Giuffrida named vice president for research at Health Science Center

SAN ANTONIO (May 4, 2015) — Andrea Giuffrida, Ph.D., has been appointed vice president for research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of the Health Science Center, recently made the announcement in an email to faculty, staff and students.

Dr. Giuffrida had served in the role of vice president for research ad interim since May 2014, and in that short time accomplished much to align resources and processes, Dr. Henrich said. Examples of this success included renewing a grant to fund the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy, negotiating the acquisition of new instrumentation for an Electron Microscopy Facility and Optical Imaging Core, and chairing a Research Strategic Advisory Council to identify new research trends and prioritize future research investments. The Voelcker Academy, a three-summer program to introduce area high school students to health science careers, is funded by the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund.

Dr. Giuffrida is an associate professor of pharmacology and served previously as the director of biomedical research development in the Office of the Vice President for Research. He is an experienced investigator and educator who joined the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences faculty in 2003.

His research focuses on endocannabinoids, a family of naturally occurring lipids that mimic the effect of marijuana. His work has provided important breakthroughs in the neurobiology of the endocannabinoid system and its role in neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. His research has been supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation and many private foundations, including the M.J. Fox Foundation and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

Dr. Giuffrida also served as a science and technology policy fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the Office of Science Policy at the NIH and in the Office of the Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. He is a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology and Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs.


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 13 percent of academic institutions receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 31,000 graduates. The $787.7 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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