2023 Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumni (ASDA) Award Recipient
This is the highest alumni honor bestowed to a medical school graduate by the university's John Sealy School of Medicine Alumni Association. This award, recognizing outstanding service to the medical profession and to humanity, honors the memory of Dr. Ashbel Smith. A prominent figure in Texas medicine, politics and education, Dr. Smith was considered the driving force behind establishing the University of Texas at Austin in 1881, and a medical department that would later be known as the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1891.
About Dr. O'Shanick
With nearly five decades of accomplishments in many disciplines, Dr. Gregory J. O’Shanick, a 1977 graduate of
the UTMB School of Medicine, stands as a thoughtful leader, one distinguished by his desire not only to improve medical
outcomes but also to impact the quality of life.
Dr. O’Shanick entered UTMB at age 19 after completing two years at Ohio State University. His post-graduate
studies took him to another groundbreaking achievement at Duke University Medical Center where at age 26, he was
named Chief Resident in psychiatry while simultaneously completing a fellowship in psychosomatic medicine. Since
then, he has earned board certifications in brain injury medicine, psychosomatic medicine, behavioral neurology and
neuropsychiatry, and psychiatry.
1981, Dr. O’Shanick joined the Hauser Clinic in Houston where he became
involved in the intersection of neuropsychiatry and neurorehabilitation
– the emerging subspecialty called brain injury medicine. Through his
return to academic medicine at UT Houston, his clinical and research efforts honed his expertise, reinforced by his
service on the Board of Directors and Advisory Board of the Transitional Learning Community in Galveston from 1983 to
In 1984, Dr. O’Shanick was recruited to the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) to join the Departments of Psychiatry
and Rehabilitation Medicine. He addressed many postneurotrauma issues there, such as the late development
of hydrocephalus, neurobehavioral changes, the use of functional neuroimaging (SPECT), and community/vocational
re-entry challenges for those with TBI. In 1991, he and his wife, Alison, a speech language pathologist, established the
Center for Neurorehabilitation Services (CNS) in Richmond, VA, providing outpatient brain injury medicine evaluations and neurorehabilitation to over 6,900 individuals across the US and internationally. Faculty positions at University of Virginia School of Medicine and University of Southern California provided opportunities to further expand his mentorship and leadership.
Dr. O’Shanick has not only served the brain injury community through medical care and academic research, but he has also led by volunteering with numerous professional organizations. For 16 years, he was the inaugural National Medical Director of the Brain Injury Association of America and was awarded the title of Medical Director Emeritus. A founding Board Governor of the Academy for Certification of Brain Injury Specialists, he currently sits on the examination committee for the sub-specialty of brain injury medicine overseen by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Dr. O’Shanick has published three books, 15 academic textbook chapters and over 70 peer-reviewed publications.
Featured as a subject matter expert on media outlets ranging from PBS, NPR, and CNN to the four major networks and
even ESPN, he has been quoted on everything from TBI in the military to concussion in sports. His work with the CDC
established the first federal diagnostic criteria for mild TBI in 2003.