Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Assistant Agency Director for Pathology Gabriel Gomez, DVM, PhD, DACVP is the 2021 Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Diagnostic Services recipient. The Vice Chancellor’s Awards in Excellence program aims to recognize outstanding achievements by members of faculty and staff within Texas A&M AgriLife.
Dr. Gomez joined the College Station laboratory in 2013. Since joining the laboratory, he has cemented himself as a valued member of the anatomic pathology section and the agency.
Dr. Gomez began his tenure at TVMDL as pathologist. Soon he became one of the agency’s subject matter experts on multiple pathology topics, such as cervid, equine, and food animal diseases. After two years of serving as a pathologist, Dr. Gomez was promoted to assistant section head. During his service as assistant section head, Dr. Gomez proved to be an essential part of the section’s leadership structure and developed a reputation for being fair and honest. In 2020, he was promoted to section head and to assistant agency director for pathology in 2021.
In this role, Dr. Gomez oversees TVMDL’s pathology, histopathology, and necropsy services. He also directly supervises the College Station’s anatomic pathology laboratory sections in addition to serving as a pathologist.
“Since assuming this new leadership role, Dr. Gomez has continued to flourish,” TVMDL Director Amy Swinford, DVM, MS, DACVM, said. “Dr. Gomez looks beyond the microscope and sees each case from a client’s perspective. He has instilled this same compassion in each of his staff members and because of that, TVMDL has furthered our reputation as a client-centric agency.”
Among clients, Dr. Gomez is known for his practical and comprehensive approach to diagnostics. He has a thorough understanding of clients’ needs and works hard to provide thorough and pragmatic diagnostic reports.
Among several other accomplishments, Dr. Gomez is commended for his contributions during a testing surge for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) last summer. Following an emergency order enacted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in June, TVMDL received an influx of submissions for CWD immunohistochemistry testing. Over the next 12 weeks TVMDL received over 13,000 submissions. In addition to overseeing the agency’s histopathology and necropsy services, Dr. Gomez was part of a team actively responding to the surge.
He worked alongside section leadership to develop a testing operation that would ensure TVMDL could perform testing efficiently, while also providing clients results quickly. As a pathologist Dr. Gomez’s role was primarily evaluating slides. Him, and other pathologists, were the final stage in the testing process. In this role, Dr. Gomez evaluated over 400 slides a day. He would frequently come to the laboratory before and after business hours to ensure his section stayed on track with testing. In addition to his pathologist duties, Dr. Gomez filled into various roles of the testing process to assist his section process samples. He is commended for doing whatever it took to ensure his section’s success.
“There were several days when Dr. Gomez stayed after sunset and came in on weekends to help with technician-level jobs, such as tissue-trimming and organizing,” Necropsy Assistant Section Head Erin Edwards, DVM, MS, DACVP, said. “His presence in the lab motivated the other employees, showing them that this was a team effort.”
Dr. Gomez earned a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences in 2001 from Oklahoma State University. In 2005, he earned a second bachelor’s degree in addition to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Oklahoma State University. Following graduation, he become a board-certified pathologist in 2008 and earned a PhD from Texas A&M University in 2013.
For more information on TVMDL, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu.