Kirk Dombrowski became Vice President for Research at UVM in April 2020. When asked about moving to Vermont Dombrowski noted:
"I believe the opportunities to grow research at UVM are significant. Coupling the university’s expertise in health and medicine with its land-grant mission opens up strong possibilities for strategic research growth in many of UVM’s academic units. Similarly, the longstanding focus of UVM on research in sustainability and the environment is at the top of the nation’s—indeed the world’s—priorities. Promoting broad social science and humanities scholarship in parallel, as I’ve done at the University of Nebraska (UNL), resonates with the progressive spirit of the State of Vermont and attracts the best and brightest students. I very much look forward to joining UVM during this dynamic period of its history."
Dombrowski held several additional leadership positions at UNL. He was the founding director of the university’s Rural Drug Addiction Research Center, an NIH designated Center of Biomedical Research Excellence; interim director of the Nebraska Center for Virology, a ~90,000-square-foot biochemistry research institute; and director of UNL’s Minority Health Disparities Initiative, a university-wide faculty, recruitment, development and community engagement initiative that he was brought to Nebraska to lead in 2013.
A cultural anthropologist by training, Dombrowski is also an active researcher whose work straddles the social and behavioral health sciences, a link he has used to address issues public of concern and social good, such as HIV infection dynamics, drug and alcohol addiction, minority health disparities, and suicide prevention in Native American/First Nation communities. Dombrowski’s research has received funding from NSF, NIH, and numerous foundation sources, and his published work has appeared in social science, computer science and health science journals.