University of New Mexico Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Chaouki Abdallah has appointed Gabriel P. López as vice president for Research. López is currently a professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Duke University.

"I am very pleased to welcome Dr. López back to UNM," Abdallah said. "He is a talented researcher and dedicated faculty member with a strong record of leadership, mentorship, and service. He will be a great addition to our senior leadership team and I look forward to working with him to advance the research mission at UNM."

López is the founding director of the NSF’s Research Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (RT-MRSEC), a post he has held at Duke University since 2011. In this role, he successfully led a team of researchers drawn from Duke University, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University. 

Prior to his service at Duke University, López was a professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at UNM from 1993 to 2010. During his time at UNM, he served as the founding director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering beginning in 2005, and the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Programs beginning in 2008.

"It is a very exciting time for the University,” López said. “I am grateful for this opportunity and am really looking forward to returning to UNM and working with the broad range of extremely talented folks across the University, as well as leading the promotion of UNM’s critically important research mission."

López is an accomplished scholar with over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters and is inventor on 32 U.S. patents. He has served as Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator on approximately $46 million in grant awards. He is the recipient of many honors and accolades for his research, including election as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2011. 

López is also the recipient of an Outstanding University Inventor Award from the Semiconductor Research Corporation and has earned an NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award. In 2006, the editors of Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology selected him as one of the “100 most important Hispanics in technology and business.”

Active in the areas of biointerfacial phenomena, biomaterials, self-assembly and bioanalytical microsystems to address problems in medicine, biotechnology and environmental quality, López has been involved in technology transfer and translational activities including the development of an anti-infection, soft robotic catheter, serving on the Scientific Advisory Board of Eta Diagnostic Inc. in Albuquerque and collaboration with several industrial partners.  

His professional service activities include outreach to, advancement of, groups under-represented in research, participation in several scientific societies, consultation on research directions for NIH, NSF and DTRA programs, and serving on the College of Reviewers for the NIH Center for Scientific Review.