M. Bishr Omary will further research initiatives at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences schools, centers and institutes

M. Bishr Omary will start serving as Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research in August.

M. Bishr Omary has been appointed as the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research. He will join Rutgers in August.

He also will be the Henry Rutgers Professor of Biomedical Sciences, a professor of medicine at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a core member of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine.

Currently, he is at the University of Michigan, where he serves as special advisor on Research to the Dean, professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, H. Marvin Pollard Professor of Gastroenterology, professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Previously, he served as executive vice dean for research in the University of Michigan Medical School and chief scientific officer for Michigan Medicine. He moved to the university in 2008 to serve as chair of the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, the highest-ranked NIH-funded physiology department in the United States. He grew the department’s educational and training platforms and was instrumental in recruiting half of the department’s current faculty.

Omary also served as the editor-in-chief of Gastroenterology, the field’s leading journal, and has received numerous research and mentoring recognitions. He previously served as an investigator and practicing physician at Stanford University and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System for 19 years where he held several roles, including serving as chief of Stanford’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He currently serves as vice president of the American Gastroenterological Association and will be its president from 2020 to 2021.

“We are looking forward to Dr. Omary joining Rutgers, where his primary goal will be to lead the education, faculty development and research missions of RBHS, serving as chief academic and scientific officer,” said RBHS Chancellor Brian Strom. “His role in organizing and energizing the biomedical research enterprise across our schools, centers and institutes will further our mission toward being a nationally recognized and leading academic health center.”       

In this role, Omary will launch a biomedical research and advancement initiative, oversee the update and revision of the RBHS strategic plan, lead faculty recruitment and retention efforts, plan for the development and renovation of research buildings and foster the expansion of federal and non-federally funded research activities.

“An international leader in GI biology and physiology, Dr. Omary is a consummate physician-scientist who has had a distinguished academic, research, training and administrative career,” said Strom.

Since 1989, Omary’s laboratory has worked on intermediate filament proteins, which are composed of a variety of proteins expressed in different types of cells. His work focuses on understanding the disease association, function and regulation of keratins and lamins, which are fibrous proteins, in the digestive organs. His lab also is working to define biomarkers for acute and chronic liver and pancreatic diseases.

Omary received a Ph.D. from the University of California San Diego and an M.D. from the University of Miami’s past Ph.D.-to-M.D. program. He completed an internal medicine residency at the University of California Irvine before returning to UCSD for fellowship training in gastroenterology.