August 28, 2015

As Chairman of the Department of Cell adn Developmental Biology, I am delighted to announce the arrival of Vivian Gama, Ph.D., who is joining our department as an Assistant Professor on September 1, 2015. Vivian was recruited through the Vanderbilt Center for Stem Cell Biology, and works on the function of apoptotic proteins in human embryonic stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. She brings a new and exciting approach to the department, and her studies on hESCs may yield new understanding of cancer pathogenesis. Vivian has been a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Mohaish Deshmukh at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has an outstanding record, with publications in high impact journal such as Molecular Cell, Science Signaling, and J. Neuroscience.  She has also won very competitive awards from the American Heart Association, the American Brain Tumor Association, and most recently a K99 Pathway-to-Independence award from NCI/NIH. Dr. Gama is a highly collaborative, collegial scientist who will share her expertise and bring human embryonic stem cell biology at Vanderbilt to a new level of sophistication. As one of her references commented: "I have been continually impressed with the high caliber of Vivian’s work and with her imaginative, original scientific vision; Vivian’s scholarship is extensive and reflects her self-discipline and strong commitment to developing her scientific career."  Vivian will be joined at Vanderbilt by her husband, Jose Gomez, who received postdoctoral training with Victor Dzau, using mouse models to investigate cardiac regeneration. He will be an Instructor in the Department of Medicine, working with Dr. David Harrison, MD., who is the director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology.  Please join me in welcoming them both the Vanderbilt!                                                    ~Ian Macara