The Wright State Research Institute (WSRI) has appointed Jason Parker, Ph.D., as the organization’s new director. A medical physicist, Parker joined WSRI in 2012 as program manager for the institute’s Neuroscience and Medical Imaging (NMI) program.
Parker designed the NMI program through a proposal with the Air Force Research Laboratory, which resulted in a research contract for Wright State University with an estimated value of $5 million over a five-year period. As both the NMI technical lead and program manager, Parker has secured $250,000 in additional funding for the program from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Prior to joining WSRI, Parker served as the senior scientist of imaging science research for the Kettering Health Network. He instituted and oversaw the advanced imaging of patients preparing for neurological treatment using MR spectroscopy, diffusion tensor imaging, and functional MRI technologies. His management of the imaging science research and clinical funding portfolio generated more than $2 million in additional federal research funding and $650,000 from the state of Ohio.
Parker holds a bachelor’s degree in applied physics from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a doctorate in medical physics from the University of Florida.
“Dr. Parker’s foundation is in science, but he brings business aspirations to the institute that make it clear he really understands how to translate entrepreneurial spirit into action,” said Wright State University Provost S. Narayanan, Ph.D., P.E.
The Wright State Research Institute applies basic science to address pressing, real-world challenges. It serves as a gateway to expertise at Wright State University, marshaling resources from the university and elsewhere to solve human performance problems ranging from combat fatigue to the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles.
In the six years since its inception, the research powerhouse has grown an impressive 550 percent, boasting a $20 million portfolio and nearly 70 scientists, engineers and other staff.
“I’m really excited about the future of WSRI,” Parker said. “The last five years have laid a foundation for the institute in research and development that we intend to leverage and build upon. The capabilities, infrastructure and—most importantly—people are all in place to position our organization for another five years of explosive growth.”