Jad Abumrad

Jad Abumrad

Public radio veteran Jad Abumrad is joining Vanderbilt University, where he will serve as a professor and help launch a new podcasting institute.

Abumrad was the founder and longtime co-host of Radiolab, which is carried on hundreds of public radio stations around the country. He is also a past MacArthur Fellow.

At Vanderbilt, he will hold the titles of distinguished research professor of cinema and media arts and of communication of science and technology in the College of Arts of Science. Abumrad will also advise the university’s communications and marketing team.

The future podcast institute is expected to launch in the summer of 2023. Abumrad’s appointment as a professor begins this week.

The work will include communication of scientific innovation underway at Vanderbilt, including via undergraduate story production. Abumrad said that VU can become a leader in podcasting education because journalism schools have been slow to adopt podcasting curriculums.

“This is a great example of Vanderbilt being able to connect those working at the highest levels of their professions to our university’s mission of education and advancing research,” said Steve Ertel, Vanderbilt vice chancellor for communications and marketing. “Jad Abumrad is widely recognized as an innovator in journalism. We believe his expertise will bring great value to our students and our institution as we seek to become a national leader and training ground for digital media with the new Vanderbilt Podcast Institute.”

Abumrad grew up in Nashville and his father, Naji Abumrad, is a surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.