Howard R. Hughes Provost and Professor of Statistics, Rice University, Houston, Texas; Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University and Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Miranda specializes in research on environmental health, especially how the environment shapes health and well being among children. She is the founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, a research, education, and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. Dr. Miranda's formal educational background is rooted in mathematical, statistical, and economic modeling; her professional experiences integrate environmental health sciences with sound social policies. She has taught courses and conducted research on children's environmental health, with a particular emphasis on reproductive and developmental toxicants, childhood lead exposure, and allergen and asthma triggers. She is a leader in the rapidly evolving field of geospatial health informatics.
Dr. Miranda has applied spatial analytic approaches to a wide range of scientific issues. She also has extensive experience running training, research translation, and outreach programs, especially as they relate to disadvantaged populations. Dr. Miranda maintains an active research portfolio, with a funding history that includes the USEPA, NIH, CDC, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, the USDA, the State of North Carolina, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Wallace Genetics Foundation, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and The Duke Endowment. She maintains a deep and abiding interest in environmental and social justice. Her research group received the 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Award.
Dr. Miranda’s responsibilities as provost include promoting and supporting excellence in all dimensions of the University's academic, research, scholarly, and creative programs and activities, supported by a ~$700 million annual operating budget. She is responsible for developing and implementing plans for $230 million in strategic investments focused on molecular nanotechnology, data sciences, and overall research competitiveness, as well as $250+ million in major renovations of university facilities. Dr. Miranda has also worked to build more robust relationships with corporate partners, resulting in signed umbrella agreements with multiple corporate entities, along with individual funding of faculty members.
As part of the university’s Research Competitiveness Initiative, the Creative Ventures Fund was established in 2016 to provide over $1 million annually to support faculty in new and creative work. This fund allows faculty to amplify their creativity by sharing their work more broadly through hosting conferences and workshops, extending their networks of collaborators through forming interdisciplinary research teams, and passing their talents to the next generation through innovative classroom teaching strategies.
Dr. Miranda is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Duke University, where she earned her A.B. in mathematics and economics and was named a Truman Scholar. She has a Ph.D. and M.A., both in economics, from Harvard University, where she held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She served on the faculty at Duke from 1990-2011, and then as dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan for four years. Dr. Miranda became provost at Rice University in July 2015.