March 25, 2024

Announcing research leadership changes in the Heersink School of Medicine

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Gutierrez Kimberly webLeft to right: Orlando Gutierrez, M.D., and Robert Kimberly, M.D.Orlando Gutiérrez, M.D., will be appointed senior associate dean for Clinical and Translational Research in the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine and director and contact principal investigator (PI) of the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). In this role, Gutiérrez will also serve as the associate vice president of Medicine and Biomedical Research for UAB. In turn, Robert Kimberly, M.D., will transition into the newly created role of senior associate dean for Strategic Initiatives in the Heersink School of Medicine. Both appointments are effective April 1, 2024.

“I am delighted that Dr. Gutiérrez, who has worked closely with Dr. Kimberly at the CCTS, initially as deputy director and more recently as MPI for the CCTS, will take on the mantle of clinical and translational research leadership for our school and UAB,” said Anupam Agarwal, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the Heersink School of Medicine.

Gutiérrez received his medical degree from the University of Toledo College of Medicine and trained in Internal Medicine, Nephrology, and Clinical Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He joined UAB from the University of Miami in 2011, and currently serves as director of the UAB Division of Nephrology and holds the Marie S. Ingalls Endowed Chair in Nephrology Leadership.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) currently supports Gutiérrez as PI or multiple principal investigator (MPI) on several projects, including as MPI for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases-funded O’Brien Coordinating Center U24 award. He has published over 200 papers in high-impact journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, and others. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and has served on NIH peer review panels as well as national/international editorial boards.

As senior associate dean for Clinical and Translational Research, Gutiérrez will lead the Heersink School of Medicine’s efforts to advance clinical and translational research across the school; collaborate with the senior vice dean and senior executive officer for Finance and Administration to work with the UAB vice president for Research and Development, department chairs, center and institute directors, administrators, faculty, and staff to generate and implement strategies to foster and support a strong research culture; provide oversight for all clinical research space in the Heersink School of Medicine; and other duties.

“It is my honor and privilege to begin my tenure in this important role and continue our collaborative efforts in advancing clinical and translational science across our entire research enterprise,” said Gutiérrez. “The CCTS plays a critical role in forming the connective tissue bringing together research initiatives across campus, and indeed across our tristate Partner Network. I look forward to working with our talented scientists, administrators, and trainees to catalyze discovery and accelerate the dissemination and implementation of new findings toward health impact.”

Kimberly earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School followed by internship and residency in Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and fellowships at the NIH and Cornell Medical Center. Since joining UAB in 1996, he has held many roles, including Director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology (1996-2007), Director of the CCTS (2012-present), Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research (2006-present), and Associate Vice President for Medicine and Biomedical Research (2012-present). He also holds the Howard L. Holley Research Chair of Rheumatology.

A clinical rheumatologist, immunologist, and human geneticist, Kimberly applies these strategies in several key clinical areas, including systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and the systemic vasculitides. In addition to multiple R-series awards, he has been PI of the NIH-funded Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center, the Rheumatic Diseases Core Center, the multi-institutional Program Project in the Genetics of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and he created the international consortia on SLE Genetics (SLEGEN) and on Lupus End-Stage Renal Disease (LN-ESRD), which have provided foundational knowledge in the genetics of human autoimmune diseases.

In his new role, Kimberly will provide oversight of both the new Department of Bioinformatics and Data Science, in collaboration with the Heersink School of Medicine Dean and Senior Vice Dean, and the annual HSF General Endowment Fund grant awards. He will also oversee development of the Federal Agenda for Heersink School of Medicine research programs; oversee the development of a physician-scientist compensation framework; provide oversight for UAB-Southern Research’s Research and Academic Scientist Collaboration (RASC) program to recruit, develop, and retain talented investigators; and serve as lead for the Heersink School of Medicine to respond to funding opportunities from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).

“The new role affords the opportunity to shape both immediate and emerging innovative initiatives which will mold the nature of our health and life science enterprise going forward,” said Kimberly. “The pace of change in both discovery and delivery continues to accelerate as it provides new ways of delivering better health to our populations. It’s an exciting time!”

“I welcome Dr. Gutiérrez and Dr. Kimberly to their new roles in UAB’s research leadership,” said Agarwal. “Their expertise, collaborative spirit, and commitment to discovery will serve them well as they help guide these critically important areas of our research enterprise.”