A Letter from Dr. Brian Boyd, Associate Chair for Research

To members of the department, alumni, donors, colleagues at UNC-Chapel Hill and at other research institutions: Hello, and thank you! I am honored to have been chosen for this position of leadership within a department filled with so many outstanding and hardworking faculty and staff.

In this role, I look forward to engaging researchers within the Department of Allied Health Sciences, and colleagues across the University to find innovative ways to further develop our department’s research capacity. My overarching goal is to support and to grow the wealth of talent and expertise already found within the DAHS. During my first few months on the job, I’ve begun an outreach campaign to those within DAHS and across the University to form and strengthen relationships vital to our continued growth. I will continue to meet with members of the University’s research administration to discuss our department’s research and to explore ways to enhance and grow our research portfolio. In the past two years, federal and state governments, businesses and industries, professional associations, foundations and nonprofits have awarded the department more than $4.7 million. This is a testament to the good work for which we have become known.

Those featured in this issue of the newsletter are just a few of the many success stories we could tell. I believe that the work of researchers within the DAHS improves the quality of care that clients receive as well as their overall quality of life. Through the years, I’ve been fortunate to work alongside the outstanding research faculty and staff here at Carolina. In January, at my first Research Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting as associate chair for research, it was a humbling moment when I found myself leading the committee on which I have served for the past seven years.

Since January, the RAC and the Office of Research team have worked to define the metrics that will allow us to more fully understand the types of supports that are needed by DAHS researchers to create winning proposals to secure grant funding. Together with our development director and communications director, we are ensuring that all essential supports are on board to find good funding matches that meet with the multi-faceted research foci of our research team. Thank you to all of those who have made the transition to my tenure as associate chair a smooth one. I’m excited to continue working with this team to ensure great progress within our shared fields of research and to bolster our faculty and students to further academic and professional success.

-Brian Boyd

From Dr. Stephen R. Hooper, Associate Dean and Chair of the DAHS

I am proud to announce the new Associate Chair for Research for the Department of Allied Health Sciences (DAHS), Dr. Brian Boyd. An associate professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Dr. Boyd has a strong history of successful research funding from the National Institutes of Health (including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development), from the U.S. Department of Education, and from the Health Resources & Services Administration, in addition to having received a number of university grant awards. His research centers on children with autism, and he recently received national recognition for his outstanding research from the Council for Exceptional Children.

Since 2009, when Brian joined us as a post-doctoral fellow, the value of his contributions has been felt inside and outside DAHS. His research collaborations include those with department researchers across our divisions and those formed through connections as an investigator at UNC’s Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, as a fellow at UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and as a colleague at UNC’s School of Education. In addition to his extensive experience with various funding mechanisms and university collaborations that are key to the success of our department, Dr. Boyd also brings to his new role experience as a long-standing member (since 2010) of the department’s Research Advisory Committee. He has been teaching for us since 2009, growing the research capacity of our students through such courses as Research Methods, Grant Writing and a Research Seminar in Occupational Science.

My colleagues in the DAHS Office of Research, the members of the Research Advisory Committee, and I look forward to continuing the momentum in DAHS research that Dr. Grace Baranek, former Associate Chair for Research, initiated, implemented, and supported during her years of service. I have confidence in Dr. Boyd’s guidance for the growth and longevity of the department’s research portfolio and look forward to our continued efforts to promote research collaborations within our department, with other university partners and with those we serve in the community.