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Ono Named Interim President of the University of Cincinnati


The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees has tapped the developer of a comprehensive Academic Master Plan to serve as interim president of the university.

Date: 8/22/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: Greg Hand
Phone: (513) 556-1822

UC ingot   Santa J. Ono has been appointed interim president of the University of Cincinnati, following the announcement Tuesday that Gregory H. Williams had resigned from the presidency due to personal reasons. 

In May of this year, Ono rolled out the University of Cincinnati "UC2019 Academic Master Plan" (AMP). The plan will mean an initial investment of about $10 million toward long-term strategic goals set for completion in UC’s bicentennial year, 2019. The plan is one component of the university’s overall strategic plan, "UC2019 Accelerating Our Transformation.”

Santa J. Ono
Santa J. Ono

Ono has served as UC’s Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and University Provost since September 2010.  He holds positions as professor of pediatrics within UC’s College of Medicine and professor of biology in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.  Prior to his move to UC, Dr. Ono served as Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives and Deputy to the Provost and then Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs at Emory University, while also serving as Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Emory’s School of Medicine. Ono received his education at the University of Chicago, McGill University and Harvard University. His training in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Harvard was supported by a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship.

Ono's first academic appointment was as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. While at Hopkins, he won the American Diabetes Association Career Development Award and the Investigator Award from the National Arthritis Foundation. In 1996, Ono was recruited to the Harvard Medical School, where he was an Associate Professor and on staff at the Schepens Eye Research Institute. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard Program in Immunology, principal investigator of the Harvard Program in Ocular Immunology and on the Executive Committee of the NIH Training Program in Molecular Bases of Eye Diseases.

In 2001, Ono was appointed Cumberlege Professor and then GlaxoSmithKline Chair of Biomedical Sciences at University College London and Moorfields Eye Hospital. He was head of the Department of Immunology at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and on the executive committee of the UCL Division of Infection & Immunity. At UCL, Ono also served as Associate Dean of Students, a member of the UCL Council (the university's governing body) and its finance committee.

Ono has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Immunology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Immunology and the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. He is a recipient of the Brit Katz Award from Emory University, the Roche Award, the Pharmacia International Award in Allergy Research and the Medal in Bronze from Osaka City University.

He consults widely for companies such as GSK, Cambridge Antibody Technologies plc (now part of Astra Zeneca), Johnson & Johnson, Santen Inc. and Oxagen plc. He is chief scientific officer of iCo Therapeutics Inc., of Vancouver, Canada. Ono's principal research interests focus on transcriptional regulation in the human immune system, mechanisms of mast cell dependent inflammation on the ocular surface and the immune component of age-related macular degeneration.

In accepting Williams’ resignation, the Board expressed its appreciation for his service and contributions to the university.  Announcements regarding a search committee and timing of the search to identify the next president of the university are expected soon. For information about presidential searches, see the University Rule.