SUNY VP for Research
SUNY Vice Presidents for Research

SUNY Vice Presidents for Research

Vice Presidents for Research oversee all aspects of research on their campuses.  As a group, they meet regularly to discuss research and innovation activities at their campuses and share information. The VPRs are co-champions of the SUNY Networks of Excellence and are responsible for the oversight and management of the 4E, SUNY Brain, Materials and Advanced Manufacturing (MAM), SUNY Health and Arts and Humanity (AaH) networks.

Doctoral Campuses

David Amberg

David C. Amberg 
Upstate Medical University

David Amberg received his B.A. in Biology/Chemistry from Whitman College in 1983 graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. After a brief stint in Biotech at Immunex Corporation in Seattle he pursued his Ph.D. at Dartmouth Medical School in Biochemistry graduating in 1992. The title of his PhD thesis was “Isolation and characterization of essential genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae required for the efficient nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of mRNA.”

Dr. Amberg then moved to Stanford School of Medicine where he was mentored by David Botstein then Chair of the Department of Genetics. His post-doctoral work focused on structure/function studies of novel actin binding proteins. His work on the cytoskeleton continued in his own lab when he moved to SUNY Upstate Medical University (SUNY UMU) in 1996 where he has been promoted through the ranks to Professor in 2008.

In 2004 he received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, in 2009 he was named Jacobsen Scholar at SUNY UMU, in 2011 he received the President’s Award for Excellence and Leadership in Research, and in 2012 the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. His administrative service at SUNY UMU has included serving as the Associate Vice President of Research Integrity, the Research Integrity Officer, Research Conflict of Interest Officer and most recently he was named Interim Vice President of Research in July of 2014.

Judith Appleton

Judith Appleton
SUNY Statutory Colleges at Cornell University

Judy Appleton is a Vice Provost at Cornell University and the Alfred H. Caspary Professor of Immunology in the Baker Institute for Animal Health. She received her B.S. in microbiology from Indiana University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

As Vice Provost, Dr. Appleton serves as the coordinator of the four New York State Contract Colleges at Cornell, and represents the University in its dealings with the State University of New York and the state government. In addition, her office supports the broader Land Grant mission of the University in all of the colleges. The ROTC programs on campus and the Cornell Prison Education Program also report directly through Dr. Appleton to the Provost.

Professor Appleton joined the Baker Institute at Cornell in 1982 and became a faculty member in 1987. In 2007, she was appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Professor Appleton has taught and conducted research on topics related to immunology, parasitology, and disease pathogenesis.

Stewart Bloomfield

Stewart Bloomfield
SUNY College of Optometry

Dr. Bloomfield brings more than 30 years of experience in research and graduate education to the College and an outstanding record of internationally recognized research on retinal neurophysiology. The NIH (National Institutes of Health), through the NEI (National Eye Institute), has continuously funded his research on retinal amacrine cell function since 1988, as well as other grants from NIH and NSF (National Science Foundation).

James Dias

James Dias
University at Albany

James Dias serves as Vice President for Research. His academic affiliation is with the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the School of Public Health, where he served as Chair. His previous work experience includes being a member of the Department of Biochemistry in the Albany Medical College from 1981-1988; a research scientist with the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health; scientific director of the Wadsworth Center’s scientific core facilities; and service on national trade journals, study sections and external advisory panels.

Professor Dias received his B.S degree in biology from the Gonzaga University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in reproductive physiology, with the subspecialty of animal science, from Washington State University. He was the recipient of several NIH career development awards, including an individual National Research Service Award, a New Investigator Award and a Research Career Development Award (1985). He has published more than 100 research articles on the reproductive hormones which control high quality gametogenesis and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for 20 years.

Venu Govindaraju

Venu Govindaraju
University at Buffalo

Dr. Venu Govindaraju, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, is the founding director of the Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors. He received his Bachelor's degree with honors from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in 1986, and his Ph.D. from UB in 1992. His research focus is on machine learning and pattern recognition in the domains of Document Image Analysis and Biometrics.

Dr. Govindaraju has co-authored about 400 refereed scientific papers. His seminal work in handwriting recognition was at the core of the first handwritten address interpretation system used by the US Postal Service. He was also the prime technical lead responsible for technology transfer to the Postal Services in US, Australia, and UK. He has been a Principal or Co-Investigator of sponsored projects funded for about 65 million dollars. Dr. Govindaraju has supervised the dissertations of 30 doctoral students. He has served on the editorial boards of premier journals such as the IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Biometrics Council Compendium.

Dr. Govindaraju is a Fellow of the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), the IAPR (International Association of Pattern Recognition), and the SPIE (International Society of Optics and Photonics). He is recipient of the 2004 MIT Global Indus Technovator award and the 2010 IEEE Technical Achievement award.

Michael Liehr

Michael Liehr
SUNY Polytechnic Institute

As CNSE Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology, Michael Liehr focuses on the creation of new business opportunities, develops and manages pertinent administrative and infrastructure operations required to support their establishment, and manages integrated industry-university consortia and public-private partnerships. He is also responsible for the effective and efficient operation of the CNSE core strategic semiconductor and packaging partnership engagements, including the IBM, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, AMAT, TEL, and LAM partnerships. Dr. Liehr is also Vice President for Research at CNSE, responsible for strategic research and development for nanoelectronics and 3D packaging alliances at CNSE.

In a previous assignment at CNSE, Dr. Liehr served as General Manager of the Global 450mm Consortium (G450C), where he coordinated the industry-first effort by consortium members Intel, IBM, Samsung, TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) to make available production-grade 450mm processing equipment.

Prior to joining CNSE, Dr. Liehr served as an IBM executive responsible for Worldwide Semiconductor Manufacturing Strategic Production Alliances for leading-edge semiconductor products. While at IBM, he was responsible for technology transfer, operations and supply management for outsourced semiconductor production of IBM's 90nm, 65nm and 45nm semiconductor-on-insulator (SOI)-based microprocessor technologies to Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing in Singapore. In addition, he oversaw management of fabricator synchronization for bulk CMOS 65nm through 32nm with Chartered, Singapore; Samsung, Korea; and ST Microelectronics, France. His experience spans research, product and process development, manufacturing, and semiconductor foundry business P&L.

Dr. Liehr holds a Ph.D. in Physics, is a certified executive project manager, and has authored or co­authored 20 patents and over 90 publications.

Chris Nomura 
SUNY ESF

Christopher T. Nomura is the Vice President for Research and a professor of Chemistry at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).  Christopher was a postdoctoral associate at the RIKEN Institute, Japan from 2001-2006 and received his Ph.D. in 2001 from the Pennsylvania State University. Christopher T. Nomura created the Nomura research group laboratory that investigates the synthesis and properties of eco-friendly, bio-based materials, in particular, studies the synthesis and production of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biodegradable polymers and uses an interdisciplinary approach, that utilizes techniques from microbiology, polymer chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology.

Richard Reeder

Richard Reeder
Stony Brook University

Professor Reeder's research encompasses geochemistry and mineralogy, with focuses on environmental contamination, materials properties, and links to environmental health.  Major goals of this work are to understand geochemically and environmentally important reaction mechanisms, especially those involving metal species, interactions at mineral surfaces, and bioavailability. Reeder's group makes extensive use of synchrotron X-ray facilities at nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory and at Argonne National Laboratory for studying metal speciation in sediments, soils, and aquatic systems, as well as structural properties of biomaterials and transformations in minerals.

Bahghat Sammakia

Bahgat Sammakia
SUNY Polytechnic Institute

On November 3, 2016, Dr. Sammakia was appointed SUNY Poly Interim President by the SUNY Borad of Trustees.

Previously at Binghamton University, Bahgat Sammakia was the vice president for research and a distinguished professor of mechanical engineering. A former IBM senior technical staff member, Sammakia joined Binghamton's faculty in 1998. He is the founding director of the Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center, a New York State Center of Excellence, and is the director of the Energy Efficient Electronic Systems Center, an NSF IUCRC founded in 2011 with a focus on reducing the energy consumed by data centers around the world. Sammakia earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Alexandria in Egypt and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University at Buffalo. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a senior IEEE member. Sammakia, editor of the ASME Journal of Electronic Packaging, holds 14 U.S. patents and has published more than 180 peer-reviewed technical papers.

Richard Stephens

Richard Stephens
SUNY College of Ceramics at Alfred University

W. Richard Stephens Jr. joined Alfred University July 2013 as provost and academic vice president. In June 2016 he was appointed acting vice president for Statutory Affairs (New York State College of Ceramics' unit head) in addition to his other responsibilities. In the time he has been at AU, he has been instrumental in launching an online version of the "Allen Term," courses that are offered during an intensive four-week period during the winter break; expanding off-site academic offerings in Corning and the metropolitan New York areas; and leading campus-wide strategic planning initiative.

Stephens was previously provost at Catawba College in North Carolina for four years, where he created a Winter Term session, and expanded summer school offerings and led the review, revision and implementation of the general education curriculum for the liberal arts college with just over 1,300 undergraduate students. Stephens led the redevelopment of the School of Evening and Graduate Studies to include two off-site programs – one at Davidson County Community College and one at Central Piedmont Community College. He encouraged a focus on instructional technology and classroom pedagogy, employing both external consultants, as well as peer-to-peer faculty development.

A native of the southern Illinois area, Stephens earned his undergraduate degree in sociology from Greenville College, graduating magna cum laude. He earned three graduate degrees from the University of Kansas—MA/Sociology, Masters in Philosophy, and PhD/Sociology.

He was awarded a Pew Grant in the 1980s to study socialist reform in the Soviet Union and economic reform in China. While in the Soviet Union, he was also assigned to conduct baseball clinics as a roving instructor by the International Baseball Association.

Stephens has served as an assistant professor, associate professor, professor and chair of the department of sociology and social work at Greenville College in Greenville, IL; as a visiting professor of sociology at Nizhni Novgorod State University in Nizhni Novgorod, Russia; as vice president for academic affairs and as academic dean at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA.; and as chief academic officer and dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Husson University in Bangor, ME.

Rick and Debbie Stephens have two adult children and one grandchild.

Mark Stewart

Mark Stewart
SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Mark Stewart, is Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Vice Dean for Research, and Professor of Physiology & Pharmacology and Neurology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn New York. He received his MD and PhD degrees in 1991 from Downstate. After a postdoctoral fellowship, he was hired to the Physiology Department faculty in 1993. His lab's funded research focuses on the autonomic consequences of seizure activity, where his lab has identified mechanisms for cardiovascular derangements and death in epilepsy. Stewart has mentored 12 postdoctoral fellows, 8 PhD students, and another 23 students at levels from high school to graduate school. He continues to teach in the Graduate School, the College of Medicine, and the College of Health Related Professions, and has a long-standing involvement with the minority training programs on the campus. He has served on multiple NIH study sections for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and the Fogarty International Center, and reviewed grants and manuscripts for multiple agencies and journals. He is representative at large for the Executive Committee of the International Society of Autonomic Neuroscience. Stewart has led the development of Downstate's Office of Technology Commercialization and has served on countless university committees. He has played major roles in establishing an MD/PhD Program in Nanomedicine with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany, a PhD Program in Developmental Neuroscience in partnership with the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities in Staten Island, and numerous other research training programs with area universities.

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