Prince George, B.C. – A founding faculty member of the Northern Medical Program who has spent almost 15 years teaching, conducting research and providing service at the University of Northern British Columbia has been named the University’s new Vice President Research and Graduate Programs.
Dr. Geoff Payne, who has served as the University’s interim Vice President Research and Graduate Programs since September 2015, will officially begin the role on March 19. He has fostered a service-oriented, supportive environment in the office and has helped spearhead a significant increase in the total funding UNBC has received for research.
“Dr. Payne brings an extraordinary level of expertise to this portfolio, not to mention a zeal for teaching and research and a passion for supporting an encouraging our many outstanding graduate students,” says UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “As UNBC continues to transform into a destination University that offers a world-class education and leading research in an environment second to none, I know Dr. Payne will play a critical role in our efforts, and I congratulate him on behalf of the University community.”
Dr. Payne came to UNBC in June 2004 as a founding faculty member with the Northern Medical Program following a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and John B. Pierce Laboratory. He holds a Ph.D. from Memorial University in the field of cardiovascular and renal physiology.
“UNBC is at an exciting time in its history during which we are seeing continued, tremendous success on the part of our entire research community. We are building a supportive environment for our faculty and students and I am thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant University where research is an integral fabric of its mission,” says Dr. Payne. “I am excited by the direction the University is embarking on, as through the support of the University’s many champions, we are providing local solutions that have a global impact.”
“UNBC continues to evolve as an institution. Not only are we meeting the target of the original founders of providing a post-secondary opportunity for Northern British Columbians, we’re continuing to have our voices heard on the provincial, national, and international stage,” adds UNBC Board Chair Tracey Wolsey. “I had the pleasure of sitting on the search committee and was enthused by the quality of applicants who indicated a desire to become part of our community. I congratulate Dr. Payne for the tremendous work he’s done in the interim role, and look forward to his many accomplishments that are sure to come.”
The Vice President Research and Graduate Programs promotes and enhances research success at UNBC by taking a strategic approach to research priorities and supporting faculty members in the development of outstanding research programs in all disciplines. The Vice President fosters research partnerships with local, provincial, national, and international agencies and industry collaborators, supports technology transfer and commercialization of research discoveries, and enhances relationships with major research funding agencies. The Vice President also supports graduate programs at the university, which feature world-class research, facilities, faculty and students.