PREP Program Director
Ed Smith is a Professor in the department of Animal and Poultry Sciences and the VT PREP Program Director. He is an early pioneer of NIH research training grants at Virginia Tech and through his efforts, VT is currently one of the leading land-grant institutions to receive NIH funding for training graduate students. NIH training programs have brought almost 140 students to VT. On average, training grants currently bring in $800,000 annually.
IMSD Program Co-director
Program Co-Director, Zachary Mackey, assistant professor of biochemistry, brings significant experience in training students from underrepresented groups. He began training VT-PREP and VT-IMSD students when he joined the VT biochemistry faculty in 2011. For many students, Mackey is the first African-American science instructor they have ever had. A first generation college student, Mackey shares the academic experience of many VT-IMSD scholars. He regularly participates in VT-PREP and VT-IMSD programs and workshops.
PREP Program Co-director
Program Co-Director, Luke Achenie is a Chemical Engineering professor who also brings significant experience in training to students from various ethnic backgrounds. Dr. Achenie has directed several graduate programs, including Engineering Computing Services at the University of Connecticut. He has held several professorial positions at the University of Connecticut and at Kasetsart University in Thailand. Dr. Achenie uses his rich leadership background to mentor students in the IMSD and PREP programs. He also regularly participates in the VT-IMSD and PREP workshops