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Dr. R. Ariel Gomez Gomez promoted to vice president

By Fariss Samarrai

Dr. R. Ariel Gomez, the Robert J. Roberts Professor of Pediatrics at the University, has been named vice president for research and graduate studies, University officials announced June 16.

Gomez, who had filled the job on a interim basis since August 2001, joined the U.Va. faculty in 1984. He has served as a special adviser on research to Vice President and Provost Gene D. Block. He also was a member of the University’s Virginia 2020 Science and Technology Planning Commission.

An active researcher, Gomez also is director of the U.Va. Center for Organogenesis and the NIH-supported Center of Excellence in Pediatric Nephrology. His research focuses on kidney development.

President John T. Casteen III said of the appointment, “The University is fortunate to have a scientist of Dr. Gomez’s stature lead the University’s research mission. He will be the driving force behind the pursuit of new knowledge that will benefit the Commonwealth and the nation.”

“We were impressed with Ariel’s vision for moving the University forward in science and technology,” Block said. “It is very important and valuable to have the insight and leadership of a successful and respected active researcher in this office.”

Gomez said his goal is to take advantage of the University’s strengths, to bring the University into “the higher echelons of the top research universities.”

He said the University will succeed because of the high quality of its work and significant support from the Board of Visitors, the administration and faculty, and students and alumni.

“The entire University is behind the idea that we should be outstanding in the sciences as well as the humanities,” he said.

Gomez said the biggest issues he is facing, particularly during a period of tight budget constraints, are to retain top faculty, to attract outstanding new faculty, and to improve and increase the infrastructure and space for research. He also plans to advance graduate student programs, “the core of the research mission,” while improving diversity and inclusiveness.

Gomez will continue to pursue his own research as he leads the office. He is known for working long hours in his office and lab.

The author of numerous scientific articles, Gomez was an editorial board member of the journals Hypertension, American Journal of Physiology, and Pediatric Nephrology, and has been a reviewer for 18 other journals. He has served on numerous grant review committees, including the cardiovascular and renal NIH study section, and was a member of the two NIH task forces that identified the research needs of children and adults with renal diseases.

He received his M.D. degree from the University of Buenos Aires and completed his postdoctoral training at the universities of Iowa and California, San Francisco.


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