Academic Medicine, Healthcare, Physician Leadership, Research

Director, Noel E. Drury Depression Research Center

  • University of California, Irvine
  • Irvine, CA

The University of California, Irvine (UCI), in partnership with Grant Cooper, announces a national search for the Director of the Noel E. Drury Depression Research Center. The Depression Research Center has been enabled by a monumental $55 million estate gift, enabling the creation of a leading, visionary research center focused on depression, a prevalent mental illness with a major impact on human potential and life.

Envisioned is a transdisciplinary entity that will focus on innovative approaches to the mechanisms, diagnosis and personalized, scalable therapies for depression.

Importantly, gift funds will endow and support the recruitment of an internationally renowned Center Director. We are looking for a highly accomplished individual who is also a visionary builder. The Director will catapult the Noel E. Drury Depression Research Center to international prominence by leveraging the combined strengths of his/her team, existing UCI resources and strategic new recruitments.

The resources generated by the foundational gift will provide support to the Director’s existing or recruited team (e.g. 3-5 individual faculty) engaged in specific aspects of depression research, including wet lab space and / or resources for studies such as neuroimaging, neuromonitoring or neuromodulation. The Center will incorporate, retain, and nurture both existing and new UCI faculty in several schools that focus on Depression Research, and will be enriched by additional resources related to the (ongoing) recruitment of a new Chair of the Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior. The Center will benefit from a generous allocation of new, state of the art wet and ‘dry’ research space in the new 200,000 sq. ft. Falling Leaves Foundation Medical Innovation Building and from the new $1.3 billion UCI Health-Irvine complex currently under construction.

UCI is exceptionally well poised to make a true impact in addressing depression. Already on campus is a strong base of clinical and basic research on the developmental origins of depression, including the $15 million NIH-funded Conte Center, one of only a dozen in the country. Major UCI strengths include strong groups in addiction-related and geriatric depressive problems, remarkable strengths in bioengineering, imaging and computational approaches to innovative diagnostics and therapies, and a commitment to understanding and addressing challenges to depression diagnosis and treatment related to health disparities and racial and ethnic diversity, including support from UCI’s Institute for Clinical & Translational Science.

In addition, UCI is well along a two-billion-dollar capital fund-raising campaign, of which one billion dollars are dedicated to advancing all aspects of health including innovative research, education and precision medicine-based therapies. UCI has a vibrant scientific community with outstanding collaborative opportunities, including, but not limited to, basic and clinical neuroscience, imaging, translational biomedical science, stem cell research, computational, bioinformatics and cognitive neuroscience, pharmaceutical sciences, genomic medicine, and clinical research and training. A new $1.3 billion UCI Health-Irvine complex is in advanced construction adjacent to the UCI campus. UCI Medical Center, the principal facility for UCI Health and the UCI School of Medicine’s clinical and teaching programs, is located on the Orange, CA campus approximately 11 miles north of the Irvine campus. The 460-bed acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for the 20th consecutive year, is home to specialty services including an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, a certified stroke and cerebrovascular center, a regional burn center, and the only Level I trauma center in Orange County. UCI is internationally renowned in fundamental neuroscience and is home to two of the top twenty neuroscience departments in the United States. The Director will have an Academic appointment as a Senate faculty position at the Full Professor level, and will report to the Vice Chancellor of Research.


UCI is seeking highly accomplished candidates with exemplary academic and administrative leadership experience. They should have international renown in the study of depressive illnesses, and an established, funded research program centered on aspects of depression and/or related mental illness. We are seeking visionary builders that will propel the Noel E. Drury Depression Research Center to excellence by leveraging the combined strengths of their team, existing UCI resources and strategic new recruitments. The ideal candidate is a visionary, distinguished scholar, capable of leading the Center and bringing in their own research portfolio. The successful candidate will be an internationally recognized scholar and forward-thinking leader, one with a distinguished record of achievement in research, mentorship, and team science. Successful applicants will have the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to lead the Center and position it among the top centers in the country and the world.


  • Earned a PhD, MD, or an MD/PhD (or equivalent) and be eligible for appointment as a full professor.
  • Demonstrated a record of scholarly productivity, significant history of independent NIH funding related to Depression, and involvement in academic societies at a national level in relevant fields of study.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience.
  • Proven track-record of supporting high quality multidisciplinary science and fostering innovation in research.
  • Proven ability to work in a collaborative environment with other units.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with a track record of promoting an inclusive culture.

Complete applications include a CV, a one-page letter of interest, research statement, teaching statement, and a separate diversity statement that describes past activities that promote diversity and inclusion and plans for future contributions.

Interested applicants are invited to complete an online application profile and upload their curriculum vitae electronically to the following web site: Alternatively, applications or nominations of appropriate candidates may be sent to: Corey Lohnes, Managing Director, Grant Cooper,

Application review will begin immediately and continue until the position has been filled.

Criteria for the Ladder Rank Professor Series:

Ladder-Rank Faculty will serve as Research Scholars and educators. They are expected to design and lead significant, thematic research with extramural support when that is needed. Teaching is required and may include clinical, classroom or lab teaching. The incumbent will have a major focus on innovative research of high significance as reflected in sustained, high-quality publications and peer-reviewed national funding as a principal investigator.

The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community dedicated to the advancement, application, and transmission of knowledge and creative endeavors through academic excellence, where all individuals who participate in university programs and activities can work and learn together in a safe and secure environment, free of violence, harassment, discrimination, exploitation, or intimidation. With this commitment as well as a commitment to addressing all forms of academic misconduct, UCI conducts institutional reference checks for candidate finalists to whom the department or other hiring unit would like to extend a formal offer of appointment into Ladder Rank Professor or Professor of Teaching series, at all ranks (i.e., assistant, associate, and full). The institutional reference checks involve contacting the administration of the applicant’s previous institution(s) to ask whether there have been substantiated findings of misconduct that would violate the University’s Faculty Code of Conduct.

To implement this process, UCI requires all candidates of Ladder Rank Professor or Professor of Teaching series, at all ranks (i.e., assistant, associate, and full), to complete, sign, and upload the form entitled “Authorization to Release Information” into AP RECRUIT as part of their application. If the candidate does not include the signed authorization to release information with the application materials, the application will be considered incomplete. As with any incomplete application, the application will not receive further consideration. Although all applicants for faculty recruitments must complete the entire application, only finalists (i.e., those to whom the department or other hiring unit would like to extend a formal offer) considered for Ladder Rank Professor or Professor of Teaching series, at all ranks (i.e., assistant, associate, and full), will be subject to institutional reference checks.

The University of California, Irvine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. A recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity, UCI is responsive to the needs of dual career couples, supports work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies, and is dedicated to broadening participation in higher education.

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