VP Health and VP Research Appointed - University of Houston
Skip to main content

VP Health and VP Research Appointed

June 26, 2024

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of two new vice presidents.

VP of Health Affairs and Dean of the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine

After a national search and with the help of the search committee, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jonathan McCullers as Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean of the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine beginning Sept. 1, 2024. The appointment is contingent upon UH System Board of Regents approval during its next meeting.

Dr. McCullers joins us from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine where he served as senior executive associate dean of clinical affairs and chief operating officer since 2019. Concurrently, he also served as Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital chair of pediatrics since 2012. In his role with UTHSC, he provided oversight of all clinical affairs across Tennessee, acting as the main liaison to more than a dozen major affiliated health systems across the state.

As chair of pediatrics, he grew Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital from a regional, community hospital into a comprehensive academic medical center, which is now recognized as a ‘Best Children's Hospital’ by U.S. News & World Report, having made the prestigious list with recognition in five specialties. Moreover, he has expertise in serving underserved communities and establishing social determinants of health initiatives to improve health outcomes.

A highly accomplished and regarded physician-scientist, Dr. McCullers has led an NIH-funded research laboratory studying influenza viruses and published more than 180 peer-reviewed research articles. Throughout his storied career, he’s earned more than two dozen awards, with his most recent being the prestigious city of Memphis Martin Luther King Jr. Luminary Award and the Leadership Memphis Change Makers Award. A native of Virginia, Dr. McCullers earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he also completed his internship and residency.

Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Research

Research and sponsored activity are critical to any research university, and they are particularly important for us to achieve our goal. Since the extension of the last nationwide search for VC/VP for research, we have re-grouped and re-designed our support for the faculty as following:

  1. Technology transfer and innovation has been consolidated under the VP for energy and innovation.
  2. The VP for energy and innovation will continue to support university-wide research in energy and sustainability.
  3. The VP of health affairs will support university-wide research related to health allowing those in a health discipline to leverage larger and interdisciplinary opportunities.
  4. The VP for research will focus primarily on research operations, research and scholarly development support, both of which have been a reason for concern during and in post-pandemic years. I understand that the situation has improved but still more work needs to be done.   

With this new scope in mind and after consultation with the Search Committee, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Claudia Neuhauser as the VC/VP for research beginning July 1, 2024. The appointment will be presented to the Board of Regents for their approval at the next BOR meeting. Dr. Neuhauser has served as interim vice chancellor/vice president for research since 2022 and successfully grown the division’s staff, streamlined operations and built a positive culture of innovation and collaboration to drive the division forward. Moreover, she has more than 20 years of experience in academic leadership roles with close to 10 of those years in research leadership.

Dr. Neuhauser first joined our university in 2018 as associate vice chancellor/associate vice president for research and technology transfer where she assisted the then VC/VP for research with strategic planning and oversight of the division’s varied operations and units. In 2019, she was also appointed director of UH’s Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute, which provides critical computational resources for UH researchers, education programs and partners with outside industry.

A mathematician whose research sits at the intersection of mathematics and biology, Dr. Neuhauser is currently a co-collaborator on an NIH grant where she’s determining various methodologies of data analysis for the best output. In addition, she recently co-authored a book titled, “The Road to Ethical Science: A Guide to Restoring Trust in Science.”  Dr. Neuhauser earned her diploma in mathematics from the Universität Heidelberg in Germany, followed by a Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. McCullers and Dr. Neuhauser in their new roles. I’m confident that they will help fulfill our mission to transform lives and communities and reach our vision of becoming a top 50 public university.

I thank both of our Search Committees chaired by Provost Diane Chase for their leadership and dedication in these outstanding searches. Your hours of work, service and insight have not gone unnoticed and the entire UH community sincerely appreciates your efforts.

For more information, please see our news release about each appointment.

With warm regards,

Renu Khator
President, University of Houston