Erin Rothwell named as interim vice president of research

Rothwell will assume her new role on Jan. 3, 2022, filling the position being vacated by Dr. Andrew Weyrich who is departing the U to serve as president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

Dr. Erin Rothwell has accepted the position of interim vice president for research (VPR) of the University of Utah. Rothwell fills the position being vacated by Dr. Andrew Weyrich who is departing the U to serve as president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

“Erin has made a great impact in keeping our research community safe and compliant throughout her leadership,” said Weyrich. “Her aptitude to inspire and innovate while bringing researchers together across campus to enhance research excellence and growth is unmatched. I can’t think of anyone better to lead the U’s research community to new heights.”

Rothwell currently serves as the associate vice president for research (AVPR), the institutional conflict of interest officer, the research integrity officer and professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the School of Medicine. Rothwell oversees Environmental Health & Safety, Office of Sponsored Projects, Pre-Award Office, Research Education and the Rio Mesa Bonderman Station.

“I am honored to serve as the interim vice president for research and humbled by this great opportunity to work with our talented research community in this new role,” said Rothwell. “I look forward to supporting and empowering our researchers across campus as well as fulfilling the university’s missions and goals as a national leading research institution.”

Rothwell’s academic research focus is on ethical, social and legal implications of genetic and technological advancements on individuals and families specifically within newborn screening, prenatal testing and biobanking. Rothwell also has extensive expertise on informed consent and research ethics.

In 2018, Rothwell was hired as the associate vice president for research integrity and compliance (AVPRIC) in the Office of the Vice President for Research. She oversaw 10 VPR compliance offices including the Human Subjects Research Protection Program, Institutional Review Board, Conflict of Interest, Research Misconduct, Resource for Genetic & Epidemiologic Research, Biosafety Committee and Research Education.

Earlier this year, Rothwell was named AVPR to help lead the U’s grant support pipeline, research education expansion and environmental health and safety offices.

As AVPRIC and AVPR, Rothwell accomplished the following:

  • Advanced the Human Research Protection Program to ensure ethical research practices on campus
  • Modernized research education and training; spearheaded research integrity policies and procedures
  • Provided equitable access to research participants for clinical research
  • Launched equity, diversity and inclusion programs for faculty, staff and students
  • Developed critical research offices and resources at the university (Foreign Influence, Research Ethics Consultations and Quality Compliance)
  • Contributed to record-breaking growth of research funding ($641M in FY2021)

Rothwell will assume her new role on Jan. 3, 2022.