McCarthy, Piper, and Baker Assume Shared Research Director Roles

UW-CTRI Research Directors Dr. Danielle McCarthy, Dr. Tim Baker, Dr. Megan Piper
UW-CTRI Research Directors Dr. Danielle McCarthy, Dr. Tim Baker, Dr. Megan Piper

Drs. Danielle McCarthy, Megan Piper and Tim Baker are now working collaboratively as UW-CTRI Research Directors, effective this month. McCarthy and Piper have different areas of expertise with some overlap, so they will continue to take advantage of those strengths and interests while making big decisions collaboratively with Baker.

“This is a very good step for the Center since it ushers in the future research leadership and will result in a smooth transition to that leadership,” Baker said. “It is clear that Danielle and Megan are incredibly well qualified to lead the research activities of UW-CTRI. They have already assumed major responsibilities in research leadership. This step merely reflects outward and visible recognition of their great research accomplishments, their value to the Center, and their potential for achieving even greater research advancements in the future.”

“I think this transition is emblematic of how Tim works, through modeling,” Piper said, “whether that’s scientific or leadership skills. It’s another example of Tim selflessly leading by example. We have all benefitted and will continue to benefit from Tim’s expertise. Not only would I not have the scientific career I have without Tim, I wouldn’t enjoy it as much if Tim and Mike (UW-CTRI Director Dr. Michael Fiore) hadn’t built the Center and led with such intelligence, good humor and flexibility.”

The three research directors agree UW-CTRI has a very talented group of scientists, all of whom garner consistent funding, achieve complete study recruitment and implementation, and publish strong results that contribute to public health. McCarthy noted that the opportunity to work with the outstanding, highly professional team of colleagues at UW-CTRI is one of the great joys of working here, and that she looks forward to continued collaborations with UW-CTRI teams.

The trio of research leaders will work collaboratively to advance the research mission of the Center while also offering opportunities for growth and expansion. Piper said the leadership team will continue to be supportive of individual interests—from methodological exploration to pairing tobacco with another field, such as how Dr. Jessica Cook has paired her interest in Veterans and PTSD with tobacco use.

McCarthy said, “Tim will continue to mentor and support Megan and me in this transition. This is just the next step in a decades-long process in which Tim has shared his wisdom and skill with his trademark generosity, grace, and humility. I feel honored to have this opportunity, and grateful to be able to expand the scope of my collaborations at UW-CTRI in this role.”

Baker added, “for the immediate future, I look forward to working closely with Danielle and Megan and learning how much better three heads can be than one!”