Darlene Berryman, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., has been named associate dean for research and innovation at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, effective March 1. Berryman had been serving in the job in an interim capacity since June 2017.
“Enhancing our collaborative research is one of our top strategic priorities as a college, and a real imperative for us,” said Heritage College Executive Dean Ken Johnson, D.O. “We’re already making dramatic progress on that front, and I am confident that Dr. Berryman has the leadership skills, the research expertise, and the forward thinking that we need to take us to the next level.”
Also applauding Berryman’s appointment was Joseph Shields, who has served as Ohio University’s vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the graduate college, (though he will be leaving those positions temporarily to serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences beginning May 12).
“Darlene Berrryman is an accomplished scientist and educator who has also demonstrated strong leadership ability in her previous roles,” Shields said. “Her appointment as associate dean for research and innovation is an important step in enabling the Heritage College to realize its potential for advancing scientific discovery and its applications.”
Berryman, a Heritage College professor of biomedical sciences, is also executive director of the Diabetes Institute at the Heritage College. She said she believes the college is well-positioned to pursue its ambitious research-related goals, as laid out in its latest three-year strategic plan for 2018-2021.
“The Heritage College has faculty who are eager to do research, including many talented new members, as well as many who are already prominent in their fields of study,” Berryman said. “Our medical students are also highly interested and enthusiastic to conduct research. We’re fortunate to have funding to help build the research infrastructure and services that can augment their work, in large part due to the transformative gift from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation. Most importantly, we have a college – faculty, students, staff and administration – and a university that value our research enterprise.”
Enhancing collaborative research and scholarly activity is one of the college’s five strategic priorities for 2018-2021, with specific goals of building on research and scholarship strengths through collaboration and innovation; improving research infrastructure through collaboration with key partners; creating an osteopathic research initiative; and becoming nationally recognized for primary care research.
In the near future, Berryman said, “my hope is that the Heritage College will be at the forefront of defining the intellectual landscape of the osteopathic medical profession. In five years, I hope the Heritage College will be considered the leader in collaborative and transformative research among osteopathic medical schools as well as a prominent source of research activity among all Ohio medical schools.”
Longtime Berryman research colleague John Kopchick, Ph.D. – Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar in the Heritage College Department of Biomedical Sciences and the Edison Biotechnology Institute at Ohio University – said that Berryman is an ideal choice for the position. “She has worked in my research group for over 15 years and has done an outstanding job - so she knows research issues,” he said. “She is also extremely well-organized, articulate, a great writer, and most importantly, a good person. We look forward to her new role at the Heritage College.”
Berryman is an expert on nutrition, much of her research focuses on how nutrients are processed, metabolized and stored in the body. She has also studied obesity, with an emphasis on the impact fat tissue has on the body.
Berryman remains director of the Diabetes Institute currently, though she said the college is exploring an alternative leadership plan.