Dr. William Messer has been involved in research for most of his professional career as a professor of pharmacology. And the attraction of helping coordinate and lead the research efforts of The University of Toledo was enhanced when he assisted Dr. Jim Trempe with an endeavor on behalf of the state to attract pharmaceutical companies to Ohio.“It gave me a glance at the role UT plays and the role our research plays outside of the University,” said Messer, who was appointed in December, following Trempe’s retirement, as UT’s vice president for research, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.
“This institution has outstanding faculty across all disciplines, and I want to be a voice to promote research and scholarly activity and be an advocate on their behalf to help ensure access to the resources they need to create new knowledge,” Messer said.
UT President Lloyd Jacobs said Messer has an impressive portfolio that demonstrates his expertise and excellence when it comes to the full spectrum of activities associated with research.
“Whether through his own research into Alzheimer’s disease, his work to develop and commercialize compounds he and his team discovered in the lab, his work advancing research through animal studies and clinical trials, or his work as a department chair helping other faculty hone their research efforts, Bill has been a research leader on campus for a long time,” Jacobs said. “I’ve no doubt UT’s research strength will continue to grow under Bill’s leadership.”
Messer said the past four years immersed in a health-care environment following the College of Pharmacy’s move to Health Science Campus provided further insight into the benefit and need for increased interaction between basic sciences and clinical research.
Even as federal and state research funding sources find themselves squeezed, Messer said he sees a bright path forward for UT.
“There are always leaner times, but even in the last few days we’ve seen some signs that Congress may be moving to reduce some of the cuts to major federal research organizations,” Messer said. “The key is always to be ready and well-positioned. Strong faculty with great ideas will find ways to get funded.”
Messer also emphasized that successful research efforts require more than just researchers.
“We have an outstanding staff in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs that does a great job working with faculty in developing grant proposals, identifying funding opportunities, working out research contracts, coordinating with the Office of Grants Accounting, and handling all of the compliance issues,” he said.