August 7, 2017
Nebraska biochemist Concetta DiRusso is interim associate vice chancellor for research and creative activity, effective July 1.
She is responsible for overseeing and strengthening research centers and core facilities that support the university’s research growth plans; leading campus efforts to develop and strengthen transdisciplinary research; overseeing the UNL Research Council; and collaborating with colleges, including research deans, to facilitate strategic planning for research and creativity initiatives.
DiRusso, the George W. Holmes University Professor of Biochemistry, brings expertise in establishing research centers and conducting interdisciplinary research in nutritional biochemistry and lipid-based biofuels. She is co-director of the Nebraska Center for Integrated Biomolecular Communication, established in 2016 as a National Institutes of Health Center of Biomedical Research Excellence. She was named a Jefferson Science Fellow for 2014-2015, serving as a consultant and senior adviser in nutrition. DiRusso is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
DiRusso joined the faculty in 2008. Previously, she was a senior scientist at Ordway Research Institute, where she led the Center for Metabolic Disease, and held faculty positions at Albany Medical College and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She earned a doctorate in cell and molecular biology from the University of Vermont and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry at the University of California, Irvine.
DiRusso is assuming the position previously held by Deb Hamernik, interim associate dean and associate director of the Agricultural Research Division. Hamernik continues to serve as associate vice chancellor for research in a part-time capacity, overseeing the university’s compliance programs and strategic research projects.