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Pamela Padilla named associate vice president for research and innovation

Pamela PadillaPamela Padilla, professor of biological sciences, was named associate vice president for Research and Innovation at UNT.

Having served in the role in an interim capacity for the past year, Padilla’s permanent appointment became effective Oct. 1. 

Mark McLellan, UNT’s vice president for research and innovation, says Padilla will continue to be a valuable asset to the office as it works to expand and strengthen the research enterprise at UNT.

“I am fortunate to have Pam by my side in our new visioning of what research can be as a primary pillar of this institution,” McLellan says, adding that her leadership will focus on research development and on programs and projects designed to support faculty research at UNT.

Padilla says she is excited to implement new initiatives and support the growth of UNT’s research.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Mark McLellan and continue to serve the university research community,” Padilla says.

Prior to serving as interim associate vice president of research and innovation, Padilla worked as associate dean of research and graduate studies in the College of Science. 

Padilla joined UNT in 2002, and in 2010, she earned the UNT Early Career Award for Research and Creativity. She was a Faculty Leadership Fellow from 2015 to 2016. 

Her research, which has been continually supported by either the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation, focuses on how environmental and dietary stress affects living organisms at the cellular, genetic and molecular levels as a means to model human health issues including ischemia and diabetes. She has received numerous fellowships and grants including a NSF CAREER award. Padilla will continue her research appointment with the College of Science, where she also leads the College of Science Women mentoring group initiative.

Padilla is a former board of directors and treasurer and currently serves on committees of SACNAS, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, the largest STEM diversity organization in the country. She also was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute and SACNAS Advanced Leadership Institute Fellow in 2017, received a Science magazine Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction in 2012 and was a National Academy of Sciences Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow in 2008.

Padilla earned her Ph.D. in biology from the University of New Mexico, conducted her post-doctoral research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington and was a visiting scholar at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.