The Georgetown Medical Center Research Committee unanimously approved Vassilios Papadopoulos’ appointment as the center’s new associate vice president for research on Tuesday.

Papadopoulos will coordinate research endeavors, appoint faculty and restructure research at the Medical Center with the goal of achieving a balanced budget by fiscal year 2007, Stuart Bondurant, interim executive vice president for health sciences, said.

“Dr. Papadopoulos is an accomplished scientist and is well respected within Georgetown and the scientific community,” Bondurant said. “I am confident that he will be effective in coordinating Georgetown’s many diverse research efforts and in playing a leadership role in our efforts to restructure and reorganize the research component of the Medical Center.”

Amy DeMaria, executive director of Medical Center communications, also expressed her optimism at Papadopoulos’ appointment.

“The Medical Center’s Research Committee chose Dr. Papadopoulos because he is an accomplished scientist and educator, with a strong understanding of the many different types of research being done at the Medical Center,” she said.

Due to a growing budget deficit, the Medical Center was forced to lay off 65 non-tenured employees this past summer as a necessary step in reaching their the goal of a balanced budget by 2007.

Papadopoulos expressed his confidence that the center can overcome its financial difficulty.

“We have been through a lot over the years and we would all like to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “I strongly believe that for our research enterprise to succeed, we will have to develop a model that will allow us to achieve financial stability and provide the resources for future growth to enable Georgetown to be at the forefront of research institutions.”

A model, however, will not be enough to ensure the Medical Center’s future, according to Papadopoulos.

“Our success and my success depend on the efforts and contributions of the faculty and staff – the main assets of the Georgetown research enterprise,” he said.

Papadopoulos has served as chair of the biochemistry department at Georgetown since 2003 and has held a variety of faculty positions at the university since 1988.

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