LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2020) — Jon Thorson, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and director of the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation (CPRI), has been named chief scientific officer and associate dean for research at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.
Thorson takes over for former Associate Dean Linda Dwoskin, who was recently promoted to the University of Kentucky's associate vice president for research.
“The UK College of Pharmacy consistently ranks among the top colleges of pharmacy nationally in research. I am thrilled to serve the College of Pharmacy in this capacity and I look forward to working in partnership with our talented faculty, staff and students to advance CoP’s research legacy,” said Thorson.
He also notes the major socio-economic impact of academic research on the state. “Kentuckians benefit daily from the innovations, knowledge and economies developed through university research programs. Health crises such as the current pandemic also highlight the critical need to speed the translation of research discoveries to the clinic,” he said.
Thorson has 189 publications with over 11,000 citations, is an inventor on 27 patents and was most recently recognized for his role in securing the prestigious Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant. This $11.2 million NIH grant will fund the CPRI and continue to empower the College of Pharmacy’s collaborative approach to multidisciplinary research.
In addition, Thorson is the co-founder of Centrose — a biotech startup focused on creating new anticancer therapies. He serves as the Kentucky Medical Services Foundation (KMSF) Chair in Pharmaceutical Innovation and is a University of Kentucky Research Professor and NIH MERIT Award recipient.
“Dr. Thorson is an innovative scientist, bold leader, and experienced researcher. His expertise has already led to many University and College wins, and we’re lucky to have him serving in this additional capacity," Kip Guy, dean of the UK College of Pharmacy, said. "I look forward to collaborating with Dr. Thorson and his team to increase the College’s research footprint, leaning into our strengths in substance use disorder, experimental therapeutics, and cancer and infectious disease research."
Thorson began his new role on July 1, 2020.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.