded research utilizing core facilities in genomics, bioinformatics, proteomics, and metabolomics. I would work with my colleagues on the CPI to effectively improve and maintain these valuable services provided at TAMU. My work crosses colleges and I am happy to do what I can to promote cross-college research efforts. As a member of the NSF-funded forensic science IUCRC, I also can provide perspective and guidance regarding public-private partnerships. In my first term as a CPI member, I served on the committee developing the white paper on core facilities and as a CPI representative on the COALS strategic plan.”
College of Education & Human Development
- Lara-Alecio, Rafael (Department of Educational Psychology) Rafael Lara-Alecio is a TAMU System Regents Professor, Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, and Director of the Center for Research and Development in Dual Language and Literacy Acquisition, College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). His scholarly work has contributed theoretical models, instruments, and policy recommendations to the field of academic English language development. In addition, to be author and/or co-author of over 140 refereed and non-refereed publications, he has led multiple funded research grants as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator at the federal and state levels with a total of over $100 million. He has also conducted research internationally in Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, and China, along with evaluation research in Guatemala. During his 30 years at TAMU, he has served on the CEHD and Departmental T& P Committees as Chair, on Faculty Senate, the GIC, and the GC. He also served on the University Council of Principal Investigators, (2010-2013; 2018-2021, where among different roles, he represented the CPI in the construction of Maestro, and for the past three years, he has been active on the TAMU Research Compliance Committee. He also has served at the Graduate Appeals Committee, CAFRT Committee, and major University committees, including the past Provost Search Committee. Lara-Alecio indicates, “If elected to the CPI, I will continue to serve and represent the College faculty in the most critical issues affecting the welfare of our PIs and Co-PIs and other research investigators. Issues of importance are ongoing discussions related to indirect costs, grants forecasts and interdisciplinary collaborations, human subjects and IRB considerations, innovation and commercialization, intellectual property, cost-sharing, salary savings, pre and post-award assistance, and increasing facility needs for PIs, Co-PIs, research investigators, graduate research assistants, and staff members. Our important mission as a space, sea, and land-grant institution, in terms of futuristic strategic plans and equitable and accessible research/grant practices as PIs, is one that I will support on the CPI if elected.”
College of Engineering
- Arroyave, Raymundo (Department of Materials Science and Engineering) “I am honored to have been nominated to represent Engineering at the CPI. Research is a foundational element of our mission as a Tier 1 University and excellence in this endeavor requires continuous effort. As a member of the CPI, I will seek to constructively interact with my colleagues and the administration and advocate for policies that enhance our research enterprise. I will support basic principles of academic freedom as they should guide the primary activities of academic researchers. I look forward to contributing to the CPI in the next cycle if elected.”
- Chaspari, Theodora (Department of Computer Science) Dr. Chaspari, Director of the HUman Bio-Behavioral Signals (HUBBS) Lab and Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, is passionate about Texas A&M University. Chaspari is a member of the Institute for Data Science and holds research collaborations with departments across the university in the Colleges of Engineering, Life Sciences, and Architecture. Her research is funded by the NSF, NIH, NASA, IARPA, AFRL, EiF, Keck Foundation, and TAMU DoR. Chaspari holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, and B.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. She has mentored 3 UG theses and 8 M.S. theses and is currently mentoring 4 Ph.D. dissertations. Chaspari has developed and taught several graduate and undergraduate courses in AI and machine learning, and served in various conference organization committees (ACM ACII 2017/2019/2021, IEEE BSN 2018, ACM ICMI 2018/2020). She is a recipient of the USC Annenberg Graduate Fellowship 2010, USC Women in Science and Engineering Merit Fellowship 2015, and the TAMU CSE Graduate Faculty Teaching Excellence Award 2019. Chaspari has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and other news sources. Chaspari is committed to supporting diversity, inclusion, and equity across research, teaching, service, and mentoring, and believes that her PI experience and passion for the university will enable her to facilitate the needs of the Principal Investigators across the university and contribute to improving the research climate and profile of the university. She looks forward to serving her colleagues in this manner. More at http://hubbs.engr.tamu.edu/.
College of Geosciences
- Thorton, Daniel (Department of Oceanography) “I am a Professor in the Department of Oceanography. I spent my childhood and early career in the United Kingdom, obtaining a PhD in Biology from Queen Mary University of London. I came to the United States to do postdoctoral research at the University of Southern California and joined Texas A&M University as an Assistant Professor in 2004. My laboratory focuses on how photosynthetic microorganisms affect biogeochemical processes in the ocean. My research is interdisciplinary, with a current program on the role of biogenic marine aerosols in atmospheric cloud formation that integrates biological oceanography and atmospheric sciences. As both a laboratory and field researcher, I understand the infrastructure needs and challenges of both approaches. I have received research funding from several programs within the National Science Foundation, Texas Sea Grant, and local sources. I have served as Assistant Department Head in the Department of Oceanography (2013-2015; 2018-2019), chair of the Grants and Fellowships Committee of the Phycological Society of America, and Associate Editor of the European Journal of Phycology. I wish to serve on the CPI as I believe in shared governance. Issue of particular importance are minimizing the time and stress of research administration for principal investigators (PIs), ensuring that quality research opportunities are available to students and that PIs have access to cutting-edge shared resources across campus. I look forward to representing researchers in the College of Geosciences.”
College of Medicine
- Gregory, Carl (Department of Molecular & Cellular Medicine) “It is an honor to be nominated as a candidate for the Council of Principal Investigators, and to represent the College of Medicine in this capacity. My background is in molecular biology and biochemistry with training from the University of York (United Kingdom), the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), and at Tulane University (Louisiana). I am currently a tenured associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine with an active research program specializing in stem cell biology, musculoskeletal regeneration, and bone malignancy. I have had the privilege of mentoring many graduates, undergraduates, and postdoctoral fellows in my laboratory during 10 years at Texas A&M and I contribute to graduate, veterinary and medical courses. I have also served on the TAMHSC Graduate Committee, the TAMHSC Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, the Temple Bioscience Institute Syllabus Advisory Committee, and review grants for several funding entities including the NIH (R01, R21, R03, and SBIR/STTR mechanisms for the NCI and NIAMS). Our research has been funded by the NIH, NSF, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, and several other funding bodies. Virtually all of our funded projects are critically dependent on collaboration with investigators in the College of Medicine, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Departments within the School of Engineering. As such, I have a strong appreciation for the intellectual diversity of our university, and I will work to maintain and grow multi-disciplinary collaborative initiatives throughout Texas A&M. While strong collaborations and our committed faculty play the major role in securing funds from an ever-more competitive extramural landscape, administrative and infrastructural support for research and scholastic activities is critical for sustained success. Therefore, I will work with administrators and faculty to grow and develop approaches that maximize the rate and quality of grant proposal submissions, organize and expand core/shared capabilities (research and administrative), and streamline essential yet frequently cumbersome compliance mechanisms. I believe I have a good understanding of the needs of our faculty and the students and postdoctoral fellows that work with them. With continuous and welcome feedback, I will work to be an effective representative for the hardworking community of principal investigators at Texas A&M University and the College of Medicine.”
College of Nursing
- Page, Robin “I am honored to accept the nomination to represent the College of Nursing on the Council of Principal Investigators and will endeavor to be a strong voice for faculty needs and concerns. I am an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing and have first-hand experience of the challenges faced by faculty conducting clinical research in the College. My research emphasis is disparities in maternal health with a focus on Latina women and my long-term research goal is to contribute to the health and well-being of mothers and babies. I’m participating as a PI, Co-PI, or Co-I in projects worth more than $ 3.2 million in research funding from state, industry, and federal sources. I understand both the challenges and opportunities of collaborative research for nursing faculty and recognize the expertise and insight that nurse researchers bring to teams conducting clinical research. As CPI representative for the College of Nursing, I will advocate for nurse researchers’ enhanced visibility and presence in every aspect of human research.”
College of Pharmacy
- Mishra, Jayshree (Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences) “I am so honored to be nominated for a second term and if elected I will work hard again to serve the PIs in the College of Pharmacy. I joined Texas A&M in 2008 and currently, I am a faculty member at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy. My research program focuses on understanding the molecular targets and the events that regulate gastrointestinal inflammation and associated inflammatory diseases, obesity, and obesity-associated colorectal cancer. My research has been funded by grants from NIH, DAAD, and several other foundations. Being part of the University system for the past thirteen years, I believe that I am aware of the difficulties and challenges that our fellow researchers face in day-to-day research-related activities that hinder them from becoming more productive. If addressed in a timely manner, it will immensely help all the researchers develop new ideas, find new applications for their research, learn new techniques, and gain access to funding thereby expanding the professional opportunities. In the past three years, I worked hard to establish the core lab in the College of Pharmacy-Kingsville campus. I would like to serve in CPI because I would like to help the researchers in our college and in the TAMU system by working closely and diligently with the administration on research related issues to continually improve the research environment and the portfolio at Texas A&M. I am very much interested in improving the research support structure for the core facilities and cross-discipline utilization across the system and related research infrastructure in our college and TAMU. If elected I will work hard to understand and represent our PIs concerns to administrators and make constructive suggestions that improve transparency and the research environment.
College of Science
- Blackmon, Heath (Department of Biology) “I am honored by the nomination to represent the College of Science on the Council of Principal Investigators. I joined the Department of Biology as an assistant professor in 2017. My lab studies the evolution of genome structure and differences in natural selection between males and females. The National Institutes of Health currently funds my lab’s work which spans empirical, computational, and theoretical approaches. I am eager to serve on the Council of Principal Investigators as an advocate for my colleagues. I will be committed to supporting the continuous improvement of proposal submissions and post-award administration services. I will also advocate for developing and expanding programs that assist early-career faculty in building their research programs which I believe is key to maintaining a vibrant research environment at Texas A&M.”
- Guermond, Jean-Luc (Department of Mathematics) “I am willing to serve as a representative of the College of Science to the CPI. As the administrative and financial burden put on PIs by the University and other regulatory agencies regularly increases with no end in sight, it is essential that the PIs’ voice be heard through a strong body of representatives. The activity of the CPI is essential to keep in check, or at least moderate, some actions by the higher instances whose effects are, often unintentionally, detrimental to the research activities of PIs. I have already served in the CPI in the past. I have been active in this body by serving in various sub-committees and by regularly sharing my point of view or that of the Math Department or of the College of Science during the monthly meetings.”
- Liu, Wenshe (Department of Chemistry) “I am a professor in the Chemistry Department for fourteen years. My research is at the interface between chemistry and biology. Right now, I am operating a drug discovery laboratory to search for small molecule therapeutics for cancer and infectious diseases such as COVID-19. In the past, I had opportunities to collaborate with many colleagues from a number of different departments. From these collaborations, I learned what challenges many colleagues faced. One roadblock to our research is the out-of-date research infrastructure that the university has. Once elected to CPI, I will strongly advocate the investment on the state-of-the-art research infrastructure and promote more infrastructure supporting programs in addition to the current Research Development Fund program. As a member of CPI, I will also raise awareness of existing cross-disciplinary barriers that have prevented many colleagues from building strong and fruitful collaborations and advocate solutions to improve collaborations between colleges. Other issues that I will raise are research inequities in different sections of the university and diversity of our research workforce.”
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
- Arosh, Joe (Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences) “I (Dr. Joe Arosh) have 27 years of experience as a clinician, educator, and researcher in veterinary, animal, and biomedical sciences. I earned a BVSc (equivalent to DVM) in Veterinary Medicine, MVSc in Veterinary Obstetrics and Gynecology, a Fellowship in applied Theriogenology, and a Ph.D. in Physiology-Endocrinology (Biomedical Sciences). I am currently a tenured Professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS). In the recent 17 years, I have been a faculty member in CVMBS, TAMU. My overall research has been focused on female reproductive tract physiology and pathology in ruminants, dogs, cats, and humans since 1995.
- Brinkmeyer-Langford, Candice (Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences) “I am currently a research assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences. Much of my research is interdisciplinary, including elements of genetics/genomics, neuroscience, and immunology. I have received R01 funding from NIH to support my work and participate in four projects through the interdisciplinary Toxicology Program, including an NIEHS T32 training grant, an EPA STAR grant, an NCATS-funded tissue culture testing center, and an NIEHS Superfund research program. Each of these programs involves multiple investigators and locations, and I have been involved with the organization of these programs from the start. As a non-tenure-track research professor at TAMU for 10 years, I believe I can be an effective voice for NTT researchers at the CPI and speak to the important contributions we make to the University research enterprise. I would facilitate communication between CPI and the research community at Texas A&M, and enthusiastically promote research that is both of high quality and impactful.”
Texas A&M University School of Law
- Mormann, Felix “I would be honored to serve as a member of the Council of Principal Investigators to represent the growing number of PIs at Texas A&M School of Law and to help expand cross-disciplinary collaborations with other TAMU units. External funding has historically not been a topic of great interest to law professors, at TAMU and elsewhere. Times are changing, however. My primary goals, if elected to the CPI, would be to further promote the many benefits of grant writing and outside funding among our law faculty and to help forge more and stronger cross-disciplinary collaborations with the broader TAMU community. One way of doing so is the creation of a “Policy Clearinghouse” that connects legal scholars with researchers across TAMU whose work carries policy and regulatory implications. External, peer-reviewed grants have been an integral part of my career since my post-doctoral studies, with a sustained track record of outside funding across appointments at multiple tier-1 research universities. I hope to leverage this background and experience on behalf of all researchers at TAMU.”
Texas A&M University at Qatar
- Kakosimos, Konstantinos (Department of Chemical Engineering) “I joined the TAMUQ Chemical Engineering program in late 2012, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018, and currently serve as the Dean’s Fellow for Multiversity, as a member of the Research Council, an alternate in the Undergraduate Council on Academic Affairs (College of Engineering), and the CHEN Graduate Program Coordinator. In the past, I represented my colleagues, program, and campus at various internal, national, and university-level committees with the same enthusiasm and motivation that I am committed to offering in the CPI. My interest in serving on the CPI is to advocate for improved research interactions, exchanges, and support frameworks at TAMUQ and between our campuses. My hope is that the CPI can empower a forward-thinking research support framework to best allow researchers at TAMUQ to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape in Qatar and take advantage of opportunities here and elsewhere.”
*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