CHRC director, Dr. R. Ariel Gomez was recently awarded the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement by the University of Iowa Carver College Medical Alumni Association. The award was established in 1998 as the highest honor bestowed upon graduates of the institution. The Alumni Award for Achievement in particular is given to a deserving candidate who exhibits “significant professional accomplishments in science, medicine and/or education”. Below is the biography included on their website detailing the remarkable contributions Dr. Gomez has made to the medical community:
R. Ariel Gomez
’83 Fellowship – Pediatric Nephrology
A tenacious investigator whose research has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health since 1988, Dr. R. Ariel Gomez continues to make fundamental contributions to the understanding of the origin, identity, and fate of kidney renin cells. He showed that renin cells are progenitor cells that appear early in life and are necessary for kidney development. Descendants from those progenitors retain the memory to make renin once again when well-being is threatened. Dr. Gomez identified the genes and epigenetic events that control the identity and plasticity of renin cells. Most recently, his group discovered a novel renin progenitor in the bone marrow, a primitive lymphocyte that links the immune and endocrine systems and it is the cell of origin of a highly penetrant type of leukemia. Through his research, Dr. Gomez hopes to develop treatments for hypertension and kidney and vascular diseases. He began his career in the Pediatrics Department at The University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1984 and held multiple leadership positions at the school before returning to full time research in 2008.