North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has appointed Dr. Deepak Kumar interim associate provost and dean, Research and Sponsored Programs, effective August 18, 2022. Kumar will report to provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, Dr. David H. Jackson, Jr.
Kumar is a tenured professor of pharmaceutical sciences and will continue serving as director of the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical Biotechnology Research Institute (JLC-BBRI), a dedicated institute for health disparities research at NCCU. As director of BBRI, Kumar serves as the scientific leader of NCCU’s JLC-BBRI research facilities in Durham and Kannapolis, NC (North Carolina Research Campus-NCRC).
As interim associate provost and dean of Research and Sponsored Programs, Kumar will provide strategic leadership, direction, and support for all activities related to research initiatives and activities at NCCU. As a senior administrative officer, Kumar will facilitate and expand the research enterprise at NCCU and provide leadership for NCCU’s investments in patents, copyrights and technology transfer. Key responsibilities in this role will include oversight of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) and JLC-BBRI research centers, Compliance and Technology Transfer and the College of Arts and Sciences Integrated Biosciences Ph.D. Program.
Kumar has extensive experience in grantsmanship, capacity and program building and mentoring, and has been funded continuously by NIH for the last 20 years. A prolific fundraiser, Kumar has obtained extramural funding in excess of $35 million in grant funds from a range of federal agencies including NIH R01, U01, SC1, R21 and U54 grants as principal investigator (PI). Kumar joined NCCU in December 2016 and JLC-BBRI has more than doubled its extramural funding during his tenure. As PI, Kumar received the largest non-title III grant in NCCU’s history ($16.3 million over 5 years). In addition, he received a $3.2 million 5-year R01 grant to address social epigenetics in prostate cancer disparities. Among NCCU faculty he has the largest amount of extramural funding with more than $20 million as PI.
Kumar is a molecular biologist by training with expertise in cancer biology, genomics, epigenomics, cell signaling health disparities (HD) and health services research. At NCCU, Kumar is the PI of the NIMHD U54 RCMI grant and directs the NCCU RCMI Center for Health Disparities Research (RCHDR). Through the efforts of RCMI, he has galvanized health equity research at NCCU and built capacity by institutionalizing HD as a major area of growth and investment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he leveraged RCMI resources to launch the Advanced Center for COVID-19 Related Disparities (ACCORD), addressing disparities in COVID-19 testing concerns, vaccine hesitancy and impact on underserved North Carolinians. He has also developed other health equity focused programs and resources including the Health Equity, Environment and Population Health (HOPE), Center for Applied Research in Environmental Sciences (CARES) and Center for Data Equity (CODE), Heath Communications Core, Implementation Science Program, Community Counseling Clinic and Mobile Health Units.
He has fostered institutional partnerships with area institutions including Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, RENCI, UNC-Pembroke, NC State University, RTI International, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), and community-based organizations including Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, local health departments, community health centers, and free and charitable clinics for collaborations, capacity building, resource sharing and community engagement.
Kumar has mentored many faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate, undergraduate and high school students, most of whom are from underrepresented populations. He has over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, 10 patents/applications, and over 100 conference presentations.
Kumar received his PhD training in molecular microbiology from Central Drug Research Institute, India, followed by postdoctoral work in cancer biology at Georgetown University.
Please welcome Dr. Deepak Kumar to his new interim appointment!