New UVM vice president aims to expand research opportunities

Kirk Dombrowski was named vice president for research at the University of Vermont. UVM photo.

The University of Vermont president has appointed a new member to his senior leadership team.

Kirk Dombrowski was named this week vice president for research and will report directly to UVM President Suresh Garimella, who took the top job last June.

Dombrowski comes from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was associate dean for research and partnerships in the College of Arts and Sciences and was also a professor of sociology.

UNL’s College of Arts and Sciences has 400 tenure-track faculty and 1,000 doctoral students.

“Dr. Dombrowski’s energy, experience and impressive background align strongly with our goals to further elevate UVM’s research enterprise,” Garimella said in a statement. “He is skilled at supporting faculty in the grant application process and has extensive experience conducting and encouraging interdisciplinary research. He is a staunch advocate of land-grant universities and the important role they play in society. We’re excited to welcome him to the UVM community.”

“I believe the opportunities to grow research at UVM are significant,” Dombrowski said in a statement. “Coupling the university’s expertise in health and medicine with its land-grant mission opens up strong possibilities for strategic research growth in many of UVM’s academic units. Similarly, the longstanding focus of UVM on research in sustainability and the environment is at the top of the nation’s—indeed the world’s—priorities.”

Dombrowski said he plans to promote research in the social sciences and the humanities in parallel. 

At UNL, Dombrowski was also director of the university’s Rural Drug Addiction Research Center; interim director of the Nebraska Center for Virology, a biochemistry research institute; and director of UNL’s Minority Health Disparities Initiative, a university-wide and community engagement initiative that he was brought to Nebraska to lead in 2013.

Prior to joining UNL, Dombrowski was on the faculty in the anthropology department at the City University of New York’s John Jay College. He was also an associate director at New York University’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, a National Institutes of Health Center for Excellence.

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Dombrowski has a background in cultural anthropology. His research has included HIV infection dynamics, drug and alcohol addiction, minority health disparities, and suicide prevention in Native American/First Nation communities. Dombrowski’s research has received more than $12 million in National Institutes of Health funding, according to UVM. Dombrowski’s team research has received significant funding from several National Science Foundation programs. 

Dombrowski replaces Richard Galbraith, who was appointed vice president for research in 2014 and is now interim co-director of the University of Vermont Cancer Center. 

Dombrowski will start April 1.

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Mark Johnson

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