Kenneth S. Ramos, MD, PhD, PharmB, who is internationally recognized in genomics and predictive biology, environmental and molecular medicine and toxicology, has been appointed associate vice president for precision health sciences at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona. Dr. Ramos joined the UA March 17.
In this new role, Dr. Ramos is responsible for developing precision-health strategies and approaches to health outcomes and health-care delivery. He also will lead development of personal diagnostics and therapeutics for complex diseases, including cancer, cardiopulmonary disorders and diabetes.
Dr. Ramos reports to Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences, and works in collaboration with the deans of the five AHSC colleges, clinical department heads, institute and center directors, The University of Arizona Health Network, and external stakeholders to develop and implement novel, high-impact programs and initiatives in precision health.
“Dr. Ramos will provide critical leadership in our efforts to advance precision health approaches to health outcomes and health-care delivery and in the development of personalized diagnostics and therapeutics in complex diseases,” said Dr. Garcia. “He has a record as a visionary leader in a variety of settings – including academia, government, non-profit and private organizations – with a history of building successful partnerships and demonstrating strong financial acumen.”
“I am privileged to join the UA and Dr. Garcia’s senior leadership team to advance personalized, predictive and preventive approaches for health-care delivery for the citizens of Arizona,” Dr. Ramos said. “Together, we will find new cures for disease, build infrastructures for the future of health care, and most of all, ensure that every single patient in Arizona receives the best possible care known to contemporary science.”
Dr. Ramos also joins the faculty of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson as professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Sleep and Critical Care Medicine, where he will direct his highly competitive and innovative research program in translational and clinical genetics and genomics and collaborate with numerous research groups across the UA campus.
Prior to his appointment, Dr. Ramos was with the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center, where he served as distinguished scholar and professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He also was director of the Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine and the Center for Environmental Genomics and Integrative Biology (a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences core center), and chief scientific adviser for the Clinical Trials Laboratory. He was affiliated with the J.G. Brown Cancer Center, Birth Defects Center, Gheens Center for the Study of Aging, Center for Regulatory and Environmental Analytical Metabolomics, and Bioinformatics Initiative.
He also has held faculty positions at Texas A&M University, where he held the Chester J. Reed Endowed Chair in Molecular Toxicology and oversaw the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Rural Health; Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Drexel University and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
During his career, he has received more than $50 million in research funding, including R01, P01 and P30 grants, and has made seminal contributions in the areas of molecular toxicology, environmental health sciences, toxicogenomics and molecular medicine. As a senior scientist, he has been responsible for leading diverse research teams conducting independent and collaborative research in these and other areas, including biochemistry; bioinformatics; cell, computational, developmental, in vitro, molecular and theoretical biology; chemistry; environmental health; epigenetics; experimental therapeutics; genomics; nephrology; neurobiology; nutrition; oncology; pathology; pharmacology; physiology; public health and teratology. He has provided senior leadership in scientific and strategic research planning at the local, regional, national and international levels.
Dr. Ramos is recognized as a leading expert in the study of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions and genomic medicine. His research program integrates diverse approaches, ranging from molecular genetics to population-based public health studies in efforts to understand the genetic and genomic basis of human disease and to advance the goals of precision medicine. Ongoing basic science studies in his laboratory focus on repetitive genetic elements in the mammalian genome and their role in genome plasticity and disease, while his clinical work focuses on the characterization of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for chronic disease and cancer.
He has mentored 100 doctoral, medical, veterinary medicine, undergraduate and high school students, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in academia, medicine, government and industry. He is committed to initiatives that attract and retain minorities in science and medicine.
Dr. Ramos has been a highly sought after expert reviewer for state, federal and international governments, and has served as an adviser to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, among others. He has received numerous awards in recognition of scientific excellence, including designation as Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, the Achievement Award for Scientific Excellence in Toxicological Sciences, Astra Zeneca European Traveling Lectureship and Leading Physician of the World.
Founding editor of Environmental Health Perspectives: Toxicogenomics, Dr. Ramos is a member of more than 50 professional journal editorial boards. He has been lead author in more than 220 published scientific journal articles. He is a member of more than 35 science advisory boards and has given more than 400 professional scientific presentations for national and international audiences.
Dr. Ramos’ professional memberships include the Society of Toxicology and the American Heart Association Texas Affiliate, both of which he has served as president; the Society for In Vitro Biology;
American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Society for Cell Biology; American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics; American College of Forensic Examiners; North American Vascular Biology Organization; American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry; American Medical Association; American College of Physicians and International Association of Internists.
Dr. Ramos received his Bachelor of Science degree in pharmaceutical sciences and chemistry (with highest honors) from the University of Puerto Rico, his doctorate in biochemical pharmacology from the University of Texas at Austin, and his medical degree from the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center, where he received training in internal medicine and pulmonology.