Letters to the UMB Community

New Vice President for Research

January 25, 2022

Dear UMB Community,

We are excited to announce that Gregory F. Ball, PhD, will be the next vice president for research (VPR) overseeing the joint research enterprise of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). Dr. Ball’s exemplary record of leadership combined with a commitment to interdisciplinary research, scientific standards, and diversity in education make him an ideal choice to keep us on our upward trajectory in world-leading research and innovation.

For the past seven years, Dr. Ball has served as dean of UMCP’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, a large and academically complex college with more than 5,000 undergraduate students and more than 800 master’s and doctoral students across 10 departments and multiple centers. Dr. Ball has prioritized diversity and inclusion in faculty and staff hiring during his tenure as dean. He also has focused on modernizing research training and expanding experiential learning opportunities and career preparation services for all students in the college.

Throughout his deanship, Dr. Ball has maintained an active research lab in UMCP’s Department of Psychology. His research examines seasonal changes in the brains and behavior of songbirds to understand how hormones and external environmental stimuli affect behavior. A highly accomplished scientist, Dr. Ball has amassed more than 200 research publications and continues to receive research grant support from the National Institutes of Health.

Before joining UMCP, Dr. Ball was vice dean for science and research infrastructure in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and served as director of the school’s undergraduate neuroscience program. He was a faculty member in the JHU Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences for 23 years.

Dr. Ball earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University and a PhD in psychobiology from the Institute of Animal Behavior at Rutgers University. He completed his postdoctoral work in comparative neuroendocrinology and ethology at Rockefeller University. He also has held faculty appointments at Rutgers and Boston College.

Dr. Ball will serve a three-year appointment and start his new position Feb. 1. We would like to thank Amitabh Varshney, PhD, MS, who has served as interim VPR for three months. Additionally, we are indebted to Laurie Locascio, PhD, the first VPR to oversee both UMB and UMCP, who stepped down after being nominated by President Biden to serve as undersecretary for standards and technology in the Department of Commerce.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ball on his new role.

Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS
University of Maryland, Baltimore

Darryll J. Pines, PhD, MS
University of Maryland, College Park

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