Prof Gene D. Block
University of California, Los Angeles
Gene Block was appointed UCLA Chancellor on August 1, 2007. As chief executive officer, he oversees the university’s three-part mission of education, research and service. He has defined academic excellence, civic engagement, diversity, and financial security as top priorities for his administration.
Prior to joining UCLA, Chancellor Block served as Vice President and Provost at the University of Virginia, where he was also the Alumni Council Thomas Jefferson Professor of Biology. During his 29 years there, he served as Vice President for Research and Public Service and as Founding Director of the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center in Biological Timing. The Center’s research led to a breakthrough in the understanding of the molecular and neural mechanisms involved in biological timing and established the University of Virginia as a world leader in circadian biology research.
Dr. Block is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and holds a joint faculty appointment in Integrative Biology and Physiology in the College of Letters and Science. An expert in neuroscience, his research has focused on the neurobiology of circadian rhythms; specifically, the neural mechanisms by which organisms adjust sleep and wakefulness to the day and night cycle. Most recently, he has examined the effects of aging in the nervous system and how it impacts biological timing in mammals, including humans.
Block has served on the executive boards of several leading organizations, including the Association of American Universities, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Universities Research Association, and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. In addition, he is the recipient of numerous professional awards, including the Commonwealth of Virginia Outstanding Public Service Award and the Los Angeles NAACP Foundation President’s Award. He holds an Honorary Professorship at Zhejiang University and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Gene Block earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with distinction from Stanford University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Oregon.