Transition announced at Marshall institute

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Eric B. Kmiec, director of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR), has resigned his position at Marshall University effective Oct. 15 to become chairman of the chemistry department at Delaware State University in Dover, Del.

Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp has named Dr. John M. Maher, Marshall’s vice president for research, interim director of the institute. Kopp said a national search for the new director will begin immediately.

“Since we formed MIIR nearly four years ago, Marshall has been working to develop a significant biotechnology research presence that is attracting private investment and federal grants,” Kopp said. “The progress that has been achieved is echoed by our recent announcement that we have reached the halfway mark in ‘Bucks for Brains’ fundraising.

“Our mission to produce patentable scientific breakthroughs through pioneering research continues, and I thank Dr. Kmiec for his leadership and assistance as we have built the institute from the ground up. I’m confident he has helped lay the groundwork for continued success in attracting this type of development to Marshall and the entire state of West Virginia.”

Kmiec said, “My time here has been a wonderful experience that has helped me grow as a scientist and as a leader. While I look forward to the challenges awaiting me in Delaware—including building the foundation for a brand new program in the discipline that has been my life’s work, chemical biology—I will always appreciate the opportunity that Marshall afforded me. I know that MIIR will continue to grow stronger and become even more successful. I have invested a large part of myself in getting the institute up and running, and will continue to support MIIR and Marshall University in any way I can in the future.”

Kmiec came to Marshall in January 2009 after serving as a professor of biology at the University of Delaware and director of applied genomics at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.

His wife Jennifer, the university’s associate vice president for economic development, has also resigned her position and will be joining her husband in Delaware.

MIIR was created in 2008 through the state’s “Bucks for Brains” West Virginia Research Trust Fund and its precursor, the Eminent Scholars Recruitment and Enhancement initiative. The goal of the institute is to develop a focused program of cutting-edge research dedicated to creating new high-tech businesses. Since its inception, MIIR has grown from six to 13 employees, and has announced co-development agreements with two major biotechnology companies.

Contact:  Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304.746.1964