Karen A. Holbrook, PhD, is currently serving as the Sr. Advisor to the President at the University of South Florida. Prior to this position, she served as the Senior Vice President for Global Affairs and International Research. Before coming to USF, Dr. Holbrook served as president of The Ohio State University from 2002-2007. She was also the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost and professor of cell biology at the University of Georgia, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Florida, and associate dean for research and professor of biological structure and medicine at the University of Washington, School of Medicine.
Dr. Holbrook has served on the boards of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Council of Education (ACE), the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (now APLU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), among others. She has participated on numerous advisory panels and councils for the National Institutes of Health, including the NIH Blue Ribbon Panel for the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Boston, and was a member of the Advisory Committee to the immediate past Director of the NIH. She is currently on several boards, including the boards of the Institute of International Education (IIE), ACT, Inc.,Techne, Inc., and is chair of the board for Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).
She has been a member of the International Advisory Councils and numerous committees of KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) since the early years of its founding in 2006, and will now serve as a Trustee on their Board, she is also Trustee for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Dr. Holbrook has had a productive research career in the biomedical sciences and was a MERIT Award recipient from the NIH and served on several editorial boards of professional journals. She has been awarded with numerous awards and prizes nationally and internationally. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, a doctorate in biological structure at the University of Washington, School of Medicine where she also served as a postdoctoral fellow in dermatology and a faculty member.