May 27, 2021

Arroyo awarded Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Juan Pablo Arroyo, MD, PhD, has been awarded the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health.


Juan Pablo Arroyo, MD, PhD

Juan Pablo Arroyo, MD, PhD, has been awarded the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health.

Arroyo will use the grant to study alternative functions of vasopressin. Vasopressin, also known as antidiuretic hormone, has traditionally been associated with the regulation of water balance and blood pressure, but there are numerous other functions that are not yet fully understood.

“Dr. Arroyo’s enthusiasm and dedication to research are exemplary. His curiosity and creativity are traits that make him a great physician scientist who can translate his observations to patient care. It is no surprise that he has been chosen for this prestigious award,” said Alp Ikizler, MD, professor of Medicine, director of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, and Catherine McLaughlin Hakim Professor of Vascular Biology.

Arroyo earned his Doctor of Medicine from Universidad de la Salle. He later earned a PhD in renal physiology with a focus on how salt impacts blood pressure. Upon completing his PhD, Arroyo moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he completed an intern year in general surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital, as well as a two-year postdoctoral focusing on the molecular mechanisms of renal salt reabsorption.

“Seeing the transformation of talented physician-investigators like Dr. Arroyo as they develop their own exciting areas of research, centered in a clinical area that they are passionate about, is one of the highlights of academic medicine. Dr. Arroyo’s passion for his work is infectious, and his work has real potential to benefit patients,” said W. Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, Hugh J. Morgan Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine.

“It is an honor to serve as a mentor for Dr. Arroyo. With his passion and commitment to medicine and science, we foresee him as a future leader in academic medicine,” said Raymond Harris, MD, Ann and Roscoe R. Robinson Professor of Medicine and director of research for the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension.

Upon his arrival to VUMC in 2015, Arroyo completed internal medicine and nephrology training as part of the physician-scientist training program (PSTP) at Vanderbilt, becoming a lifetime member of the Harrison Society. Named after Tinsley Harrison, who served as the first chief resident in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt, the organization is dedicated to the preservation of science in clinical medicine and to the scientific literacy of physicians who use this knowledge at the bedside.

“One of the main goals of the training program and the Harrison Society is to increase the chances of success for trainees who are applying for awards such as the one that Dr. Arroyo received,” said Patrick Hu, MD, PhD, director of the PSTP. “Dr. Arroyo gets all credit for this award, but we are proud that the Harrison Society has played a role in his success.”

The PSTP program provided Arroyo with financial support and mentorship, which he credits for allowing him to generate necessary data to compete for the grant.

Arroyo’s grant application process required submission of a detailed written proposal, consisting of his biography and a detailed research plan. He was then selected as a semi-finalist and delivered a 20-minute Zoom presentation to the foundation’s grant committee, outlining his proposal and answering any questions. The committee’s final decision was delivered via mail.

“Opening that letter was nerve wracking,” Arroyo said. “I am incredibly excited and grateful to have received the Amos grant. I give thanks every day that I’m doing the job I’m doing. There’s nothing better than being excited about going to work in the morning.”