Sharing news of a leadership transition in research

March 9, 2023

To Members of Our URI Community,

I am writing to share that Peter Snyder has informed me of his decision to step down from his position as vice president for research and economic development and chair of the URI Research Foundation board, effective April 8. Peter will continue to serve on the University faculty as a professor, contributing to his extensive and respected work leading important Alzheimer’s disease research.

Peter joined URI in 2018 as the University’s vice president for research and economic development. He also is a tenured full professor in the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy.

As vice president and board chair of the research foundation, Peter led significant improvements to URI’s research enterprise. He refined research policies and procedures to effectively manage research ethics and scientific integrity. And he fostered strong partnerships with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and other public, private, and nonprofit entities—partnerships that will continue to benefit our University and our state in the years ahead.

In his leadership role, Peter conceived of and launched a signature research initiative—the Plastics: Land to Sea COLAB. The lab involves nearly 50 faculty, as well as global partners, working to mitigate plastic pollution of the environment by humans. The lab has secured millions of dollars in grant funding and federal earmarks. He also helped design several innovation centers at the University, including the Blue Technology Innovation Center, among others.

In addition to his administrative duties, Peter also maintained his own scholarship, lab group, and grant funding as a highly respected neuroscience researcher, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease research. I am grateful that his important work in these areas will continue.

Outside of URI, Peter has maintained standing in several respected professional associations. He has contributed to numerous journals and recently served as deputy executive editor of Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

He currently also serves as a scholar-in-residence at the Rhode Island School of Design and, before URI, was a full professor in the Department of Neurology at the Brown University Alpert Medical School. During that same time, he served as senior vice president and chief research officer with Lifespan Health System in Providence. Peter also was an associate professor at Yale University with the Child Study Center and held a faculty appointment at the University of Connecticut in the psychology department.

Peter has offered to support the transition of leadership to ensure the continuity of our research endeavors. We will share information about our future plans, including interim leadership and an international search, as it is available.

Please join me in thanking Peter for his entrepreneurial leadership; his considerable contributions to our University and state; and his ongoing, important work to improve early detection of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Marc Parlange