Dr. David HerndonDr. David Herndon has been awarded the Medallion for Scientific Achievement. This is the highest accolade bestowed by the American Surgical Association, the oldest surgical society in the United States.

Herndon is Professor and Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Chair in Burn Surgery at UTMB. He also serves as Chief of Staff and Director of Research at Shriners Hospitals for Children—Galveston.

The Medallion for Scientific Achievement is awarded to members of the American Surgical Association for outstanding scientific contributions. It was first given in 1970 and boasts 26 distinguished recipients. These include Herndon’s mentor Dr. Basil Pruitt and other renowned surgeons such as Dr. Michael De Bakey. Herndon has been an active member of the association for the last 25 years.

Herndon was formally awarded the scientific medallion on April 10, at the 13th annual American Surgical Association meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. He was recognized for his multiple seminal contributions to the burn field, including his discoveries related to the hypermetabolic response to burn injury.


Thomas G. KsiazekFrederick A. MurphyThe global experts who study the deadliest infectious diseases recognized the contributions of Frederick A. Murphy and Thomas G. Ksiazek, professors at the UTMB, with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 6th annual International Symposium on Filoviruses. The filoviruses include Ebola and Marburg viruses that cause death in 50 to 90 percent of people infected. The current outbreak of Ebola virus raging in West Africa has caused more than 100 deaths so far.

“This award represents the culmination of a lifetime of scientific discovery and leadership in addressing one of the most challenging emerging diseases of our time,” said James LeDuc, director of the Galveston National Laboratory at UTMB, the only fully operational Biosafety Level 4 laboratory on an academic campus in the United States.

Murphy was the co-discoverer of this group of deadly viruses and prepared the first electron micrograph showing the curled thread-like image of the virus particles that characterize the filoviruses. Ksiazek has personally led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s on-site response to virtually every Ebola or Marburg outbreak that has occurred in Africa since the 1995 Kikwit outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Together they provided critical insights about the viruses and how to control the devastating outbreaks that they cause.

Esther Martinez, Senior Administrative Secretary in the Department of Surgery.Esther Martinez, senior administrative secretary in the UTMB Deparment of Surgery, recently received a kudos for her courtesy and professionalism from a pharmacist at Brookshire Brother's Pharmacy in Coldspring, Texas.

"This morning I had to call the surgical center with a question on a prescription. I was dreading the call as I usually get the run around with these things. I was pleasantly surprised when I spoke with Esther Martinez, senior administrative secretary in the UTMB department of surgery. She quickly resolved the issue for us. She was polite, courteous, and went above the call of duty to resolve the issue. As a manager myself, I enjoy getting constructive feedback on my employees. I was so thankful for her courtesy and professionalism I wanted to take a moment to thank her for her help, and would really like her supervisor to know what a great employee she is. The health care system could really use more individuals like her. Both I and the patient greatly appreciated it. Thanks!"


Pictured (from left to right):  John C. McKee, Pamela Watson, Julie Parrish, Mary Watson, Kathleen Yanni, Jay Howell and Dr. David L. Callender.UTMB is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) who conducts a comprehensive review of the institution every ten years. The institution was last reviewed and reaffirmed in 2008.  SACSCOC also requires institutions to submit an interim report to ensure the institution continues to meet accreditation standards between affirmation reviews. UTMB submitted its Fifth-Year Interim Report on March 24.  Pictured (from left to right):  John C. McKee, Pamela Watson, Julie Parrish, Mary Watson, Kathleen Yanni, Jay Howell and Dr. David L. Callender.