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  • Dan Powers

Celebrating Dr. Alan Rudolph! Past CO-LABS Chair Leaves HUGE Legacy

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

On May 18 we joined the celebration with 150+ people at Colorado State University to recognize the profound impact of Dr. Alan Rudolph across realms of science, careers of his colleagues and mentees and programs that have and will continue to shape the best outcomes for research, society and the world. Dr. Rudolph is leaving CSU in July, and we want to give all of CO-LABS members and friends a glimpse into his amazing path that we're fortunate included a leadership role with us.

Dr. Alan Rudolph: Revolutionizing Research and Innovation at Colorado State University

CO-LABS is grateful to recognize the importance and impacts of Dr. Alan Rudolph, an exceptional leader and visionary, who has made an indelible mark on Colorado State University (CSU) during his tenure as the Vice President for Research. With his entrepreneurial spirit and relentless dedication, Rudolph transformed the Office of the Vice President for Research into a hub of interdisciplinary collaboration and groundbreaking research. Under his guidance, CSU's research enterprise has flourished, achieving unprecedented growth and national recognition.

During Rudolph's tenure, CSU experienced remarkable expansion in research activities and funding. The university's total sponsored expenditures soared to $456.9 million, representing a 46% increase over the course of Rudolph's leadership. This remarkable growth has placed CSU among the top-tier research universities in the United States. Rudolph's strategic vision and commitment to interdisciplinary research paved the way for the establishment of numerous centers and institutes, including the Center for Healthy Aging, One Health Institute, and Data Science Research Institute. These collaborative initiatives have enhanced CSU's research capabilities and positioned the university at the forefront of scientific innovation.

Dr. Rudolph's impact extended far beyond the boundaries of CSU. Recognizing the significance of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, he fostered partnerships with business, government, academia, and foundations across the nation. Through these collaborations, CSU researchers have expanded their reach to dozens of countries worldwide, creating a global network of scientific inquiry. Furthermore, his commitment to the university's land-grant mission led to the establishment of the Coalition for Epi Response, Engagement, and Science. This consortium of land-grant universities focused on safeguarding U.S. agriculture and food systems from disease threats, exemplifying his dedication to community-focused research.

Perhaps most profoundly, under Dr. Rudolph's leadership, CSU played a pivotal role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of the Vice President for Research spearheaded various programs aimed at protecting public health and supporting students during these challenging times. CSU researchers developed innovative testing methods, including the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in sewer samples and widespread testing for nursing facility staff. These efforts propelled CSU to the forefront of national recognition for its contributions to combating the coronavirus crisis.

Dr. Rudolph's commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation extended to the establishment of new initiatives and research centers. The Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, Drone Core Research Center, Center for Healthy Aging, One Health Institute, and Data Sciences Research Institute are just a few examples of his visionary contributions. Through these initiatives, Rudolph encouraged the study of team formation and dynamics, fostering a collaborative research environment that accelerated scientific breakthroughs.

Moreover, Rudolph recognized the importance of bridging the gap between academia and industry. The partnership between CSU and Zoetis, a leading animal health company, resulted in the establishment of a research lab on the CSU Foothills Campus. This collaboration has facilitated innovative advancements in livestock animal health, exemplifying

his commitment to driving real-

world impact through research.

Dr. Rudolph's dedication to national

security and defense-related programs has also been instrumental. By launching the Office of Defense Engagement, Rudolph facilitated collaborations between CSU, technology companies, and other universities to address cybersecurity threats. CSU hosted the prestigious DARPA Forward conference, which attracted national security experts, researchers, and innovators seeking innovative solutions to protect the nation.

At CO-LABS, Dr. Rudolph was a Board Director starting in 2014 and led the organization as Board Chair for 3 years, including during the years of the COVID pandemic. His vision for expanding CO-LABS’ engagement with federal elected officials and convening scientific agency leadership to leverage research across a spectrum of data and research regimens helped grow CO-LABS as the most credible hub of federal research connections among scientists, academics, economic development experts and civic leaders across Colorado. We are indebted to his thoughtful guidance, before, through and now after the pandemic as CO-LABS moves into a new stage of nurturing connections between labs and innovative industries and entrepreneurs turning discoveries into companies and into solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.

As Dr. Rudolph prepares to leave CSU in July 2023, his departure marks a significant transition for the university's research enterprise. His visionary leadership, unwavering commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration, and relentless pursuit of scientific excellence have transformed CSU into a research powerhouse. The impact of his tenure will continue to shape the future of research and innovation at CSU for years to come.

Cheers with appreciation to Dr. Alan Rudolph!

We were happy to join the huge celebration of Dr. Rudolph at Colorado State University on May 18 and hear stories of how he shaped the paths of so many colleagues; his love of tardigrades, and how much he inspired the success of others.


on behalf of the entire CO-LABS Board of Directors

Chris McKay, Board Chair Dan Powers, Executive Director, CO-LABS

ALSO: You can view and leave a video or audio comment to Alan on the virtual board created by CSU. Lots of wonderful comments there!

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