Having held leadership positions everywhere from Johns Hopkins to UC-Davis to his current position of Director of the Communication Science Program in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology at the University of Nevada-Reno School of Medicine, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah knows a few things about running a productive research group.
With longstanding records of accomplishment in administration, including chair for the minority program and member of the publication committee at the Association of Research in Otolaryngology (ARO), as well as member and chair of NIH study sections and unique emphasis panels, Dr. Yamoah stresses that “the need to maintain academic and cutting-edge research innovation prowess and teaching excellence should be matched by efficient administrative support,” in order for departments to continue to thrive.
To get more specific, he has released several recommendations for research groups looking to maintain healthy, productive, and well-funded standings.
How to Keep a Research Department Thriving | Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah
Participating responsibly in institutional and professional service while teaching are primary pillars of academic leadership, according to Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah. Transparency also underscores this endeavor, with Dr. Yamoah detailing a personal challenge while running a large laboratory:
“In 2012, while I was away at a scientific meeting, one of my postdoctoral fellows made an innocent, but serious, animal protocol violation. By the time he corrected the deficiency, the damage was done. Upon my return, I took full responsibility and immediately initiated further, extensive corrections to the shortcomings. I have since served on three steering committees that provided recommendations on how institutions should address legitimate animal care concerns, with funding agencies and the public.”
However, the necessity for transparency goes further than accepting responsibility for compromising incidents. To maintain an active and productive research group, leaders must listen to others and incorporate ideas and methods from other institutions while ensuring that proper credit is paid for integrations of these institutions’ most valuable components.
Being well-funded is an obvious key for continued growth, and Dr. Ebenezer Yamoah encourages using enhanced incentive measures for students and faculty, as well as fundraising campaigns to increase the number of departmental endowments,
However, the foundation for maintaining vibrance in a research department is a commitment to diversity. “Diversity in beliefs, background, and humanity is the bedrock of our student and faculty’s academic strength,” says Dr. Yamoah. “As someone who identifies as an underrepresented minority (URM) in the US and science,” Dr. Yamoah continues, “I have taken on the personal quest of promoting diversity and inclusion—especially of women, the disabled, and ethnically underrepresented—among faculty, postdoc, and student ranks.”
To Yamaoh’s point, departmental leaders must advocate for change while serving as a testament to those who also identify as underrepresented minorities.
No Substitute for Experience | Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has made a career of helping bolster the standing of academic departments. In addition to securing numerous research grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Dr. Yamoah has been a member of the Society for Neuroscience since 1992, a member of the Biophysical Society since 1993, the American Association for the Advancement in Science since 1994 and the Society for General Physiologists since 2000. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has provided leadership roles to senior faculty for mentoring junior faculty nationwide and set an example for students looking to advance in science and academia.