Vivian Gonzalez-Perez, PhD, a highly accomplished scholar whose research focus is ion channel biophysics and physiology, is being promoted from research instructor to tenure track assistant professor on July 1, 2023. Her appointment marks a significant milestone in her career, as she prepares to make further groundbreaking contributions to the scientific community.
Dr. Gonzalez-Perez’s academic journey has been marked by unwavering dedication and achievements. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Havana, Cuba, in 1997. She then pursued a PhD Neuroscience at the University of Valparaiso, Chile in 2009, conducting research on the molecular mechanisms of voltage-gated potassium channels. Following her doctorate, Dr. Gonzalez-Perez embarked on a postdoctoral research training position at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, in the laboratory of Dr. Chris Lingle, where she focused on ion channel biophysics and physiology, particularly in the context of neural and epithelial cells. She was later promoted to Research Instructor in the Lingle lab in 2016.
Throughout her career, Dr. Gonzalez-Perez has made significant contributions to the understanding of ion channels’ influence on cellular function. During her initial faculty appointment at WashU, she investigated the role of Ca2+-and-voltage activated potassium channels (BK) in epithelial homeostasis and inflammation, shedding light on the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of BK channels containing the regulatory subunit γ1 in conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease. Her research also encompasses understanding the contribution of BK channels to opioid-induced hyperalgesia and neuropathic pain. Dr. Gonzalez-Perez, by employing advanced techniques and mouse models, unravels the physiological roles associated with specific proteins, enhancing our understanding of cellular processes.
Dr. Gonzalez-Perez’s contributions have garnered recognition from the scientific community. She has received numerous accolades, including the Excelsior Award from the Society of General Physiologists in 2022 and a postdoctoral NRSA F32 grant in 2012. Dr. Gonzalez-Perez’s dedication to her research has also been acknowledged through prestigious travel awards from organizations such as the Biophysical Society and the American Gastroenterological Association.
Dr. Gonzalez-Perez actively engages in professional activities and is a member of the Biophysical Society, the Sociedad de Biofisicos de Latinoamerica (SOBLA), and the Society of General Physiologists. She also serves as an ad hoc reviewer for prominent journals such as the Journal of General Physiology, Frontiers in Physiology, and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Beyond her research, Gonzalez-Perez is known for her dedication to education and mentoring. Her commitment to guiding and supporting students at both the undergraduate and graduate level exemplifies her passion for nurturing the next generation of scientists.
Join us in congratulating Dr. Gonzalez-Perez who will undoubtedly continue to make profound contributions through her research, teaching, and mentorship.