Dr. McCulloh named associate vice chancellor for clinical research

Russell McCulloh, MD

Russell McCulloh, MD

Russell McCulloh, MD, has been named associate vice chancellor for clinical research for UNMC.

Dr. McCulloh, a nationally recognized leader in clinical research who currently serves as assistant dean for clinical research for the college of medicine and director for clinical and translational research operations for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, began his new role on Feb. 1.

He also became vice president for research at Nebraska Medicine and will continue in a research operation director’s role at Children’s.

As the associate vice chancellor for clinical research, Dr. McCulloh will provide vision for clinical research, identify research initiatives and incentives to foster research excellence, expand translational research teams and increase the number and success of large grant applications. He also will facilitate joint research program planning, including identifying areas for strategic recruitment of nationally recognized, extramurally funded investigators. He will serve as the liaison between the UNMC Vice Chancellor for Research Office and the research community concerning clinical research support and shared resources, strategic planning initiatives, policies and new initiatives, as well as make recommendations about existing and proposed clinical research support.

“During my time at UNMC, I have been part of clinical research teams that have done amazing work, that have creatively solved challenges in a variety of settings for the benefit of all sorts of communities across the state,” Dr. McCulloh said. “I hope to leverage that experience in the vice chancellor for research office to make doing clinical trials and research something that is fun and impactful, and to make it easy for people to do great science.”

Dr. McCulloh joined UNMC in 2018, in part to direct the NIH-funded Nebraska Pediatric Clinical Trials Unit, which focuses on conducting high-quality clinical trials engaging children and families and increasing the capacity to conduct clinical research across Nebraska.

“I can use my prior experience building people and programs to help empower researchers and our broader community. Together we can achieve discoveries that will transform people’s lives for the better,” he said.

His continued research operation director’s role at Children’s “will be beneficial,” he said, “as it gives us line of sight for clinical research across the lifespan.”

“I am thrilled to have someone of Dr. McCulloh’s experience and expertise with clinical trials join our VCR team,” said UNMC Vice Chancellor for Research Ken Bayles, PhD. “His leadership skills and experience using the various aspects of our clinical research infrastructure will be a great asset to our team and is sure to have a positive impact on our ability to conduct clinical studies at UNMC.”

Dr. McCulloh replaces Christopher Kratochvil, MD, who had served in the role since 2010 and was recently named the interim vice chancellor for external relations.

Dr. Kratochvil said Dr. McCulloh has repeatedly expressed how excited he is to be able to work with the UNMC research teams doing groundbreaking work across the university.

“Dr. McCulloh has a tremendous track record of developing teams and stimulating growth in clinical research,” Dr. Kratochvil said. “He has the perfect skill set to integrate the UNMC partnerships with Nebraska Medicine and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center that are so important to our research success. I am excited to see what he will accomplish as he leads our clinical research endeavors into the future.”

Said Steven Lisco, MD, chief academic officer, Nebraska Medicine, “Dr. McCulloh is the perfect person to build on the work of his predecessor, Dr. Kratochvil. Rusty has built a career on building clinical research infrastructure in Omaha and across Nebraska. He is exactly the person we need in the role of associate vice chancellor for clinical research at UNMC and vice president for research at Nebraska Medicine as we work to streamline and grow clinical trial research throughout our academic health science center.”


  1. Ann Anderson Berry says:

    Congratulations! This is great addition to the UNMC research enterprise. Looking for to our continued work together!

  2. Sid.Byrareddy says:

    Congratulations Dr. McCulloh,

  3. Lisa Runco says:

    On behalf of the Dept of Pediatrics and CHRI, congratulations to Dr. McCulloh! He will truly make a difference in this role and we look forward to partnering with him on many endeavors over the coming years.

  4. Kristin Morrissey says:

    Congratulations, Dr. McCulloh! Excited to continue working with you in this new role.

  5. Babu Guda says:

    Congratulations Rusty!

  6. Janet Rogers says:

    Congratulations, Dr. McCulloh!

  7. Valarie Warner says:

    Congratulations, Dr. McCulloh! This is a well deserved accomplishment! Looking forward to our continued collaborations moving research forward for UNMC.

  8. Laura Bilek says:

    Congratulations, Dr. McCulloh! I look forward to working with you to advance clinical research at UNMC.

  9. Jayesh Thakker says:

    Congratulations Rusty! Well deserved!

  10. Ruben E Quiros, MD says:

    Congratulations Rusty! Well deserved and best wishes.

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