Caroline C. Whitacre, PhD, serves as the vice president for research at Ohio State University. Her expertise on immunological mechanisms and gender differences in multiple sclerosis has made her one of the world's most acknowledged authorities on autoimmune disease.
Dr. Whitacre is a professor of microbial infection and immunity and former chair of the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics. Prior to joining the Office of Research in August 2008, she served as the associate vice president for health sciences research and vice dean for research in the College of Medicine (2001-2008), where she successfully championed the development of research and research education. From the time of her appointment as vice dean in 2001, total research awards at the Ohio State University Medical Center increased from $97.3 million to $171.8 million in 2007.
In her current role as vice president for research, Dr. Whitacre is responsible for the overall strategic planning and infrastructure support for the universities $716 million annual basic and applied research program. She oversees the university's efforts to stimulate research and support ongoing activities.
Dr. Whitacre has published extensively, is a member of various professional groups, and has many professional honors. In 2004, she was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Most recently, she was inducted into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 2009 Volunteer Hall of Fame for Researchers. She was one of three researchers selected for this national honor in recognition of her outstanding volunteer support, for making a difference in the community, and for advancing awareness of the Society's mission to create a world free of multiple sclerosis.
In recognition of her university activities, Dr. Whitacre was awarded Ohio State University's Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service in 2001 and the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008.
Dr. Whitacre received her BA and PhD degrees from Ohio State and joined the College of Medicine faculty in 1981.