The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville announced Ranu Jung will be the founding executive director of the university’s $194 million Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research (I3R).
Jung has been the head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Florida International University since 2011. She will start at I3R in December.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Jung to the University of Arkansas,” said UA interim Chancellor Charles Robinson. “The Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research will propel the University of Arkansas as a global leader in discovery and applied innovation, and Dr. Jung is the ideal leader to help take us there. She is a world-renowned researcher and visionary.”
The institute is designed to invigorate the university’s research, development and marketability of discoveries after a $194.7 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation in July 2020. Jung has been awarded more than $27 million in research grants and has 12 U.S. patents in biomedical and neural engineering.
At FIU, Jung developed technologies to help mitigate the effects of limb amputation and neurodegenerative diseases.
“I am deeply honored to have been selected as the founding executive director of I3R, a visionary, pioneering, trans-disciplinary institute,” Jung said. “We will nurture creativity, foster inclusivity and draw from all that our community has to offer, to pursue research excellence and transform discoveries, to create the future NOW — for the university, for northwest Arkansas, for the nation and for all humankind."
Jung will help develop the new $88 million research facility that will be built on the UA campus and help hire the directors and faculty for the five “innovation clusters” within the I3R: data science, food and technology, materials science, bioscience and integrative systems neuroscience.
“Dr. Jung’s leadership, commitment to diversity and success in commercialization make her the perfect person to make I3R the standard for integrative innovation and university outreach,” said John English, the university’s vice chancellor for research and innovation. “Her groundbreaking work in neural engineering will put the U of A at the forefront of this exciting field and will help attract outstanding researchers to build on the success of our innovation clusters.”