Award

Newsmakers

Thomas G. Boyer, Ph.D., professor of molecular medicine, received two related National Institutes of Health R01 grants to study uterine leiomyomas, also called uterine fibroids. The first grant was for $1.56 million; the most recent, a five-year award for $3.8 million, was a multi-PI grant.

Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D.Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., former chancellor of The University of Texas System and former president of UT Health San Antonio, has been elected chairman of the Ford Foundation’s board of trustees.

The foundation, based in New York, is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. Dr. Cigarroa joined the board in 2014 and serves as chair of the finance committee, while also serving on the executive committee, the investments committee, and the Democracy, Rights, and Justice program committee.

Dr. Cigarroa is head of pediatric transplant surgery and division head of liver transplant surgery at UT Health San Antonio. 

Daniel J. Dire, M.D., clinical professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, has been appointed as the Army Deputy Surgeon General for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs. Dr. Dire is a major general and is the senior ranking physician in the Army Reserve.

Robert Esterl Jr., M.D., associate dean for undergraduate medical education and transplant center surgical director, received the 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from The University of Texas System. The award includes $25,000 in recognition of his commitment to student success.

Xianlin Han, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Medicine and the Sam & Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity & Aging Studies, received a $300,000 STARs award from the UT System. Dr. Han’s laboratory focuses on lipidomics, a relatively new field of biomedical research that involves complex lipidome analysis. The Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention program supports enhancement of UT System institutions.

Kenneth M. Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D., won the Outstanding Research Accomplishment (Individual/Academia) Award from the Military Health System Research Symposium. The award recognizes outstanding research contributions on the health and well-being of the military by an individual research scientist.

Jeffery Hicks, D.D.S., professor of comprehensive dentistry, was appointed commissioner for postdoctoral general dentistry on the Commission on Dental Accreditation for years 2017-2021. The commission develops and implements accreditation standards for dental education programs.

Michaell A. Huber, D.D.S., professor in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry, received the Diamond Pin Award for 2018 from the American Academy of Oral Medicine.

Ellen Kraig, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Cell Systems and Anatomy, was awarded the 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from The University of Texas System. The recognition includes $25,000 for her commitment to student success.

George Kudolo, Ph.D., FAIC, FAACC, was appointed chair of the Department of Health Sciences. Dr. Kudolo previously served as interim chair of the department and is a professor with tenure.

Yui-Wing Francis Lam, Pharm.D., FCCP, professor of pharmacology, was named a 2018 Piper Professor as selected by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation. Dr. Lam received a $5,000 award, certificate and gold pin.

Ruben Mesa, M.D.Ruben A. Mesa, M.D., director of the Mays Cancer Center, the newly named home to the UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, has been named to the board of directors of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society funds blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is an advocate for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

Dr. Mesa has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator in more than 70 clinical trials for patients with myeloid disorders and played a lead role in various FDA approvals. He has been a funded investigator from the National Cancer Institute throughout his career and currently is co-principal investigator of the NCI-funded Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Research Consortium.

Dr. Mesa was named director of the cancer center in August 2017. He is a professor and holds the Mays Family Foundation Distinguished University Presidential Chair. 

David Morilak, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, director of UT Health San Antonio’s Center for Biomedical Neuroscience and member of the Mays Cancer Center, the newly named home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, received a $899,547 research award from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas. The funds will be used to study mechanisms and new treatments for cognitive impairment associated with a type of hormone treatment used in men with prostate cancer.

Robert H. Quinn, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, was named chairman of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Council on Research and Quality.

Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research, has been named one of 12 new Komen Scholars by Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research. Dr. Ramirez will receive $600,000 over three years to study Latina breast cancer. 

Ruben Restrepo, M.D., RRT, FAARC, professor of respiratory care, was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Adriana Segura, D.D.S., was named interim dean of the School of Dentistry, effective June 1. Dr. Segura, professor of comprehensive dentistry, served as the school’s associate dean for academic, faculty and student affairs.

Robert M. Taft, D.D.S., FACP, professor and the chair of the comprehensive dentistry department, was installed as president of the American College of Prosthodontists.

Amy Tawney, M.B.A., SPHR, a human resources professional with more than 25 years of experience in a variety of industries, has been named vice president and chief human resources officer for UT Health San Antonio.

Richard P. Usatine, M.D., professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery, and professor of family and community medicine, was elected to the board of the International Dermoscopy Society.

Jeremy Viles, D.N.P., M.B.A., RN, was named the inaugural chief nursing officer for the Mays Cancer Center, the newly named home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, and as assistant dean of the clinical practice in the School of Nursing.

Susan Weintraub, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and structural biology, was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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