Office of Research Leadership

Dr. Caroline WhitacreCaroline C. Whitacre, PhD, has served as the senior vice president for research at The Ohio State University since August 2008. Her expertise on immunological mechanisms and gender differences in multiple sclerosis has made her one of the world’s most acknowledged authorities on autoimmune disease.

Dr. Whitacre is a professor of microbial infection and immunity and former chair of the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics in the College of Medicine, a position which she held for 12 years. Prior to joining the Office of Research, she served as the associate vice president for health sciences research and vice dean for research in the College of Medicine from 2002-2008, where she successfully championed the development of research and research education.

In her current role as senior vice president for research, Dr. Whitacre is responsible for the overall strategic planning and infrastructure support for the universities $962 million annual basic and applied research program. She oversees the university’s efforts to stimulate research and support ongoing activities.

Dr. Whitacre has published extensively, is a member of various professional groups, and has many professional honors. She was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015. In 2004, she was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In recognition of her university activities, Dr. Whitacre was awarded Ohio State University’s Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service in 2001 and the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008.

Dr. Whitacre serves on the national boards for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. She also serves on the boards of the Center for Science and Industry, the Transportation Research Center Inc, The Wellington School and BioOhio.  She is chair of the board for SciTech, the Ohio State University Research Park.

Dr. Whitacre received her BA and PhD degrees from Ohio State and completed her postdoctoral training at Northwestern Medical School in Chicago. She joined the College of Medicine faculty in 1981.