Professor Jeffrey Gray wants DMU’s research enterprise to benefit students and society.
Des Moines University may be better known for the high quality of its educational programs than its research enterprise, but Jeffrey Gray, M.S., Ph.D., believes the latter strengthens the former.
“We have the opportunity to become a leader with our research culture and environment, to train the highest quality student researchers and develop strong research programs that will further our scholarship and educational goals,” he says. “DMU enjoys a legacy of over 100 years of enhancing the lives of the people in Iowa and the United States, and the research challenges of today make this an exciting time to further our societal impact. DMU is a strong health sciences university, and the development of productive areas of research emphasis will allow us to further our university mission and vision.”
Gray, professor of microbiology and immunology, in October was named vice president for research after serving as interim vice president for five months. A DMU faculty member the past five years, he has developed a strong publication record, obtained external funding and served as the major advisor to five Ph.D. and 11 M.S. students. Current president of the American Society for Microbiology, north central branch, he’s received several faculty awards, presented at dozens of conferences and served on numerous University and scientific committees. Gray has built a number of successful research teams in his career at DMU and in previous positions at the University of Guelph, University of Nebraska and in government.
Scholarly activity and research serve students as well as the community, scientific disciplines and humanity, he says. “The research environment we create expands our students’ experience and opportunities,” he explains. “A robust research environment allows the campus to address societal medical problems while also exposing students to the exciting experience of considering a problem that no one else has been able to solve previously.”