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Chiles Takes Post of Vice Provost for Research

Thomas Chiles (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Ed Hayward | Chronicle Staff

Published: Sept. 5, 2013

Thomas Chiles, the Michael E. and Dr. Salvatore A. DeLuca Professor of Biology, has been named vice provost for research and academic planning, Interim Provost and Dean of Faculties Joseph Quinn has announced.

Chiles will be joined by Bill Nunez, who has been appointed executive director for research administration in the Research and Academic Planning Office. Nunez served as the business manager for the departments of Biology and Physics.

“We are delighted to welcome Thomas Chiles and Bill Nunez to the Provost's Office,” Quinn said. “In addition to overseeing the University’s current research portfolio, Tom will be working with our colleagues to develop a strategic vision to advance research throughout the University, a starting point for discussion with our next provost. Bill will work with the offices of sponsored programs, research integrity and compliance protections. Together they will build on the foundation established by their predecessors.”

Chiles is a highly regarded researcher whose study of lymphocyte metabolism and cancer biology is funded by the National Cancer Institute and private foundations. Together with Ferris Professor of Physics Mike Naughton, Chiles is also developing novel materials for detecting infectious diseases which plague developing nations, a project funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

In addition to his teaching and research, Chiles has played a significant role in a series of University initiatives. He was part of a group of academic leaders that undertook the Core Renewal project, which is focused on revitalizing BC’s core undergraduate curriculum. Chiles also plays a pivotal role as a member of the governing board for BC’s Institute for the Liberal Arts.

In his new post, Chiles will be responsible for establishing a strategic, University-wide approach to research, as well as coordinating the administrative units of research integrity and compliance, technology transfer and licensing, and sponsored programs.

"I’m excited about undertaking this new role,” said Chiles, who has taught at BC for 21 years. “The main goal is to identify a real strategic vision for research on this campus. It’s a vision that would encompass not only the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, but our professional and graduate schools as well.”

Chiles replaces Professor of Chemistry Larry McLaughlin, who held the post for nearly three years. Previous faculty tapped to direct University research efforts were Naughton and Rourke Professor of Physics Kevin Bedell.

“I look forward to expanding upon what has been working well,” said Chiles. “We want to continue to build these programs so they position Boston College on a national and international stage. We want programs that are the equal of this great University and we’re on track to take our accomplishments to the next level.”