Gordon Gill, M.D., has been named Interim Dean for Scientific Affairs for the UCSD School of Medicine, filling the position recently vacated by Nobel Laureate George Palade, M.D., who has retired as dean and will continue with the School as Professor Emeritus.
The position of Dean for Scientific Affairs was created in 1990 when Palade came to UCSD from Yale University, where he had received the Nobel Prize in 1974 for his contributions to the understanding of cell structure, chemistry and function.
“Dr. Palade’s contributions have truly been immeasurable, and his legacy as our first Dean for Scientific Affairs could not be brighter,” said UCSD Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and School of Medicine Dean Edward Holmes, M.D. “During his tenure, UCSD School of Medicine forged ties with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and many others. And, true to his lifelong commitment to mentoring young scientists, his efforts have been directed at building not only our research strengths, but also our educational programs.”
As Professor of Medicine, chair of the Faculty of Basic Biomedical Sciences, and a UCSD physician-scientist for 32 years, Gill has been a key participant in the growth of medical research at UCSD.
In announcing Gill’s appointment to the interim position, Holmes said that “Dr. Gill brings a wealth of experience to this position, both as a senior member of the faculty and as an internationally recognized scholar in signal transduction and hormone action.”
As Dean for Scientific Affairs, “Dr. Palade was instrumental in guiding the recruitment of new faculty,” Gill said. “Many outstanding researchers and research programs have been attracted to UCSD by this international leader in science.”
Gill said he hopes to continue this tradition, noting that “we have a great many opportunities to grow and strengthen the School of Medicine.”
However, he added that in recent years, “we’ve been very constrained in our ability to recruit new faculty by lack of research space. The development plans are there, but we need to build from a science/research standpoint. Then, we’ll be able to make the right recruitments, bringing in the creative young investigators that are our future.”
“It’s an exciting time for UCSD,” Gill said. “We’re developing a School of Pharmacy and the new Institute for Molecular Medicine. We are building new facilities that will enable us to expand our research capabilities by adding state-of-the art space and new technology. With our faculty among the most successful in the nation in obtaining financial support for research, the opportunity is ripe for the development of new programs and the recruitment of scientists, particularly physician-scientists who bring an understanding of both basic science and translational medicine.”
Gill will also pursue joint research programs with other campus departments. He noted that both the School of Medicine and the Department of Biology hope to recruit specialists in human genetics to work side-by-side in the Center for Molecular Genetics. The recent approval of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Cal-IT2), also provides an opportunity for the School of Medicine to work with campus computer science and engineering faculty in the development of telemedicine, bioinformatics and digitally enabled genomic medicine initiatives.
“It’s every bit as important now to make the right choices as a School of Medicine as were made in the beginning years of the school’s formation,” Gill said. “The faculty, the investigators and the scientists – it is the people who matter in the long run. That was Roger Revelle’s view on how to build UCSD, and I agree.”
Gill received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from Vanderbilt University. After serving a residency and a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellowship at Yale-New Haven Hospital, he continued his NIH-sponsored post-doctoral research in metabolism and endocrinology at UCSD. During his tenure here, he has served as chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine (1971-95) and was associate chair for scientific affairs in the Department of Medicine (1992-95).
He has served on numerous scientific boards, the editorial boards of many professional journals, including the position of editor for Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology from 1974 to 1992. His honors include the Research Career Development Award from the NIH. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Gill continues his UCSD research in signal transduction as well as maintaining a clinical practice.
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