June 17, 2021: Appointment of vice president for research and innovation


Dear Colleagues,

This week, I am recommending Doug Gage to the Board of Trustees as the next vice president for research and innovation. This is a three-year, fixed-term appointment and is pending the Board of Trustees’ approval at the meeting on Friday. During the third year of the term, I intend to initiate a search.

Serving as the interim vice president for research and innovation for the past year, Dr. Gage has been instrumental in providing continuity and stability to research activities at the university. I have been impressed with his leadership skills and ability to restore trust and confidence within this vital unit at MSU. He has also made strong organizational changes, reduced inefficiencies and shifted resources to mission-focused areas. I particularly appreciated hearing from the Academic Governance Steering Committee earlier this week who indicated how effective Dr. Gage has been in the past year engaging with faculty and supporting their research efforts.  

Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Gage and his team have led the effort to implement safety protocols that allowed the research enterprise to continue operating in person without a single case of COVID-19 transmission. Additionally, he oversaw the development and administration of the Early Detection Program, which has been essential in our COVID-19 testing efforts.

As an active member of our strategic planning committee, he has contributed several innovative ideas to position MSU for further success including support for FRIB’s applications in biomedical and materials science; advancing the position of plant science as a predominant, internationally recognized program; and increasing biomedical research through on-campus efforts and with our strategic partners.

Although his background is in the biological sciences, he has a keen understanding that MSU’s reputation is enhanced by scholarly recognition across all of our diverse disciplines. Dr. Gage is an advocate for cross-campus collaborations including a new transdisciplinary effort around climate change that will integrate STEM disciplines with social sciences, communications, and the arts and humanities to help find solutions to this global problem.

Before serving in this interim role, Dr. Gage was an assistant vice president for research and innovation as well as a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. He began his career at MSU as a postdoc in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory and later served as the director of the Mass Spectrometry Facility. In 2002, Dr. Gage left the university to work in research and development in the pharmaceutical industry before returning to MSU in 2007. Dr. Gage earned a doctorate in botany from the University of Texas and holds a Master of Science in biological sciences and Bachelor of Science in psychology from Florida State University.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Gage on his appointment.

Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. M.D. (he/him)
President