Associate Provost Karen Houseknecht appointed to Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board

Portrait of Karen Houseknecht smiling against trees
Karen L. Houseknecht, Ph.D., associate provost for Research and Scholarship

The University of New England is proud to announce that Karen L. Houseknecht, Ph.D., associate provost for Research and Scholarship and professor of pharmacology within the College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been appointed by Gov. Janet Mills to the Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board (MIEAB).

The MIEAB is a consequential board that is responsible for developing the state’s five-year innovation action plan as well as monitoring and reporting annually on the state’s progress against the goals and tactics in the plan. It also serves as Maine’s EPSCoR Steering Committee and generally provides advisory information to policymakers on all things related to the state’s innovation economy. 

The board is expected to meet quarterly.

Houseknecht — who in March was named a Fulbright Senior Scholar — is a pharmacologist whose research lies at the interface of neuroscience and endocrinology, focusing on understanding factors that regulate mood and metabolism, including diabetes. The long-term goal of her research is to aid in the discovery of novel therapeutics with a focus on improved quality of life and patient safety. A first-generation college student turned prominent biomedical researcher, Houseknecht received her Ph.D. from Cornell University and completed post-doctoral training as an Endocrine Fellow at the Beth Israel Hospital at Harvard Medical School.

As associate provost for Research and Scholarship at UNE, Houseknecht serves as the chief science officer and the research integrity officer for the University. She has scientific and executive leadership experience in both academic and corporate research settings, including roles as vice president of Global Research at ASDI, Inc. and as associate research fellow of diabetes drug discovery within the Division of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases at Pfizer Global Research and Development.

“I am pleased to serve on behalf of UNE and the Maine higher education community on this board, which is focused on the important work of improving Maine’s position in the global economy,” Houseknecht remarked. “I look forward to partnering with the other MIEAB members to create and implement collaborative programs to further develop the research, science, and technology infrastructure and workforce in Maine.”