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Following a nationwide search, Amit Acharya, PhD, has been selected as the new system vice president and chief research officer for Advocate Aurora Health and Advocate Aurora Research Institute, effective Feb. 1, 2021.

In this role, Dr. Acharya will oversee all research within Advocate Aurora, lead the Research Institute and its approximately 250 team members and execute the Research Institute’s new research strategic plan. The Research Institute’s leadership and board of directors unveiled a new strategic plan in August, developed with internal stakeholders and an outside consulting firm, to leverage existing strengths and prepare for new opportunities and success in the future.

“Advocate Aurora Health and Advocate Aurora Research Institute already have a uniquely talented blend of research leaders and team members, investigators, and clinicians working together to improve patient care through innovative research,” Dr. Acharya said. “I’m excited to begin working on our shared goal of making ours a world-class research enterprise.”

Dr. Acharya comes to Advocate Aurora after serving as executive director of the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, part of Marshfield Clinic Health System, since 2017. In addition to his role leading the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Dr. Acharya previously served as deputy director of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and chief dental informatics officer of the dental practices at Marshfield Clinic Health System. He has a doctorate in biomedical informatics, a master’s in computer science and a bachelor’s in dental surgery.

“Dr. Acharya’s experience leading a large, multifaceted research organization, as well as his expertise in research informatics, makes him a perfect candidate to lead the Advocate Aurora Research Institute,” said Chief Advocate Medical Group Officer Vince Bufalino, MD, who had served as the Research Institute’s interim president since September 2019. “We are grateful to our Research Institute co-leads, Drs. Angst and Garlie, who have effectively managed the Advocate Aurora research enterprise until the search was complete, and we look forward to the future of research under Dr. Acharya’s direction.”

“This is a transformative time to join Advocate Aurora Research Institute, as we continue the work of combining our two legacy research organizations while executing our new strategic plan,” said Denise Angst, PhD, RN, vice president of patient-centered research for the Research Institute.

“Together with our research leadership team, team members and clinician investigators, I look forward to working with Dr. Acharya to expand the role of research in supporting Advocate Aurora’s priorities, such as Transformation 2025 and Destination Health,” said Nina Garlie, PhD, interim vice president of patient-centered research.

In 2019, the Research Institute managed 1,259 unique research projects, including 621 clinical trials with 3,202 consented research participants. The Research Institute also supported more than 400 clinical outcomes research projects and more than 50 preclinical studies across both Illinois and Wisconsin.

Dr. Acharya will begin his role as Advocate Aurora’s system vice president and chief research officer on Feb. 1 and will have a presence in both Illinois and Wisconsin.