Tim Denning, Ph.D.

President and CEO

Tim Denning became GRA’s fifth president and CEO in November 2023, joining the Alliance after serving as vice president of research and economic development at Georgia State University.

As vice president, Tim led Georgia State through a period of historic growth in research. His tenure culminated with a record high of $225 million in R&D expenditures and more than 70 centers of academic research – including five university-level enterprises that address critical health issues such as cardiovascular disease, brain health and infectious disease.

During his tenure, Tim spearheaded several initiatives to promote interdisciplinary research, innovation and scholarship; and he cultivated partners in academia, industry and the scientific community. He was also key to bringing top researchers to the university and developed programs to provide students with research experience in the private sector.

Tim arrived at Georgia State in 2013, joining the university’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences from a research and academic tenure at Emory University. Just two years after his arrival, he was appointed associate director of the institute, a multi-faceted enterprise that fueled much of Georgia State’s rapid rise in scientific research. In November 2020, he was named vice president.

While becoming a leader in research and commercialization, Tim had a successful career as a scientist, beginning with working as a postdoc at California’s acclaimed La Jolla Institute. In 2004, he was recruited to Emory, working first as a postdoc in the Emory Vaccine Center, led by GRA Eminent Scholar Rafi Ahmed. After receiving the NIH Pathway to Independence Award, which helps outstanding postdoctoral researchers transition to independent faculty positions, he joined the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Tim’s research focused primarily on the role immune cells in the intestines play in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which encompasses ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. His work deepened understanding of how cytokines control whether these immune cells promote or suppress the disease.

Tim has been a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and other agencies; a member of several scientific societies; and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Immunology and the academic journals Gastroenterology and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. In 2020, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas Medical Branch.

 Tim  Denning, Ph.D., President and CEO