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Dr. Rosenquist to step down as UNMC vice chancellor for research

After masterminding the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s research initiative for the last 11 years, Tom Rosenquist, Ph.D. will step down June 30 as the medical center’s first vice chancellor for research.



He will resume his position as professor of genetics, cell biology and anatomy at UNMC and will continue his research in congenital heart defects.

Named director of research development in 1999, Dr. Rosenquist was then appointed the first ever vice chancellor for research in 2002 by UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D.

Under his tenure as vice chancellor, UNMC’s research funding has more than tripled going from $30.9 million in 1999 to more than $115 million in 2010. In addition, UNMC’s research enterprise expanded dramatically with the construction of the two Durham research towers.

“Tom has done an incredible job. He has elevated our research from minor league status to the big leagues,” Dr. Maurer said. “We’ve come a long way and he has put us in position to soar to even greater heights. I’m thrilled in what I see in UNMC’s research future.”

Through his vice chancellor office, Dr. Rosenquist centralized UNMC’s research resources – from sponsored programs and clinical research to UNeMed and comparative medicine – into a more cohesive structure. He also has been one of the central architects of UNMC’s growing international research program. In 2006, he started the annual Distinguished Scientist and Scientist Laureate program through which UNMC’s most productive scientists are recognized and rewarded.

A prolific researcher himself, Dr. Rosenquist has brought in more than $11 million in research funding to UNMC. This funding included a program project grant, considered one of the more prestigious grants a researcher can receive.

Over the years, his research has focused on congenital heart defects. Earlier this year, his group published a paper that proved a key role for folic acid in normal heart development. He also plans to further his research based on the 2002 patent of a unique theory of atherosclerosis, which has caught the attention of some pharmaceutical companies.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.

Previous positions

  • 1991 to 1999 -- Chairman, UNMC Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy (now genetics, cell biology and anatomy);
  • 1973 to 1991 -- Faculty member, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta.

Research accomplishments

  • 43 years of research, of which 25 years were devoted to congenital heart defects;
  • Principal investigator of National Institutes of Health-funded research since 1976 and of non-profit agency grants since 1970;
  • Granted patents on research into receptor blockers that prevent atherosclerosis in 2000 and 2002.


  • Ph.D., 1969, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans

Post-doc training

  • 1970 to 1973 -- University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

-end- metroMAGAZINE



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