James W. Tracy Biosketch
Dr. James W. Tracy is the vice president for research at the University of Kentucky. In this role, he leads the university’s $368-million-a-year research enterprise and oversees a number of interdisciplinary research centers and institutes.
Tracy earned a PhD in biochemistry from the College of Agriculture at Purdue University in 1976. From 1978 to 1983, he was a postdoctoral scientist and research assistant professor in pharmacology and geographic (tropical) medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
In 1983 he moved to the University of Wisconsin–Madison as one of the founding faculty of the new School of Veterinary Medicine, where he rose through the academic ranks to full professor. He taught pharmacology in both the professional DVM and MD programs. He directed the graduate program in environmental toxicology for nearly a decade. His research, which was funded primarily by the National Institutes of Health, focused on chemotherapy for human and animal parasitic diseases and mechanisms of toxicant action. Tracy served for more than 10 years on NIH study sections and chaired the Tropical Medicine and Parasitology Study Section for three years.
In 2000 he became associate dean for research for the School of Veterinary Medicine and later led UW-Madison Select Agents Program, which is responsible for the use and storage of biological agents and toxins that have potential to be used in bioterrorism. He directed the Biotron Laboratory, a university research center that provides controlled research environments for plant, animal and materials research.
In conjunction with his move to UK in October 2007, Tracy retired from UW–Madison and was named professor emeritus.
He serves on the board of directors of the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), an association of 183 research universities. COGR develops policies and practices that fairly reflect the mutual interests and separate obligations of federal agencies and universities in research and graduate education.
Tracy currently serves as PI on a $6.4 million stimulus grant from the National Center for Research Resources to build a new laboratory for rodent sperm and embryos for use in genetic research. The 9,026-square-foot laboratory, which will serve scientists from across UK’s campus, will be comprised of three facilities, in which researchers will cryogenically preserve sperm and embryos; provide sterile barriers to maintain research-project integrity; and isolate specimens of specific strains with certain microbial characteristics to meet researchers’ needs.
Tracy has also served as PI on a three-year $1.4 million grant titled “High Bandwidth Network Connection to Support Health Care Delivery and Critical Clinical and Biomedical Research.” This direct appropriation from the Health Resources and Services Administration, secured by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, allowed UK to install a state-of-the-art network connection to Internet 2—a 10-gigabit network. This connection is 10 times faster than the previous 1 gigabit access available across Kentucky. This upgraded connection allows UK to partner with rural health care providers to share electronic records, enables UK’s medical colleges to deliver online education programs, and equips UK researchers to more quickly move their health-care discoveries from the lab to the doctor’s office.