By: Kathleen Haughney | Published:  

Newswise — Florida State University President Richard McCullough announced Tuesday that Stacey Patterson will serve as the university’s next vice president for research.

Patterson, a microbiologist, has served as the vice president for research, outreach and economic development in the University of Tennessee system and as president of the UT Research Foundation since 2017.

“Dr. Patterson’s stellar track record in research, economic development and leadership makes her an outstanding choice for Florida State University’s vice president for research,” McCullough said. “Her expertise in building broad research coalitions with both public and private partners as well as her experience in moving university research out of the lab and into the marketplace will help FSU grow its research enterprise.”

Patterson has spent the bulk of her career in multiple roles at the University of Tennessee, including director of research partnerships and as an assistant and associate vice president for research before taking on the top role in 2017.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Florida State University and its outstanding community of educators and researchers,” Patterson said. “FSU has so much opportunity to expand its research and creative activities. I am excited to meet the faculty and staff and get started.”

Patterson’s appointment concludes a seven-month search conducted by SP&A Executive Search and chaired by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jim Clark.

Former Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander stepped down from the position at the end of 2020. Since that time, former Associate Vice President for Research Laurel Fulkerson and Dean of Graduate Studies Mark Riley have both served as interim vice presidents for research.

A first-generation college graduate from West Virginia, Patterson earned her bachelor’s degree from UT Knoxville in biological sciences, followed by a master’s degree in environmental health science from East Tennessee State University and a doctorate in microbiology from UT Knoxville.

She then spent three years in a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of South Florida. She has secured funding from NOAA, the Army, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, and several private sector partners as a principal investigator and has been a contributor on several U.S. patents in the area of sensor development and cancer imaging. Patterson is also one of four co-founders of 490 Biotech, a Knoxville-based startup company.

In her work for the UT system, she had broad responsibilities in the areas of the management and operating contract for Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), research compliance and reporting, research security, state and federal advocacy, technology transfer, commercialization, entrepreneurship, and economic development partnerships. Patterson has led several statewide initiatives including securing a $24 million NSF grant for research infrastructure, leading a $62.5 million Volunteer State Solar Initiative, and securing a $38 million U.S. Department of Energy award to help launch the new UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute.

At Florida State, Patterson will lead FSU’s Division of Research, which has more than $320 million annually in research expenditures. She will work closely with the provost and president to promote the university’s overall academic mission, while specifically building the university’s research and creative activity. She will oversee the Office of Research, which includes several administrative units such as Federal Relations, the Office of Commercialization and the Council on Research and Creativity.

Additionally, the university hosts more than 50 centers and institutes, five of which fall under the direct oversight of the Office of Research. They are The Center for Advanced Power Systems, the Coastal and Marine Laboratory, the Florida Center for Reading Research, the High-Performance Materials Institute and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

Patterson is married to Brian Patterson, and they have two sons, Drew and Will.

Her appointment will begin October 15.