The winners of the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award are Laurel Sabol, a student in the School of Health Professions, Dr. Maurice Willis, director of UTMB’s Hemotology/Oncology clinic, Carlton Gentry, a licensed vocational nurse in the Gib Lewis Unit in East Texas, and Leah Jacobs, an analyst in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

It’s time to register for FunD Run/Walk

The 2017 UTMB School of Health Professions FunD Run/Walk is March 4. The event is the main fundraiser for student scholarships for the school and is conducted in conjunction with fitTRIrun/FTR Race Management, based on Galveston Island. The fifth annual event will start with a children’s 1K at 7:45 a.m. followed by a 5K wheelchair race at 8:05 a.m. The 5K run begins at 8:15 a.m. with the 5K walk immediately following the runners. Early registration is through Feb. 10. For more information on sponsoring or registering, visit or call 409-772-3006.

Melby new director of infectious diseases

Dr. Peter Melby is the new director of the division of infectious diseases. Melby, an internationally recognized expert on the immunity and pathogenesis of neglected tropical diseases, joined UTMB in 2010 as a professor in the division of Infectious Diseases and director of UTMB’s Center for Tropical Diseases, which he will continue to lead. A former faculty member of the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, Melby studies mechanisms of immunity and immune evasion by infectious agents, new diagnostic tests for neglected tropical diseases and the role of malnutrition in susceptibility to infection. He is an advocate for the study of diseases that disproportionately affect economically disadvantaged people throughout the world and is currently engaged in research in East Africa and Latin America.

Tesh featured on panel about neglected infections

Dr. Robert Tesh last week was a featured panelist at the annual conference of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas held in San Antonio. Tesh, a professor in UTMB’s Department of Pathology, is an expert on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of anthropod-borne and zoonotic viral diseases. Tesh was on a panel that addressed the issue of neglected infections. Tesh also is director of the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses, which contains more than 7,000 anthropod-borne, rodent-borne and other zoonotic and human viruses.