July 02, 2015

Steele to streamline faculty onboarding as assistant dean for Research Administration

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Steele croppedChad Steele, Ph.D., professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, has been named assistant dean for Research Administration, a new position in the School of Medicine created to facilitate successful onboarding for newly recruited and promoted research faculty.

In this new role, Steele  said he envisions reaching out to new faculty prior to and upon their arrival in order to facilitate a more seamless transition to UAB in terms of training requirements and regulatory compliance, information on infrastructure—such as core facilities, university-wide centers and other on-campus resources— and aiding in grants, contracts and materials transfer. Steele said he will create a faculty onboarding advisory group of department chairs, research faculty, administrators and newly joined faculty to identify new standards for assisting new faculty.

 “Onboarding is a process to convey our organizational brand and values in the School of Medicine and explain the university’s professional culture, policies and procedures,” Steele said.  “Initiating a clinical, translational or basic research program at a new university is a daunting task. A successful onboarding process will provide the tools for the faculty member to be successfully assimilated into their position with a quicker ramp-up to productivity.”

Steele’s position was effective July 1. He will report to the senior associate dean for Research Administration and Development in the School of Medicine and the senior vice provost in a dual effort to improve research faculty onboarding campus-wide.

Steele attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana University), receiving a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry in 1995. He attended graduate school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, earning a master’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology in December 1998, followed by a doctorate in December 2000. He joined the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh in July 2003, before coming to UAB and the Department of Medicine in 2007.

Steele’s research is funded by two R01s from the National Institutes of Health and focuses on understanding immune responses against opportunistic fungal pathogens that cause lung infections in individuals with diseases like HIV, leukemia and COPD as well as the role of fungi in exacerbating diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. He’s published more than 95 peer-reviewed research articles and has mentored 6 post-doctoral fellows and 7 pre-doctoral students.