Skip to main content

BCCAC – Dr. George C. Hill


George C. Hill was Vanderbilt University’s first vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer.

Hill is Levi Watkins Jr., M.D. Professor Emeritus in Medical Education and distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology. He served as assistant vice chancellor for multicultural affairs and special assistant to the Provost for health affairs from 2011 to 2012. From 2002 to 2011, he served as the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s first associate dean for diversity in medical education.

Under Hill’s leadership, the medical school made significant progress toward increasing the diversity of the medical school class to more broadly represent different races/ethnicities, sexual orientations, economic backgrounds, religious backgrounds, and rural versus urban upbringing.

Prior to being recruited to Vanderbilt in 2002, Hill spent 19 years at Meharry Medical College serving in a variety of senior faculty and administrative roles including dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, vice president for research, associate vice president for international affairs, and director of the Division of Biomedical Sciences.

Hill has mentored and trained hundreds of Ph.D. students, M.S. students, and post-doctoral fellows. In 1999, he was recognized as a “Giant in Science” by the Quality Education for Minorities Network for his commitment to motivating minority students to pursue the sciences. He received the 2013 Levi Watkins Jr., MD Award from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine for fostering diversity and inclusion throughout the university as well as nationally.

Hill has led a distinguished career in biomedical research and medical education and is a world-renowned microbiologist. His laboratory was the first to grow the infective protozoan that carries sleeping sickness. His work to characterize the protozoan gave scientists an opportunity to develop drugs to treat sleeping sickness and was published in the leading scientific journal Science.

A member of the National Academy of Medicine since 1998, Hill was elected a fellow of the Academy of Microbiology in 2002. In 2011, he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was appointed to the NIH Fogarty International Center Scientific Advisory Board. The AAAS cited Hill’s leadership as president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, where he also received the organization’s Utz Leadership Award, as well as his work advancing a diverse workplace and his contributions to research into tropical diseases. Hill was elected a fellow of health disparities of the Cobb Institute of the National Medical Association in 2014. He currently serves on the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University Medical Board.

Previous appointments and awards include: serving as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Nairobi and as an NIH research fellow at the University of Cambridge, Great Britain; receiving the Seymour Hunter Prize from the Society of Protozoologists; and serving on the National Institute for General Medical Sciences Council and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors.

Hill graduated from Rutgers, Camden in 1961 and went on to receive his M.S. from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and his Ph.D. from New York University, New York City, where he launched his career in the biomedical sciences.