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New leadership roles announced for NextGen Precision Health Institute


Christian Basi

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Today, University of Missouri System and University of Missouri-Columbia officials announced new leadership responsibilities for incoming Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Richard J. Barohn and five faculty members from the University of Missouri-Columbia to support the continued planning efforts for the NextGen Precision Health Institute at MU.

“As our communities continue to face unprecedented uncertainty and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority is addressing today’s urgent health care needs,” UM System President and MU Interim Chancellor Mun Choi said. “This tragic situation only encourages our longer-term efforts in precision health as the NextGen Precision Health Institute and NextGen Initiative are critical to the future of our world-class research and the long-term health of Missourians in every part of our state. These appointments contribute to our progress on this vital project.”

Barohn will officially join the university on May 11. In addition to his duties with the NextGen Precision Health Institute, he will lead efforts to strategically advance the missions of MU Health Care and the MU School of Medicine. Previously, as the chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Kansas Medical Center and vice chancellor for research and president of the Research Institute at KU, Barohn obtained an NIH Clinical Translational Research Award, which is the largest NIH institutional grant program to stimulate research in academic health centers.

As the executive scientific director of NextGen, Barohn will work closely with the five faculty research leads from the University of Missouri-Columbia, as well as many other faculty members, administrators and university leaders engaged in planning for the Institute slated to open in Fall 2021. Each faculty lead will coordinate research activity, including developing and implementing collaborative research and engagement plans, at the NextGen Precision Health Institute within their individual areas of expertise. The faculty research leads are:

  • Jeffrey Bryan, who will serve as the Cancer Faculty Research Lead. Bryan is a professor of oncology in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and an associate director of comparative oncology at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center at MU Health Care.
  • Julie Kapp, who will serve as the Population Health Research Lead. Kapp is an associate professor of health management and informatics in the MU School of Medicine.
  • Kerry McDonald, who will serve as the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Faculty Research Lead. McDonald is the Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor of Medical Pharmacology & Physiology at the MU School of Medicine.
  • David Schulz, who will serve as the Neurological Faculty Research Lead. Schulz is a professor of biological sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science.
  • Thomas Spencer, who will serve as the Basic and Emerging Research Lead. Spencer is a professor of animal sciences in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health in the MU School of Medicine.
  • John Spertus, who will serve as the Health Care Delivery Research Lead. Spertus is an Endowed Chair and tenured Professor at the UMKC School of Medicine and clinical director of outcomes research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute

NOTE: Barohn is pronounced “BARE – en”


Reviewed 2020-07-15