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Greg Copenhaver

Associate Dean, Research and Innovation

Dr. Greg Copenhaver is the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Convergent Science.

As associate dean, Copenhaver develops and implements research and innovation strategies for the College and supports leadership and faculty to enhance the College’s research and scholarship portfolio. A member of the dean’s senior leadership team, he provides executive management advice to the interdisciplinary research and scholarship enterprises within the College as well as working with UNC Research, Innovate Carolina, the Office of Technology Commercialization and other University partners to more seamlessly integrate research and innovation enterprises. In 2022, Copenhaver was named the new director of the Institute for Convergent Science (ICS). As the director, he leads the ICS in its mission to innovate based on a convergent approach to problem-solving, developing new inventions and de-risking technologies to ensure the fastest, most successful path to commercialization. 

A member of the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty since 2001, Copenhaver is the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Convergent Science and shares joint appointments as a professor in the department of biology and the Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences (IBGS). He is also an adjunct professor in the department of economics in the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship. 

In addition, he is affiliated with the UNC Center for Bioethics, the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the curriculum in genetics. In 2017, he was inducted into the Frank Porter Graham Honor Society in recognition for his significant contributions to graduate and professional education.

He has also made important contributions to science outside the university setting. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the Linnean Society and the recipient of a 2019 National Science Foundation Breakthrough Technology Award. He serves as editor-in-chief at PLOS Genetics. He co-founded the biotechnology company Chromatin Inc and is a named inventor on 22 issued U.S. patents.

Copenhaver’s scholarly work explores chromosome structure and dynamics in the processes that give rise to reproductive cells. His research relies heavily on genetic and genomic approaches to yield insights into how genes are inherited between generations. His research group’s work has used many model species including fungi, plants and animals and currently emphasizes plant biology with the broad aim of improving global food security.

He has authored or co-authored numerous research papers including publications in Science, Nature, PLoS Genetics, eLife, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Nature Genetics.

Copenhaver received a B.S. from the University of California Riverside, a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Chicago.

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Telephone: 919.962.1165