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Laura Schweitzer, Ph.D., Joins UAlbany as Vice President for Health Sciences and Biomedical Initiatives

ALBANY, NY (September 8, 2015) – President Robert J. Jones today announced the appointment of Laura Schweitzer, Ph.D., as Vice President for Health Sciences and Biomedical Initiatives. Schweitzer will lead the exploration and development of a plan to expand and align the University’s health sciences programs on its East Campus, located in Rensselaer, New York.

Laura Schweitzer, new UAlbany VP
Dr. Schweitzer sees expansion of biomedical sciences at UAlbany becoming a future catalyst for economic development in the Capital Region.

“The vision of a world-class health sciences and biomedical research center is a key strategic initiative in the University’s largest academic expansion since the construction of the Uptown Campus,” said Jones. “We believe the reimagining of the East Campus opens numerous pathways for expanding the scope of the University, including opportunities for deeper academic and research affiliations with institutions such as Downstate Medical Center, Albany Medical College, the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the New York State Department of Health.”

An accomplished academic and administrator, Schweitzer served as president of Union Graduate College for the past six years, with a recent focus on a merger with Clarkson University. Prior to that, she was Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Upstate and Chief Academic Officer at Bassett Healthcare. Additionally, after serving in a succession of administrative roles at the University of Louisville, Schweitzer became the first female Ph.D. believed to ever lead a U.S. medical school.

Schweitzer earned a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Duke University, where she was named to the research faculty. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Miami.

Schweitzer now serves two national roles – on the external advisory committee for a National Science Foundation's ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Program at the University of Cincinnati and on the national faculty for the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering Program at Drexel University. Locally she serves as Chair of the Board of the 300-plus member, eight-county Council for Economic Growth (CEG) Board. She was also recently appointed to the New York Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council.

A neurobiologist by training, Schweitzer is highly committed to public engagement and the critical role of higher education in the community and as a driver of economic development.

“By building on existing strengths in the Albany area and deepening partnerships, I hope to make biomedical sciences a real strength -- not just for UAlbany, but also for economic development in the region,” Schweitzer said.

“A strong and seasoned leader, Laura will work closely with organizations in higher education, health science research, and the private sector,” added Jones. “Her former experience as a health care executive and a higher education leader—and her expertise in research, academic programs, and workforce development—uniquely positions her to lead this transformative effort.”

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.