Prior to taking office as UCLA chancellor on August 1, 2007, Gene 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.
As chief executive officer of UCLA, Chancellor Block oversees all aspects of 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. He has called for UCLA to deepen its engagement with Los Angeles and to increase access for students from underrepresented populations.
Chancellor Block is a distinguished professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and holds a joint faculty appointment in integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College. 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.
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, including the Commonwealth of Virginia Outstanding Public Service Award and the Los Angeles NAACP Foundation President’s Award. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.