Leadership transition for UMRA Grants Committee

The Professional Development Grants for Retirees (PDGR) program has been a major success for UMRA and the awardees of this annual, competitive process. The program, launched by UMRA in 2009, is supported with $40,000 in annual funding from the Provost’s Office and income from an endowment fund established by UMRA at the University of Minnesota Foundation. Grants of up to $5,000 each are awarded for research and professional development. 

For the past three years, the PDGR program has been led by Richard “Dick” Poppele, PhD, as chair of the UMRA Grants Committee. A professor emeritus of the Department of Neuroscience, Poppele is a major supporter of the U and has held a number of leadership positions, including department chair of physiology, founding director of graduate studies in neuroscience, and chair of the Faculty Senate Judicial Committee. 

UMRA thanks Poppele for his years of service as both a member and chair of the UMRA Grants Committee and as a member of the UMRA Board of Directors.

With Poppele’s retirement from UMRA leadership, the PDGR program is transitioning to another outstanding leader, John Bantle, MD, a professor of medicine and former director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at the U of M Medical School. 

Bantle has had an outstanding research career, including serving as principal investigator for several landmark diabetes trials and studies, all at the U of M. He continues to be an active researcher and has served on the UMRA Grants Committee. UMRA is delighted that he is assuming the chairmanship of this committee and will be joining the UMRA Board as an ex-officio member.

The September meeting of UMRA will have the UMRA Grants Program as its focus.

—Frank Cerra, UMRA president-elect