Sharon BourgNominations for this year's Salute to Nurses awards came from medical professionals from specialty clinics to community health care centers, from suburban facilities to the internationally recognized Texas Medical Center and from numerous schools and hospitals in the greater Houston area. The May 8 event luncheon, which took place at the Crowne Plaza, honored the Top 100 Nurses selected by a panel of educators and leaders in the field. Five UTMB nurses were recognized this year: Barbara Bonificio, Gary Eubank, Jessica Peck, Sharon Bourg and Souby George.  Read more in the Houston Chronicle.

Galveston Mayor Lewis Rosen recognizes senior volunteers Amelia Collins, Bettie Wheeler, Wayne O’Quin and Richard Batie.

UTMB senior volunteers received accolades from mayors and city councils across the region as part of National Service Recognition Day.

The mayors of Galveston, Texas City, Tiki Island and Bayou Vista presented proclamations to members of UTMB’s RSVP senior volunteer program in recognition of the positive impact of their service, thanking them for giving so much to their communities.

“National service expands economic opportunity by creating more sustainable, resilient communities and providing education, career skills, and leadership abilities for those who serve,” the proclamation states.

“We are proud of the impact our volunteers have in our communities,” said Ritchie Adoue, director of the RSVP senior volunteer program and coordinator of UTMB’s new Sealy Center for Aging Resource Center. “UTMB’s senior volunteers are vital workers whose impact is felt in a multitude of important ways throughout our neighborhoods and institutions. We appreciate so much that our local mayors chose to honor them.”
Seniors interested in participating in the UTMB senior programs should contact Adoue at 409-771-3044 or

Dr. Garcia-Blanco is joining UTMB School of Medicine as chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB).  Dr. Garcia-Blanco will start his tenure later this year.  As chair of BMB, he will lead efforts to further excellence in research, education, mentoring, and scholarship that have broad fundamental, translational and clinical impact.

He is coming to UTMB from Duke University, where he is currently the Charles D. Watts Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Duke Center for RNA Biology.  He also is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore. 

Laura Rudkin, professor and holder of the centennial chair in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, has been elected to a two-year term as president of the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, a national membership organization established in 1942 for faculty and academic institutions educating health professionals in prevention and population health.

Dr. Taylor RiallDr. Nisha GargDrs. Nisha Garg and Taylor Riall have been accepted as fellows in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women. They will participate in the program that focuses on leadership while working on a project to address a need or priority at UTMB. Garg is a professor in multiple departments and internationally recognized for her expertise in parasitology. Riall is a professor of surgery and director of the Center for Comparative Effectiveness and Cancer Outcomes.