Gene Block became chancellor of UCLA in August 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. A champion of public universities, his dedication to access and affordability has enhanced UCLA’s position as a national leader in enrolling undergraduates who are Pell Grant recipients, come from underrepresented groups and go on to become first-generation college graduates.
Under Chancellor Block’s leadership, UCLA has been named the number one public university in the United States, has grown its profile internationally and receives $1 billion annually in research grants. In one of the largest capital campaigns ever undertaken by a public university, UCLA surpassed its $4.2 billion Centennial fundraising goal more than a year ahead of schedule, raising $5.49 billion total.
An expert in neuroscience, Chancellor Block’s current research focuses on the effects of aging in the nervous system and how it impacts biological timing in mammals, including humans. He holds faculty appointments in psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and in integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science.
Chancellor Block holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stanford University and a master’s and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Oregon. Before becoming chancellor of UCLA, Block served as vice president and provost of 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.
Chancellor 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 and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. He is the recipient of numerous professional awards and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.