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Office of the Senior Vice President for Research & Biotechnology

The overall goal of the Office of SVP-Research and Biotechnology is to build a distinctive profile at WesternU through the pursuit of excellence in research and innovation. We foster excellence in health sciences graduate academic programs and the continued development of interdisciplinary research and training initiatives within and between the Colleges at WesternU and other schools/colleges in our Southern California communities.

Strategic initiatives entail collaboration of extant research units to greatly expand the recognition of WesternU at the local, national, and international levels by developing improved diagnostic biomarkers, identifying new targets for intervention, and developing novel therapeutic approaches for better management of patients. A key initiative focuses on resultant development of novel therapies and providing resources to accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of new knowledge and products.

The Office of SVP-Research & Biotechnology serves as the centralized hub providing a supportive environment to the faculties and investigators/collaborators at WesternU with facilities and scientific interactions distinguished by the accomplishments in research, scholarship, creativity, and entrepreneurship, as well as the mentoring of health science students, graduate students, and other trainees. The goal is to develop strategic initiatives and assist in the development and submission of competitive grant proposals. This will involve close interaction and partnership with basic scientists and clinician-scientists, bridging multiple departments/colleges and expertise. The aim is to develop and build strong translational research programs in a multidisciplinary manner, expanding ideas and the innovative process.

These initiatives will enhance research and innovation in higher education at WesternU and enhance economic development in the region.

Andrea Giuffrida Portrait

Meet Dr. Giuffrida

WesternU appointed Andrea Giuffrida, PhD, MBA, as the Senior Vice President of Research & Biotechnology on Aug. 1, 2023. Dr. Giuffrida brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this critical position. Most recently, he served as Vice President for Strategic Industry Ventures at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) where he led the Office of Technology Commercialization, the TechNovum bioscience accelerator, and focused on growing their academic research enterprise by promoting scholarship, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Dr. Giuffrida received his PhD from the University of Catania in Italy in 1992 and earned his Executive MBA at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) in 2022. Dr. Giuffrida has held numerous leadership positions throughout his career. After joining UTHSCSA and being promoted to Full Professor of pharmacology with tenure, he served as Director of Biomedical Research Development, Vice President for Research and Vice President for Strategic Industry Ventures. He also served on boards of several not-for-profit organizations and startup companies and coordinated successful fundraising that led to the creation of new research centers and the first biobank at UTHSCSA.