Moving Science, People

Southern Research expands, diversifies board of directors

April 27, 2022

The Southern Research board of directors has expanded to 15 members, with new additions representing a diverse range of national expertise.

The new members were recently approved by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees and will join the current board in May 2022.

“Southern Research considers diversity of thought both a key asset and core value,” said Josh Carpenter, Ph.D., president and CEO of Southern Research. “We are pleased to welcome leadership that includes men and women whose varied perspectives will strengthen our organization and the science that defines our mission.”

New members include:

  • Regina Benjamin, MD, the 18thS. Surgeon General, founder and CEO of Bayou Clinic/Gulf States Health Policy Center in Bayou La Batre. As a graduate of UAB School of Medicine, is a national and international leader in medicine and public health. Benjamin is involved in venture capital, digital health and serves on corporate boards.
  • Mike Brock, partner at Kirkland & Ellis. Based in Washington, D.C., Brock has extensive legal experience representing companies in complex litigation, including successful representation of top pharmaceutical companies in product liability cases.
  • Bobbie Knight, president of Miles College. Knight is the first woman to serve in this role, after an almost 40-year career as an executive at Alabama Power Co. Knight also chairs the board of managers for the Birmingham Times Media Group.
  • Jeanne Marrazzo, MD, the C. Glenn Cobbs endowed chair and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine. As an infectious disease specialist, Marrazzo is internationally recognized for her work in women’s health and as a national media spokesperson for managing COVID-19.
  • Scott Phelps, vice president of the Greene Group. Before joining Greene Group, Phelps had a successful legal career at Bradley Arant. He also serves on the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees.
  • Ken Simon, principal at Ken Simon Law. A former trial judge, Simon has wide-ranging legal experience including securities and municipal bond transactions to corporate compliance and arbitration.
  • Lee Styslinger, III, co-chair and CEO of Altec Inc. Styslinger is an active investor in healthcare start-ups, a member of the Business Roundtable, and serves on several boards and councils advising U.S. presidents on trade policy and workforce development.
  • Neel Varshney, MD, founding partner of Patient Square Capital. Based in the Bay Area, Varshney is a UAB graduate and trained as a physician before starting his business career and co-launching Patient Square Capital, a dedicated health care investment firm.
  • Selwyn Vickers, MD, CEO of UAB Health System and dean of UAB Heersink School of Medicine. Vickers is an internationally recognized pancreatic cancer surgeon, researcher and pioneer in health disparities research.

Current members of the Southern Research board include Chairman Ray Watts, MD, president of UAB; Finis St. John IV, chancellor of University of Alabama System; Mark Crosswhite, chairman, president and CEO of Alabama Power Co.; Ruffner Page, retired McWane Inc. president; Christopher Brown, Ph.D., vice president for research at UAB; and Jamey McMahon, chairman of Ligon Capital.

“This is an exciting time for Southern Research, and on behalf of all the board of directors, I am thrilled at the caliber of people who will help guide us into the future,” Watts said. “I know this group will build on Southern Research’s excellent history to create something truly of national significance.”

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