Sam Kolmen, Ph.D. (’57 Cellular Physiology and Molecular Biophysics) exhibited several of his paintings in the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University during the 94th annual Exhibition of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh in July and August 2004.
Greg Asimakis, Jr., Ph.D. (’77 Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics), associate professor in UTMB’s Departments of Surgery and Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics, was appointed associate dean for academic affairs in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in September 2004. He assumed the position previously held by the late Dr. Betty Williams. Dr. Asimakis is past president of the GSBS Alumni Association. Marie M. (Peggy) Louro, M.A. (’79 Preventive Medicine and Community Health)is a senior human resource manager for Enterprise and Health Solution Business Unit in San Diego, California, which is a division of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). SAIC is the largest employee-owned research and engineering company in the United States, providing information technology, systems integration and eSolutions to commercial and government customers. Gailen D. Marshall, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. (’79 Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics, ’84 SOM) has been a professor of medicine and pediatrics, vice chair for faculty development, and director of the division of clinical immunology and allergy at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, since September 2004. His entire lab, including students and research personnel, made the move with him from Houston. One of his first goals is to submit a NIH application for a general clinical research center for the university. Marshall presented two plenary lectures at a Hispanic American Allergy and Immunology Association meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in August 2004. He spoke about new advances in asthma therapy, as well as on his laboratory’s work on immune changes associated with psychological stress and asthma. Diane M. Simpson, M.D., Ph.D. (’78 Microbiology and Immunology, ’83 SOM) is currently with the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control in Georgia. She is also a preventive medicine officer with the rank of colonel in the United States Army Reserves and previously served 10 years as a state epidemiologist for the Texas Department of Health. She spoke at a GSBS career forum in October 2004 about working both for the government and in the area of public health. Fernando Trevino, Ph.D., M.P.H. (’79 Preventive Medicine and Community Health),professor and dean of the School of Public Health at the University of North Texas, was appointed to the Board of Scientific Counselors for the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) for a term ending April 30, 2007. The 15-member board provides advice and makes recommendations to scientific and technical program goals, objectives, strategies and priorities of the NCHS. The board also provides advice and guidance on statistical and epidemiological research and activities that focus on a broad array of health issues.
Martin A. Wasserman, Ph.D. (‘72 Pharmacology and Toxicology) is senior vice president of Discovery Research and chief scientific officer for Atherogenics, Inc., in Georgia. He has spent 33 years in pharmaceuticals and recently returned to UTMB to participate in a GSBS career forum where he spoke about careers in pharmaceutical companies.
Ronald Barwick, Ph.D. (’83 Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics)earned an M.B.A. in health care management from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio (Dallas branch) in 2000 and is currently district program manager in the division of public health for the state of Georgia, based in Athens. He has managerial responsibility for about 250 employees in 16 public health clinics in 10 counties. Before that, he was director of paternity at Orchid Biosciences in Dallas, Texas. He would love to hear from anyone who knew him in graduate school. John F. Bohmfalk, Ph.D. (’80 Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics)is a tenured professor and the chair of biology and chemistry at Hastings College in Nebraska. Hastings is a private four-year liberal arts college with 1,100 students. Bohmfalk spoke at the GSBS Career Forum in October 2004 about life as a professor in a small liberal arts college. Samir M. Douidar, M.D., Ph.D. (’85 Pharmacology and Toxicology) has been medical director of the Pediatric Emergency Care Center at University Community Hospital in Tampa, Florida, for the past 10 years. His wife, Abla Zayed, Ph.D., is an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of South Florida. They have two children: Yasmine, 10, and Shaddy, 9. Douidar appreciates the opportunity UTMB gave him to learn the principles of research in both basic and clinical applications. Julie Lauer, Ph.D. (’85 Pharmacology and Toxicology) accepted a post-doctoral position with the Department of Anesthesiology at Stanford University after leaving Galveston. She chose to leave research and has been teaching science to third- through sixth-grade students for the past 18 years at a private school in Los Altos, California. She says, “It is certainly a world that is very different from research, but I absolutely love it!” She added, “Even though I left research, I am very grateful for the education that I received at UTMB. I have very fond memories of my time in Galveston.”
Elie Al-Chaer, Ph.D., J.D. (’96 Neurology) accepted a faculty position as associate professor of pediatrics, neurobiology and developmental sciences at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. As part of his duties, he is working to bring about a Center for Translational Neuroscience and a Center for Pain Research. He and his wife, Nada Lawand, Ph.D. (’00 Neuroscience) moved to Arkansas in August 2004 and miss Galveston. Monique Ferguson, Ph.D. (’97 Microbiology and Immunology) was an invited speaker at the Fifteenth International AIDS Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand, in July 2004. Her oral presentation was entitled, “Effect of Interactions of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (RTI) Drug Resistance Mutations on Phenotypic Sensitivity to RTI.” In addition, she also was invited to give a poster presentation entitled, “Enfuvirtide (T-20) Sensitivity is Similar in Macrophages and Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes.” More than 15,000 health professionals, scientists, government officials, advocates and activists in the global fight against HIV/AIDS attended the conference, which was the largest international AIDS conference ever held. Ferguson is an instructor in the division of infectious diseases in UTMB’s Department of Medicine. She works in collaboration with Dr. William O’Brien. On a personal note, her son, Kevin Ferguson McKinney, started kindergarten in September 2004, and she and her husband, Kevin McKinney (’92 SOM) are so proud of him. John Garvish, Ph.D., J.D. (’99 Microbiology and Immunology)received his law degree from Duke University School of Law in 2002, graduating cum laude. While at Duke, he served as a topic editor for the Duke Law & Technology Review, and as a senior editor for the Journal of Law & Contemporary Problems. Following law school, he served as a judicial clerk for the honorable Circuit Judge Alvin A. Schall on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit until 2003. Garvish has published papers in the areas of biochemistry, molecular biology, and intellectual property. He is currently employed by McKool Smith, a Dallas-based law firm with offices also in Austin and Marshall, Texas. Garvish’s major area of practice is commercial litigation with a focus on intellectual property. McKool Smith is one of the nation’s largest trial firms and its practices encompass a broad range of commercial actions, including antitrust, intellectual property, technology, class action, contract, environmental, securities, and business tort litigation. Brad Keele, Ph.D. (’97 Neuroscience) is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the Institute of Biomedical Studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He has been at Baylor since 1998. He and his wife, Kimberley, had their third child, Ethan, in March 2003. In October 2004, Keele spoke at the GSBS Career Forum about careers in education at a large university. Faith L. Lagay, Ph.D. (’99 Medical Humanities) is director of the ethics standards group at the American Medical Association in Chicago. Lagay has been in Chicago for two years and has given up her automobile. She lives a mile from her office and walks it rain, shine, or snow. She spoke at the GSBS Career Forum in October 2004 representing professional organizations and ethics of the medical profession. Robert M. Miceli, Ph.D. (’92 Microbiology and Immunology) is a senior principal scientist with Sparta, Inc. Sparta is involved in homeland security and does research for the government and other clients on a contract basis. Shyam Ramakrishnan, M.D., Ph.D. (’95 Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics)is director of toxicogenomics applications at Genelogic, Inc., in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Genelogic is a contract research organization specializing in preclinical, early stage clinical, and other drug development services. The company offers genomic-based information products and services and bioinformatics product and services for pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies and academic and medical research institutions. La Monica Stewart, Ph.D. (’96 Pharmacology and Toxicology) is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Raymond P. Stowe III, Ph.D. (’99 Experimental Pathology) is president and chief scientist for Microgen, L.L.C., a start-up biotech company specializing in developing 3-D tissue models (e.g., oral mucosa, hepatic tissue, nerve, lung) for investigation of viral pathogens (e.g., EBV, RSV, West Nile, Dengue). Microgen also provides life science support work to Wyle Life Sciences and NASA–Johnson Space Center. Stowe spoke at the GSBS Career Forum in October 2004 about starting a biotech company. Robert G. Urban, Ph.D. (’91 Microbiology and Immunology)is president and CEO of Acretia, Inc. Prior to founding Acretia, he was co-founder of ZYCOS, Inc., where he served in several executive functions from vice president of new technology to overseeing corporate development, operations and clinical affairs. ZYCOS was formed from Pangaea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. At Pangaea, Urban oversaw the company’s infectious disease and oncology drug development programs. These efforts put several proprietary compounds into successful clinical trials. ZYCOS was acquired by the multi-billion dollar specialty oncology company MGI Pharma (MOGN). The resulting company, MGI Pharma Biologics, is actively pursing the registration trials of ZYCOS’ oncology and anti-viral products. Cheryl Vaiani, Ph.D. (’98 Medical Humanities), an assistant professor in UTMB’s Institute for Medical Humanities, is returning to Mexico to serve as a visiting professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara’s School of Medicine. She will teach a bioethics coursefor freshman medical students in the international program. She said, “I spend two weeks talking to them about ethical issues with particular emphasis on differences between professional and ethical practices and standards in Mexico and the United States since a large majority of these students intend to practice in the United States.” This is her fourth trip in this capacity.
Kira Bacal, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. (’01 Preventive Medicine and Community Health) was awarded a $155,000 grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to participate in a national program that grooms outstanding health care professionals to become leaders in health policy. She was one of seven Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows named by the foundation for 2004–2005. Fellows spend a year in Washington, D.C., working in congressional or executive-branch offices involved in health legislation and programs to better understand the nation’s health policy process. The fellowship program is administered by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Bacal is a fellow in UTMB’s Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health. Patricia Blair, M.S.N., J.D., Ph.D. (’04 Preventive Medicine and Community Health) is executive director of legal affairs at UT Health Center at Tyler. She is on the board of directors of the American Association of Nurse Attorneys and spoke at a GSBS career forum on combining a career in law and health disparities.
William Durham, Ph.D. (’00 Preventive Medicine and Community Health) is a postdoctoral scientist in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and was one of the four researchers there to receive an award from the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He received $45,000 to study whether certain drugs can improve the ability of muscles to produce energy. Bryan C. Hains, Ph.D. (’01 Neuroscience) joined the faculty of the Department of Neurology, Center for Neuroscience and Regeneration Research, at Yale University. He also is an adjunct associate professor of chemistry at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. Hains is principal investigator on research grants from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, and is actively developing his research program studying mechanisms of abnormal pain syndromes after spinal cord injury. Jonathan D. Mahnken, M.S., Ph.D. (’00 Preventive Medicine and Community Health) completed his Ph.D. in biometry from the University of Texas Health Science Center–Houston in 2003. He is currently an assistant professor in preventive medicine and public health at the University of Kansas Medical Center as well as assistant director of the Master of Science in Clinical Research Program. His research interests are in biostatistics, with specific interest in analyzing multivariate data with unusual censoring patterns using maximum likelihood techniques and applying such methodology to screening data (e.g., screening mammography for breast cancer). Takayuki Nakamura, Ph.D. (’04 Preventive Medicine and Community Health)accepted a position in the marketing/scientific affairs division at Depuy in Tokyo, Japan. Depuy Japan is an orthopaedics device division of the Johnson & Johnson group. Carl Saab, Ph.D. (’01 Neuroscience) is an assistant professor in surgical research at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. Vicente Santa Cruz, Ph.D. (’01 Experimental Pathology) is a toxicologist with Chevron Phillips Chemical Company in The Woodlands, Texas. He spoke at a GSBS career forum in October 2004 about careers in the petrochemical industry. Kirk L. Smith, M.D., Ph.D. (’00 M.D./Ph.D. Combined Degree Program, Medical Humanities), an assistant professor at UTMB and director of Frontera de Salud, was awarded a $189,000 fellowship from the Open Society Institute. With the Open Society Institute’s Soros Advocacy Fellowship for Physicians, he will train Frontera de Salud student and resident volunteers to advocate for health policy changes on behalf of medically-underserved patients. They will learn how to organize public education campaigns and interact with media, public health administrators and policy-makers. The fellowship will also allow Smith to strengthen his own advocacy skills. Twenty-eight fellowships have been granted since the program began in 2000. “I’m very honored to receive this award and will make the most of it to improve health care access for the uninsured,” said Smith, who is one of just four physicians in the country to receive the fellowship this year. Frontera de Salud was established by Smith and other students six years ago as a volunteer service organization comprising medical, nursing and allied health students who offer primary health care to underserved patients in Brownsville, Texas. Translated from Spanish, Frontera de Salud means “frontier of health.” The Frontera volunteers actively cater to those lacking any form of health insurance. Wenhong Zhou, Ph.D. (’02 Microbiology and Immunology) started medical school at UTMB in August 2004. She is married to Wu Bin, who works for a computer company in the Clear Lake City, Texas, area.
Bryant F. Cobb III, Ph.D. (’67) died of a massive heart attack in 1976, according to his daughter, Melonie McMichael. He was an associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Texas A&M College at the time of his death. After completing his Ph.D., he did a postdoctoral year at Berkeley, and then joined the faculty at A&M. His research focused on mariculture and the development of quality food products.
Marshall L. Rennels, Ph.D. (’66 Anatomy) died of cancer on
October 30, 2004. Rennels spent his entire 33-year career at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine. He was an incomparable teacher in the field of medical neuroscience and neuroanatomy. During his tenure at the University of Maryland, Rennels was the recipient of 10 Golden Apple Awards, 18 Student Awards for Faculty Achievement, and was the first recipient of the Founder’s Day Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was fondly called “coach” by decades of medical students owing to his remarkable ability to help them see the “big picture” during anxious moments in their four-year passage through medical school. His facility for connecting with students was a rare and special gift. The Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland recently established the Marshall L. Rennels Award for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Neuroscience. It will be given annually at commencement. He is survived by his wife, Peggy Baker, M.D., and two sisters.
Marshall Steinberg, Ph.D. (’66 Pharmacology and Toxicology)died of a brain tumor on November 9, 2003. He retired from the United States Army as a colonel in 1976. His final assignment was as a consultant in laboratory sciences to the Army Surgeon General Headquarters. He then worked for Tracor Jitco, Inc., as a principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute’s bioassay program. Steinberg also was vice president of health and environment for Hercules, Inc., in Wilmington, Delaware, from 1990 to 1997. He was a consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide program and an adjunct professor at American University. He was president of the International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council, president of the American College of Toxicology, and a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. Steinberg published more than 130 professional technical papers and book chapters. Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Patricia Louise Zobac Steinberg, and three children, Leslie Shifrin, Michael Steinberg and Maureen Steinberg.
Sister Mary Evelyn Gawlik, O.P., Ph.D. (’73 Microbiology and Immunology) died November 8, 2003. She entered the Dominican Sisters of Houston in October 1945, and made her final profession of vows on August 15, 1953. She received a B.A. degree from Dominican College in Houston, a M.Ed. degree from the University of Texas, and her Ph.D. from UTMB. Gawlik began her teaching ministry in 1947, serving at junior and senior levels in Texas and California schools staffed by the Dominican Sisters of Houston. After receiving her doctorate, she worked in the Department of Experimental Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. She did additional research work and made professional contributions though research writing and seminars. She retired at St. Dominic Villa in 1993.
Charles P. Maxcy, Jr., Ph.D. (’73 Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics) died on December 24, 2001.