Joseph J. Pancrazio Appointed Vice President for Research

portrait of Joseph J. Pancrazio

Dr. Joseph J. Pancrazio

Dr. Joseph J. Pancrazio, associate provost and professor of bioengineering at The University of Texas at Dallas, has been named vice president for research for the University. 

Effective June 1, the appointment was made after a national search that attracted exceptional candidates, said UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson.

“Dr. Pancrazio has a deep understanding of the issues and opportunities that are critical to maintain and expand a dynamic university research program,” Benson said. “His expertise is especially pertinent when it comes to conducting and overseeing interdisciplinary collaboration, which is one of the hallmarks of the UT Dallas research enterprise. I look forward to working with Dr. Pancrazio as we continue to attract top faculty members into our ranks, graduate highly skilled doctoral students and increase extramural research funding.”

Pancrazio succeeds Dr. Bruce Gnade, who served as vice president for research from 2006 to 2017.

The Office of Research oversees research funding, grants and contracts; campus research facilities and information systems; technology commercialization and licensing; compliance and safety; and the institutional review board, which approves research involving human subjects.

“The Office of Research has a terrific group of people who are strongly committed to the University and aim to offer the highest caliber research infrastructure. I’d like to thank Rafael Martín for his outstanding leadership as the interim vice president,” Pancrazio said. “We have an opportunity to engage in research development, such as fostering interdepartmental, interschool and even cross-institution collaborations. Collaborative research is an important approach to catalyze our efforts going forward.”

Pancrazio’s research focuses on the development of novel neural interface technology, which is used to understand and influence the brain and nervous system for the purposes of improving human health. His work leverages advances in materials science and microscale fabrication to create new devices capable of neural stimulation and recording, such as real-time imaging of neuronal activity in the brain.

At UT Dallas, for example, he has partnered with neuroscientists and biologists on an interdisciplinary project that uses innovative measurements of neural activity for screening novel pain therapeutics.

Funding sources for Pancrazio’s research include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research.

We have an opportunity to engage in research development, such as fostering interdepartmental, interschool and even cross-institution collaborations. Collaborative research is an important approach to catalyze our efforts going forward.

Dr. Joseph J. Pancrazio, vice president for research

Before joining the faculty of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas in 2015, Pancrazio was a professor and founding chair of the Department of Bioengineering at George Mason University. Prior to that, from 2009 to 2011, he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the bioengineering program at the university’s Volgenau School of Engineering.

From 2004 to 2009, Pancrazio was program director for the neural engineering and neural prosthesis program at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which is part of the NIH.

He also was an assistant professor in Georgetown University’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, working at the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

Pancrazio earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1984, and his master’s and doctorate in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia in 1988 and 1990, respectively. He completed postdoctoral training in pharmacology in the Department of Anesthesiology at Virginia and served as an assistant professor of research there with a joint appointment in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Biomedical Engineering.

In 2011, Pancrazio was elected to the College of Fellows in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a distinction reserved for the top 2 percent of professionals in the field. Since 2012, he has served as the chair of the steering committee for Neural Interfaces Conference, an international meeting central to the neurotechnology field. He was named Neurotechnology Researcher of the Year for 2016 by the industry newsletter Neurotech Reports.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].