Jorge Gomez, MD, PhD, an internationally respected global health-care leader formerly with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, has joined the University of Arizona Health Sciences.
With more than 20 years at NCI, Dr. Gomez brings an exceptional depth of programmatic knowledge in health professions training program diversity, community-based research, border health and health disparities.
At the UA Health Sciences, Dr. Gomez will serve as associate director of the Center for Elimination of Border Health Disparities and the assistant director for cancer outreach at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. In addition, he is an assistant professor in the Department of Community, Environment and Policy at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Public Health Policy and Management Program. In these roles he will support the acceleration of translational research initiatives in special populations, including Hispanic and Native American communities, toward addressing the burdens of health disparities.
“We’re thrilled Dr. Gomez has joined the UA Health Sciences to further our efforts across several strategic areas,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences. “Jorge has the proven ability to create and sustain strategic international research partnerships, helping to eliminate health disparities in the United States and beyond. His success in creating international scientific partnerships with Latin American nations to co-develop sustainable cancer research collaborations will advance our efforts to understand the disease and develop new treatments.”
"We are excited to have Dr. Gomez join UAHS,” said Andrew Kraft, MD, director of the UA Cancer Center. “The experience that he brings from the National Cancer Institute, and his work internationally, will be an invaluable addition to the Cancer Center and to the UAHS mission.”
“Dr. Gomez brings a wealth of experience from his leadership roles at the National Cancer Institute and work in translational research to eliminate health disparities,” said Daniel Derksen, MD, professor and chair, Community, Environment and Policy Department and the Walter H. Pearce Endowed Chair at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. “He has an energy and passion in his many areas of expertise, and we are pleased to have him join us in the Community, Environment and Policy Department in the College,” added Dr. Derksen, who also is director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health.
Dr. Gomez was born in Empalme, Sonora, Mexico, and graduated with an MD from the Universidad de Guadalajara 1982. A UA alumnus, Dr. Gomez earned a PhD from the UA in 1990 in immunology and pharmacology.
“I was drawn to Arizona by the enthusiasm and revolutionary approach to health and wellness taking place at the UA Health Sciences,” Dr. Gomez said. “I am excited to return to Arizona at such an exciting time. I know that I can contribute to the UA Health Sciences’ mission and look forward to supporting the research and implementing studies that will lead to the dynamic and sustained improvement in the health and well-being of Arizona’s most underserved communities.”
Most recently, Dr. Gomez served as senior project leader for the NCI’s Center for Global Health, providing scientific, technical and strategic advice, including long-term planning and development of the program. The center was created to consolidate and coordinate the international cancer programs within the NCI and the NIH and serves as the point of contact for other government agencies, including the Health and Human Services Office of Global Affairs, the State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pan American Health Organization, among others. During his 21 years with the NCI, Dr. Gomez also served as director of the Office of Latin American Cancer Program Development, an NCI program that he created to build international strategic partnerships that resulted in the formation of the U.S.-Latin American Cancer Research Network, a five-nation cancer research project that includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. He also was the branch chief and medical officer for the Organ Systems program at the NCI and the medical officer and program director for the NCI’s prestigious Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) program, the NCI’s largest translational research program.
A seasoned research administrator, his interests include the elimination of health disparities in targeted populations through translational research, pre-clinical research, early clinical interventions, immunology, pharmacology and molecular biology.
About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: http://uahs.arizona.edu
About the University of Arizona Cancer Center
The University of Arizona Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center headquartered in Arizona. The UACC is supported by NCI Cancer Center Support Grant No. CA023074. With primary locations at the University of Arizona in Tucson and at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, the UA Cancer Center has more than a dozen research and education offices in Phoenix and throughout the state where 300 physician and scientist members work together to prevent and cure cancer. For more information, go to www.arizonacancercenter.org