Dr. Larsen plans to step down from vice chancellor role

Jennifer Larsen, MD, will step away as UNMC's vice chancellor for research.

Jennifer Larsen, MD, will step away as UNMC's vice chancellor for research.

After more than a decade of leading UNMC’s research enterprise, Jennifer Larsen, MD, announced today that she will step away from her role as vice chancellor for research when her replacement is identified, likely by June 30, 2022.

"We’ve had tremendous success over the past decade, in growing and diversifying research funding of all kinds and building research infrastructure that can attract world-class scientists," Dr. Larsen said. "This is an important time in research, as the science continues to evolve and the expectations to link basic to clinical and public health research continue to grow, which will allow us to improve the health of individuals through personalized medicine, as well as improve regional and national health and reduce health disparities through new and innovative strategies, technologies and treatments."

Dr. Larsen emphasized that she is not retiring. She remains the Degen Professor of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at UNMC, a position she has held since 1987. Dr. Larsen will bring some strategic projects to fruition and continue to teach, mentor and participate in strategic planning after a new vice chancellor is on board.

"Dr. Larsen has been and continues to be an incredible leader of our research enterprise, at a time when the industry has undergone significant changes. Over her decade of leadership, there has been incredible growth of the size and scope of our research enterprise here at UNMC," Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, said. "I’m pleased that she’s offered to help with the onboarding of our next vice chancellor in any way that she can and that she’ll continue to offer her insight and counsel moving forward."

Dr. Gold indicated that a national search for the next vice chancellor for research will commence soon, and he expects to name a search committee within the next several weeks.

Under Dr. Larsen’s leadership, Dr. Gold noted, the research enterprise grew to unprecedented heights. In fiscal year 2021, sponsored program awards, including research, equaled $228.5 million, a campus record.

During Dr. Larsen’s tenure:

  • The Global Center for Health Security was developed as UNMC’s national expertise in infectious disease research and biosecurity was recognized and continued to grow.
  • The National Strategic Research Institute was created to combat weapons of mass destruction, and she has been a board member since its inception.
  • UNeHealth was created to speed the start-up of commercially-funded clinical trials.
  • Much of UNMC’s research biomedical informatics infrastructure was built, including next generation sequencing, the bioinformatics and systems biology core, the electronic health record access core, CRANE, the Nebraska Biobank, REDCap and computing clusters with the help of many biomedical informatics faculty and the Research IT Office.
  • The Great Plains IDeA-CTR grant was envisioned, funded and recently renewed.
  • The Mentored Scholar Program for Clinical and Translational Research graduate program was launched with Larsen's help.
  • A formal space policy was launched to manage research spaces as buildings were taken down or built.
  • A formal program for core evaluations was created that is still used today.

Dr. Larsen serves as UNMC’s second-ever vice chancellor for research. She succeeded Tom Rosenquist, PhD, in 2011. Prior to her appointment, she served in multiple other positions, including the associate vice chancellor for clinical research for two years, the associate dean for clinical research for the college of medicine and the associate chair for research for the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine, as well as chief for the division of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism (1997-2011). She developed the Clinical Research Center in 1995, which grew into the NU Board of Regents-approved Center for Clinical and Translational Research.

Dr. Larsen has been actively involved in research education, as well, first developing the clinical research curriculum for all clinical fellows that has grown into a video library being made available to all students, fellows and faculty on a variety of research topics. She helped launch the MSIA programs, mentored scholar program for clinical and translational research and the UNMC-University of Nebraska at Omaha collaborative biomedical informatics graduate program.

Her extramurally funded research program began with understanding the prolactin hormone signal transduction pathway but shifted when the pancreas transplant program was launched to understanding the metabolic consequences of organ transplantation, with a particular emphasis on vascular risk after pancreas and kidney transplant. She was a co-author on the first American Diabetes Association program statement on pancreas transplantation in type 1 diabetes, invited to serve on the National Kidney Foundation task force for diabetes and kidney transplantation, as well as the evaluation of the living donor for kidney transplantation and the international committee on post-transplant diabetes.

Later in her career, she worked collaboratively to understand causes of and create better strategies to prevent diabetes in Native American communities. She also served in leadership positions for multiple organizations, including the American Federal for Clinical Research, Association of Program Directors of Endocrinology and Metabolism, The Endocrine Society, The GRAND Committee for the Association of American Medical Colleges and the vice president for research group of the Association of Academic Health Centers, as well as joined many task forces, editorial boards and other national groups.


  1. Ann Anderson Berry says:

    Congratulations on all of your accomplishments Dr. Larsen! The impact you have made on the UNMC community is profound. Wishing you the best in this transition and looking forward to working with you for years to come.

  2. Dong Wang says:

    Dr. Larsen, Thank you for your leadership and dedication to the UNMC research enterprise!

  3. Carol Russell says:

    You will be missed. Your leadership has been phenomonal!!
    Carol Russell

  4. Mary Gallagher Jansen says:

    Thank you for all the incredible leadership and vision for research and critical thinking at UNMC.

  5. Harold M Maurer says:

    Congratulations, Jennifer. You have done an excellent job, as expected. I know you’ll do great back in your division and leadership opportunities will find you again. Hal

  6. Regina Idoate says:

    Dr. Larsen, thank you for all that you have done to support research and equity among our UNMC team and the communities we serve. As Rumi says, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”

  7. Jeff Miller says:

    Dr. Larsen, thank you for your leadership and support of research at UNMC. You have been instrumental in growing research funding at UNMC, benefiting the campus and community through your efforts. I look forward to continuing to have the opportunity to work with you.

  8. Staci Hamel says:

    Congratulations on your inspiring leadership as vice chancellor, Dr. Larsen. I look forward to all that you will continue to accomplish.

  9. Amy Dodson says:

    Thanks for all that you have done for the Research enterprise at UNMC!

  10. Brigette Vaughan says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Larsen! Your leadership and vision were inspiring.

  11. Tom O’Connor says:

    Wow – what a decade of accomplishments! Congrats to Dr. Larsen for truly making a difference. You deserve to take a bow.

  12. David E. Warren says:

    Dr. Larsen, many thanks for all the support from you and your office!

  13. Frederick Hamel says:

    I have known Jennifer since we both came to UNMC in 1987. She is a scientist, clinician, administrator and educator, and is outstanding in all those fields. She has had a significant impact on UNMC and all those who work with her. Perhaps more importantly, she has been a good friend. Congratulations and best wishes.

  14. LuAnn Larson says:

    Jennifer had the foresight to start the Clinical Research Center in 1996 which has served our research community in so many ways. I appreciate all that you have done for research in your time as Vice Chancellor and am glad to know you will still be actively working on projects that need your knowledge and perspective. Thanks for all the hard work and dedication!

  15. Jonathan L. Vennerstrom says:

    Congratulations Jennifer for all of your outstanding contributions to UNMC!

  16. Bin Duan says:

    Dr. Larsen, thank you for your outstanding leadership and all your support!!

  17. Aileen Warren says:

    Dr. Larsen, thanks for everything you did to make UNMC a better place. I enjoyed working with you.

  18. John S Davis says:

    Congratulations Jennifer! You have made a huge impact on our programs and the UNMC community. I look forward to completing the NCWHR before you change positions.
    Best wishes!

  19. Dejun Su says:

    Thank you, Dr. Larsen, for your support to our Center and the local communities over the years! It has been a pleasure working with you. My best wishes to your upcoming new chapter!

  20. Paula Turpen says:

    Jennifer, congratulations on your many contributions to UNMC. Your leadership made a difference! It was an honor and a pleasure to work for you during your tenure as VCR. Best wishes to you and Joe on all your future endeavors.

  21. Clarence Ueda says:

    Throughout your tenure at UNMC you have been a 'difference-maker'. Best wishes in all that the future may hold for you.

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