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VPR Weyrich named new President of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Dear Colleagues,

With mixed emotions and well wishes, the Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) would like to announce that VP Andrew S. Weyrich has accepted a new position as President of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), effective January 4, 2022. Dr. Weyrich is working with the U to develop a seamless transition plan for the VPR Office that will be announced in the near future. While we celebrate this wonderful opportunity with Dr. Weyrich, we are also saddened to lose a remarkable VPR whose dedication to enhancing the U’s position as a global leader in research innovation and discovery has helped the university reach new heights.

Academic Research at the U

Dr. Weyrich started his journey at the U in 1993 as a postdoctoral fellow and became a faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine in 1995. During his tenure, Dr. Weyrich’s research lab was focused on how blood cells impact human thrombotic and inflammatory diseases. In 2005, he gained international recognition for his seminal discovery that anucleate human platelets splice precursor messenger RNA (mRNA) into products that regulate inflammation. This paradigm shifting observation revolutionized the field of hematology, and has led to thousands of studies that use mRNA profiling to understand how platelets regulate thrombosis and inflammation – which is now referred to as “thromboinflammation”. Throughout his research, Dr. Weyrich has published nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles and has been funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) for over 25 years. He also received the American Society of Hematology’s prestigious William Dameshek Award and is an H.A. & Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Chair.

Leading Research Excellence and Innovation at the U

In addition to his prolific research work, Dr. Weyrich served as the Associate Dean for Research at the Health Sciences Center (HSC) from 2013-2016 and was instrumental in facilitating significant growth in biomedical research. In 2016, Dr. Weyrich accepted his current role as the U’s fifth Vice President for Research while also serving as Interim Director of the Molecular Medicine Program from 2017-2018 and the HSC Interim Associate Vice President for Research in 2018.

Well-known as a “boots-on-the ground” leader, Dr. Weyrich’s passion for research excellence and innovation is evident through the U’s substantial research growth and development. Under his leadership, the U research community’s portfolio has increased by 40% over the last five years and has been awarded over $2.1B in research dollars. In 2019, the U was also invited to join the Association of American Universities as a top-tier research university and, in 2020, received the Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation from the APLU.

Dr. Weyrich’s passion for improving public health and community well-being in research has been evident through many of the U’s research initiatives including, Violence Against Women, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Research (EDI), Opioid Crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s also led critical safety programs across campus which included implementing effective laboratory and workplace safety procedures while enhancing vivarium facilities to maximize the comfort and welfare of animal subjects. In addition, Dr. Weyrich spearheaded the free U Campus Asymptomatic Covid-19 testing program which has recently been extended to U household members to keep both our campus and local communities safe and healthy throughout the ongoing pandemic. 

Dr. Weyrich has called Utah his home for 28 years and will truly be missed on campus. We’re thrilled for this new opportunity that supports his passion for biomedical research and will continue to be emphasized at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Although he is modest by nature, there is no denying that Dr. Weyrich has uniquely elevated the U research community to great heights and solidified our position as a leading research institution for many years to come. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Weyrich and thanking him for his many years of service at the U. We look forward to seeing his future accomplishments and send him best wishes for his exciting new endeavors. Thank you, Andy!

Sincerely,

The Office of the Vice President for Research Team

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Last Updated: 10/25/21