Jennifer DuBose Is 1st at College of Design Promoted to Highest Research Rank

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Jennifer DuBose has been promoted to principal research associate, the first person in the College of Design to be promoted to this rank, the highest in the faculty research track at Georgia Tech.

DuBose is the associate director of the SimTigrate Design Lab and was previously a senior research associate.

Describing DuBose, Craig Zimring, director of the SimTigrate Design Lab, said, “Jennifer is unique in her drive to make the world better using research, and in her commitment to building systems and partnerships to do that. She’s great.”

As noted in her promotion packet, DuBose “has consistently demonstrated a high level of scholarly achievement and technical, managerial, and entrepreneurial productivity. She has established a program of healthcare design research that seeks to bring academic evidence to the practice of design in order to improve healthcare outcomes.”

DuBose said, “The promotion process takes a lot of effort, but it feels good to look back over the sum of my work at Georgia Tech and have my accomplishments recognized by my peers.”

The promotion process begins at the unit level. The candidate must assemble and submit a CV, a package of their work, and three external letters of recommendation. The package is subject to peer review and the unit director adds a recommendation. The package then moves up through several committees until it reaches the president, who makes the final decision.

As the associate director of SimTigrate, DuBose is responsible for the operations of the Lab as well as project development and research. SimTigrate is an interdisciplinary Lab that is at the forefront of design research, and is working to create a better built environment, particularly in healthcare.

At SimTigrate, DuBose has created a research team comprised of faculty and students, from undergraduate to doctoral levels, to conduct high-impact research. She has stitched together funding from multiple sources to build a research program in evidence-based design. At the same time, she often manages several projects at once.

Nancey Green Leigh, the associate dean for research in the College, said DuBose’s “years of experience and contributions to advancing the field of healthcare design are nationally recognized and have been validated through external peer review.” She has 11 refereed publications

DuBose “has been the PI or co-PI on more than $4.5 million in research projects, mentoring over 40 students involved in center research. She has also made significant service contributions to the College, including mentoring other research scientists,” Leigh said. She called DuBose’s promotion well-deserved.

Among DuBose’s recent research is her work on the areas of light and sleep for inpatient settings and the space layout and teamwork in outpatient clinics.

The Lab’s light and sleep research began with an exploration of the impact that disruptions in hospital environments have on patient sleep and the resulting harm. Her work has explored the range of disruptions and her publications have presented strategies to improve sleep for patients. She has also contributed to the study of light’s impact on daily biological rhythms and how it works in healthcare environments.

Several projects examining space layout and teamwork under DuBose’s leadership have led the way in understanding how design can support the growing trend in collaborative teams in outpatient clinics. Through field research, analysis of occupant behavior and workspace layout, and a review of the literature, her team has developed recommendations for successful implementation of shared team rooms that support collaboration and communication.

Reflecting on her work, DuBose said, “I feel fortunate to have been able to collaborate on research projects with academic faculty and many different students over the years. It is really nice to have such a close connection with the academic mission of the College.”

At the College of Design, which she joined in 2007, DuBose took a lead in forming and growing the SimTigrate Design Lab, which works with Emory Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Positive Impact Health Centers, Mercy Care, the Pacific Northwest National Lab, and many other partners to use the built environment to improve health and healthcare.

She has a career of more than 18 years at Georgia Tech, including five years at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI).

Long committed to improving the lives of people through direct action and by environmentalism, DuBose in the 1990s served in the Peace Corps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, worked for the Georgia Tech’s Center for Sustainable Technology getting sustainability incorporated into the curriculum, and worked for Interface, Inc. – a carpet company -- where she established their carbon accounting program and the first corporate carbon neutral product.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Oglethorpe University and an MS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. She joined the College of Design (then the College of Architecture) in 2007 after working in the Sustainable Facilities and Infrastructure group at GTRI.

On a personal level, DuBose also does her part to improve the world with her small organic garden in Intown Atlanta, where she grows cotton, peanuts, and vegetables.


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