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Tom Parks Named Interim Research VP

Dec. 10, 2007 – The University of Utah has announced the appointment of Thomas N. Parks as vice president for research on an interim basis.

Parks is currently chair of neurobiology and anatomy, and executive director of the Brain Institute at the University of Utah. He will begin the administrative role effective Jan. 1, 2008 subject to notification of the academic senate and approval by the university’s Board of Trustees.

Professor Parks will continue to direct the Brain Institute, and Monica Vetter, a professor of neurobiology and anatomy, will serve as interim chair of that department.

A committee of university faculty is conducting a nationwide search for a permanent replacement for research Vice President Raymond F. Gesteland, who will return at the end of this year to full-time teaching and research as distinguished professor of human genetics. The search will be completed in three to six months.

“The U is fortunate to have a deep bench of talented and committed researchers to draw from to fill this vital role,” said David Pershing, senior vice president for academic affairs. “Ray has been an extraordinary leader for the past seven years, but the call back to science is strong. The national search will ensure we continue to have the very best individuals managing the policies and programs that support our research activities, because research and creative work are a critical part of our overall enterprise.”

Parks has been on the faculty in the university’s School of Medicine since 1978 and is a proven administrator. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of California, Irvine, and holds a Ph.D. from Yale University.

Parks’ main research interest is in developmental neurobiology, particularly of the part of the nervous system involved in hearing. His current research interest is in the neurobiology and genetics of processing disorders in human hearing.