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Convocation to Honor President's Scholars and Others
Two faculty members at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston will receive 2007 President’s Scholar Awards, the highest faculty recognition given by the UT Health Science Center at Houston.
The award for research goes to Dianna Milewicz, M.D., Ph.D., professor and holder of the President George Bush Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine, and the award for teaching goes to Norman Weisbrodt, Ph.D., professor and interim chair of the Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology.
UT Health Science Center President James T. Willerson, M.D., will present the awards at the Faculty Honors Convocation beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, in the Beth Robertson Auditorium of the Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building.
“In naming this year’s President’s Scholars, we recognize those who make this University a prospering institution that is dedicated to even greater accomplishments. This is a celebration of scholarly achievement,” President Willerson said. “I want to extend my personal congratulations to Dr. Norman Weisbrodt for his exemplary contributions to the teaching of our medical students, residents and fellows, and to Dr. Dianna Milewicz for her significant research accomplishments and contributions to the world of science and medicine.”
Each President’s Scholar Award carries a $5,000 prize, and the honorees will give brief remarks as part of the convocation. In addition to the President’s Scholar Awards, individual faculty members receiving national and international awards over the past year will be recognized during the afternoon program. A reception will follow.
Award for Research
Milewicz’s work has yielded clues to the underlying cause of aneurysms and the tendency of the condition to run in families. Aneurysm is a bulging of the aorta that leads to dissection, which is a lengthwise separation of tissues in the artery wall. The condition often kills suddenly with no warning symptoms.
Milewicz is professor and director of the Division of Medical Genetics and the M.D./Ph.D. Program in the Medical School and the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS). She received the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award in 2001 and was inducted into the American Association of Clinical Investigation in 1998 and the Association of American Physicians in 2006.
Recently, Milewicz began work as the lead investigator and director of the multi-institutional Specialized Center for Clinically Oriented Research in Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections under a new $11.6 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
She received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from UT Southwestern Medical School and has been a faculty member at the UT Medical School at Houston since 1993.
Award for Teaching
Winner of the John Freeman Outstanding Teaching Award in 2003, Weisbrodt has received the Medical School’s Basic Sciences Teaching Award 10 times and the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award more than a dozen times.
From 2003 to 2005, Weisbrodt served as assistant dean for basic science education and curriculum and oversaw, along with Karen Adler Storthz, Ph.D., the merger of the Department of Basic Sciences between the Dental Branch and the Medical School.
On the faculty since 1971, he teaches pharmacology, facilitates problem-based learning and is course director for physiology.
Weisbrodt’s research has primarily focused on the biology of gastrointestinal smooth muscle and its responsiveness to neural, hormonal and local influences. He won the Marion Merrell Dow Distinguished Prize in Gastrointestinal Physiology in 1995 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Motility Society in 2000.
He received his doctorate from the University of Michigan. He also is on the GSBS faculty.
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