Tomás R. Guilarte has been appointed dean of FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work.
Guilarte comes to FIU after success as the inaugural Leon Hess Professor and Chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Before his time at Columbia, Guilarte spent 30 years as a professor and researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“The role of dean for FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work calls for a proven leader who is committed to innovations in research and student success,” said FIU Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton. “After a widespread review of many excellent candidates, Dr. Guilarte distinguished himself by possessing the optimal balance of experience, accomplishment and vision needed to lead the Stempel College to even greater success.”
Guilarte will take the helm of the Stempel College in January of 2016. As the head of Stempel—which consists of the Departments of Biostatistics, Dietetics and Nutrition, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Health Policy & Management, Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, and the School of Social Work—Guilarte will focus on initiatives to engage faculty and expand research opportunities. But perhaps most importantly, Guilarte will lead improvements in student success as Stempel works toward its goal of enrolling 200 doctoral students by 2020.
“I’m honored by the opportunity to join the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work at this important point in its short history,” Guilarte said. “With the growing need for innovation in public health solutions, Stempel’s world-class faculty, dedicated staff and top-notch students will work together to tackle the world’s shared public health challenges through applicable, solutions-oriented research.”
Guilarte has a strong track record of mentoring and training pre-doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom have won numerous awards in national and international student competitions.
A leading scientist, educator and academic leader, Guilarte’s research has focused on mechanism-based neurotoxicology and neuroscience using behavioral, cellular and molecular approaches, ranging from studies using primary culture of neural cells to the application of brain imaging technologies. He is recognized worldwide for revealing the effects of low-level lead exposure on the central nervous system during development, and subsequently developing therapies to reverse these neurodegenerative effects.
Guilarte brings with him more than $7.5 million in active grant funding and continues to play a role in several scientific organizations. He’s served as president of the Neurotoxicology Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology and has been a member of numerous National Institutes of Health study sections and review panels. Currently, he is a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
Guilarte holds a B.S. in zoology and an M.S. in medical physics from the University of Florida, as well as a Ph.D. in environmental health from Johns Hopkins University.