Newsmakers — August 2011

Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel, vice chairman of plastic surgery, was named president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) at the group’s annual convention in Boston. “It is a tremendous honor to be involved with this organization. Its mission is right in line with my passion for education,” Dr. Kenkel said. “As an academic plastic surgeon I hope to highlight the importance of aesthetic surgery education in our training programs.” The 2,600-member society is the leading professional organization of plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who specialize in cosmetic plastic surgery. Its members focus on medical education and research through sponsoring scientific meetings, disseminating information on aesthetic surgical techniques and promoting patient safety. Dr. Kenkel received his medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine after graduating from Boston College. After completing his general surgery residency at Georgetown, he obtained his plastic surgery training at UT Southwestern, finishing in 1996 and accepting a faculty position that same year. He heads the Clinical Center for Cosmetic Laser Treatment and is chief of plastic surgery at the University Hospitals.

Dr. George Lister, chairman of pediatrics, received the 2011 Joseph W. St. Geme Jr. Leadership Award at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Denver. The award, given by the Federation of Pediatric Organizations, is designed to honor the life, work and memory of the late Dr. Joseph St. Geme Jr., former executive chairman of pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and dean of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center’s School of Medicine. Dr. Lister, who is also pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, said he was deeply honored and flattered to receive this recognition from his peers. “The fact that this award is selected by the seven organizations that represent all realms of American pediatrics and work together for common purposes is particularly meaningful to me,” he said. Dr. Lister's work on oxygen transport during postnatal development provided a rational basis for the care of critically ill children in a specialty he helped establish more than 30 years ago. In 1992 the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development appointed him chairman of the Collaborative Home Infant Monitoring Evaluation, a multicenter program to study home monitoring for sudden infant death syndrome. That program changed national policy for management of infants at risk. Dr. Lister came to UT Southwestern in 2003.

Dr. Orhan K. Oz, associate professor of radiology, has been named holder of the Wechun Pak Professorship of Bone Biophysics. The Charles Y.C. Pak Foundation established the professorship in 1994. Dr. Oz’s research uses imaging, molecular, and cell biology techniques to understand the pathophysiology of metabolic bone disease. One area of investigation focuses on how estrogens control bone quantity, quality, and its metabolism. Transgenic mice are used as model systems. The aim of this work is to understand how estrogen deficiency leads to low bone mass and fragility. A second area of investigation uses CT and PET imaging to quantify the effect of radiation therapy on bone mass and metabolism using a mini-pig model. Knowledge acquired from these projects may lead to better therapies for osteoporosis and osteopenia. Dr. Oz joined the UT Southwestern faculty as an assistant professor in 1996 after completing the radiology residency program. He holds a Ph.D. in biophysics and a medical degree from Stanford University.

Dr. Amit Pandya has been named holder of the Dr. J. B. Shelmire Professorship in Dermatology. The professorship was established in 1968 in honor of one of Dallas’ first major leaders in the field . Dr. Pandya, professor of dermatology, directs the department’s clinical studies section. Well-respected for his clinical research in autoimmune blistering diseases, cutaneous lymphomas, and pigmentary abnormalities, Dr. Pandya has earned numerous honors, including being named Outstanding Teacher at UT Southwestern 11 different times and election to the medical center’s Southwestern Academy of Teachers. He earned his medical degree at UT Southwestern in 1985, and completed a residency in internal medicine at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas in 1988 and a residency in dermatology at UT Southwestern in 1991.

Dr. Claus Roehrborn, professor and chair of urology, has been appointed to the S.T. Harris Family Chair in Medical Science, in Honor of John D. McConnell, M.D. The endowment, established in 2000 by a gift from the Harris Family Foundation, supports the work of a prominent researcher in urology. “To receive this appointment has special meaning,” said Dr. Roehrborn, “since Dr. McConnell brought about significant changes by establishing departmental status for urology and moving from a modestly sized clinical practice to a fully integrated academic department with basic and translational research activities. It is the path that I have been fortunate to follow and expand upon during my tenure as chair.” Dr. Roehrborn is involved in basic, translational and clinical research in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. He has conducted numerous trials in the areas of medical management, minimally invasive and surgical treatment for lower urinary tract symptoms and BPH as well as prostate cancer. He has authored or coauthored nearly 350 peer reviewed publications, serves on many editorial boards and is a frequent international lecturer. His clinical activities also involve research in various aspects of prostate cancer, tumor marker research and outcomes from urological interventions.  Dr. Roehrborn completed his medical degree at the Justus Liebig University Medical School in Giessen, Germany, and began his residency in surgery and urology at the German Army Hospital in Giessen. He continued his urology residency at UT Southwestern, won an AFUD Scholarship and worked for two years with Dr. Jean Wilson in the field of androgen regulation of prostate development and growth. In 1992 he joined the urology faculty at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Neil Rofsky, chairman of radiology, was recently inducted as a Fellow by the American College of Radiology. Dr. Rofsky’s induction took place at the group’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Fellowship is one of the highest honors the ACR can bestow on a radiologist, radiation oncologist or medical physicist. Dr. Rofsky joined the UT Southwestern faculty last year, coming from Harvard Medical School as an internationally acclaimed radiologist with specific expertise in body magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance angiography and translational research. He has a joint appointment in the Advanced Imaging Research Center and holds the Effie and Wofford Cain Distinguished Chair in Diagnostic Imaging.

Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, associate professor of internal medicine, has received The Endocrine Society’s International Award for Excellence in Published Clinical Research for work published last year in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The work found that the hormone aldosterone appears to moonlight as a major stimulator of the brain centers that control the vascular system and blood pressure. Dr. Vongpatanasin, holder of the Norman and Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension Research, completed an internship, residency and fellowship at UT Southwestern before joining the faculty. Other UT Southwestern faculty members involved in the work include Drs. Andrew Kontak, Zhongyun Wang and Shawna Nesbitt, as well as Debbie Arbique, Beverley Adams-Huet and former faculty members Drs. Richard Auchus and Ronald Victor.

Dr. George Wendel Jr. professor of obstetrics and gynecology, has been named holder of the Norman F. Gant Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The endowment was established in 2010 by contributions from various donors in honor of Dr. Gant, a well-respected clinician, basic science researcher, teacher and administrator who was chair of obstetrics and gynecology from 1977 to 1983. Dr. Wendel, who also directs the obstetrics and gynecology residency program, has research interests that include infectious diseases in pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and maternal-fetal medicine. He received his medical degree from St. Louis University Medical School and completed his residency and a maternal-fetal medicine fellowship at UT Southwestern before joining the faculty in 1984. Dr. Wendel will continue to hold the Alvin ‘Bud’ Brekken Professorship in Obstetrics & Gynecology until Aug. 31.