Newsmakers — March 28-31, 2011

Dr. Richard Auchus, professor of internal medicine and holder of the Charles A. and Elizabeth Ann Sanders Chair in Translational Research, recently received the Pioneer Award from the Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Research Education and Support (CARES) Foundation Inc. Since its founding in 2000, the nonprofit group has persuaded all 50 states and many countries to implement lifesaving newborn screening for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) and to expand screening for many other diseases as well. Dr. Auchus, whose research focuses on steroid and sterol biosynthesis and action, joined the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee of the foundation in 2008. His clinical interests include pituitary, adrenal and reproductive diseases that involve disorders of steroid production. With CARES, Dr. Auchus has made major contributions to developing guidelines for Comprehensive Care Centers to manage patients with CAH throughout their lifetime, and he has co-sponsored efforts to equip emergency response vehicles in Texas with parenteral hydrocortisone administration protocols for patients with CAH and adrenal insufficiency. Dr. Auchus completed his medical degree and doctorate in pharmacology at Washington University and joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1999.

Dr. Ilya Bezprozvanny, professor of physiology, has been named holder of the Carl J. and Hortense M. Thomsen Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research for his “outstanding contributions in Alzheimer’s research,” said Dr. J. Gregory Fitz, executive vice president for academic affairs, provost and dean of the medical school. The endowed chair was established in 1990 by longtime philanthropists Carl J. “Tommy” Thomsen and his first wife, Hortense “Cissy” McClure. Dr. Bezprozvanny’s research focuses on calcium signaling, neurodegeneration and synaptic function, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease. He completed his master’s degree in physics from Leningrad Polytechnical Institute in 1988 and his doctorate in cell biology from the Institute of Cytology Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg in 1992. Dr. Bezprozvanny completed postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford University Medical Center and the University of Connecticut Health Center and joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1996.

Ruben Esquivel, vice president for community and corporate relations, received the 2010-2011 Oak Cliff Lions Club Bill Melton Humanitarian Award recently. The award, first presented in 1978 to then-Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry, has been presented to several honorees with UT Southwestern ties, including Ruth Altshuler, the late Paul M. Bass, Nancy Brinker, H. Ross Perot, T. Boone Pickens and the late Dr. Charles Sprague, former president of UT Southwestern. Mr. Esquivel, a member of the Oak Cliff Lions Club, currently serves as chairman of the State Fair of Texas and Baylor Oral Health Foundation, as vice chairman of the Stemmons Corridor Business Association and Dallas Symphony Association, and with numerous other civic organizations.

Dr. Lisa Halvorson, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, received the President’s Achievement Award from the Society for Gynecologic Investigation, a leading organization in the reproductive sciences and women’s health with 1,187 members throughout the world. The award, made annually to a member “whose record in scientific investigation is outstanding and assures a continued productive career in research,” was presented at the society’s annual meeting March 18 in Miami Beach, Fla., and includes a monetary gift of $2,000. “Receiving this award is a great honor and reflects the support that I have received from my department and the institution throughout my time at
UT Southwestern,” Dr. Halvorson said. “It is particularly gratifying to have my work recognized by long-term colleagues and collaborators.” Dr. Halvorson focuses her research on anterior pituitary gland function and reproductive aging. A 1982 graduate of Vassar College, she completed her medical degree at Johns Hopkins University in 1987. She served postdoctoral fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and New England Medical Center. Dr. Halvorson joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2002.

The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine recently named Dr. Dean Sherry, director of the Advanced Imaging Research Center, to fellowship status. Dr. Sherry will receive the Fellowship Award at the group’s annual meeting in May in Montreal. He holds a joint appointment at UT Southwestern and UT Dallas, where he is a professor of chemistry and holder of the Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair in Systems Biology. He founded a company, Macrocyclics, which provides biomedical research materials to academic and industrial labs worldwide. Dr. Sherry joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1990.

March 28-31, 2011 /