Gabriel Mbalaviele, PhD, Promoted to Professor of Medicine

Gabriel Mbalaviele PhD

Gabriel Mbalaviele, PhD, was promoted to the rank of Professor of Medicine with tenure on July 1st, 2020. Dr. Mbalaviele has reached this outstanding academic achievement through an unusual professional and personal journey. A native of the Republic of the Congo, he received his graduate training in Developmental Physiology in Paris, France, in the early 1990s under the mentorship of Dr. Marie-Christine de Vernejoul. After a post-doctoral experience at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX, with Dr. Gregory Mundy, one of the pioneers of bone biology, he decided to develop a career in the biotech industry. After a 13-year successful career that saw him at the forefront in the development of new therapeutic targets for inflammatory arthritis, first at Osiris Therapeutics, then at Pharmacia and Pfizer, in 2010 he decided to make a sharp change and took an offer to join our Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases as Associate Professor of Medicine in 2010. This was considered by many a risky transition, but with determination, talent, and hard work, Dr. Mbalaviele has thrived in our environment and surpassed any expectations very rapidly. He is now a brilliant example of a successful transition from industry to academia. He has established original lines of research on the role of the inflammasome in bone biology and disease, building an independent and productive research group and securing stable funding from the NIH and industry. He has built a reputation as a world-leading expert in the biology of innate immunity. He has achieved national and international reputation and has been asked to serve in grant review panels by the NIH, the VA, and other international agencies, and is currently a member of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Development Committee. Aside from his academic achievements, Dr. Mbalaviele is directly involved in the teaching and mentoring missions of our division, the Skeletal Disorders Training Program, and the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences. He also serves in leadership positions to enhance diversity at our institution; he co-directs the Forum of Underrepresented in Medicine (FURM) and is a mentor in the task force Supporting Underrepresented Minorities for Connections, Community, Engagement, Service and Society. He also contributes to the Bio STL/BioGenerator and other initiatives to help faculty reach out to the biotech community. Dr. Mbalaviele is an outstanding scientist and citizen of our division and institution, and it is a distinct pleasure and source of pride to have him in our community.