On November 11, 2015 Dr. Ariel Gomez, along with Dr. Anindya Dutta, Dr. Doug Bayliss, and Dr. Jack Stankovic, was honored with the University of Virginia Distinguished Scientist Award during an award dinner held at The Colonade Club in Charlottesville. The UVA Distinguished Scientist Award, founded in 2006, recognizes faculty from the basic, medical, or engineering sciences who have distinguished UVA through scholarship, highly impactful publications, awards and other recognition by national and international peers, and substantial contributions to a field of study while at UVA.
Dr. Ariel Gomez received his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1975. He joined U.Va.’s Department of Pediatrics in 1984 where he has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of the origin, identity and fate of the kidney’s renin cells. Gomez has served the University as chief of pediatric nephrology, vice president for research and graduate studies, and founding director of the Child Health Research Center. He is known for furthering the understanding of the biology of leukemia by charting the pedigrees of developing kidney cells to the malignant transformation of blood cells. “He used novel state-of the-art molecular approaches to identify exactly how specialized kidney cells differentiate and transform in response to stimuli resulting in growth or response to stress,” Chevalier said. “He observed that when homeostasis is threatened, additional cells are recruited to maintain blood pressure and fluid/electrolyte balance. This discovery pointed to a fundamental biological principle: under normal physiological circumstances the ability to reacquire expression of a homeostatic hormone is determined by the developmental history of a cell.