Commencement 2013: Kirch, Mangelsdorf to speak

AAMC President to address Medical School; Pharmacology Chair to talk to Graduate School

By Lin Lofley 

Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and Dr. David Mangelsdorf, Chair of Pharmacology, will deliver commencement addresses to the 2013 graduating classes of the UT Southwestern Medical School and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Darrell G. Kirch
Darrell Kirch, M.D.

Dr. Kirch will address graduates of the Medical School. Dr. Mangelsdorf will speak to degree recipients of the Graduate School.

The Graduate School exercises will be held at 7 p.m. May 30 in the Tom and Lula Gooch Auditorium on the South Campus. Medical School ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. May 31 at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House in downtown Dallas.

Dr. Kirch, a Denver native who earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Colorado, has headed the AAMC since 2006. Before that, he served six years as Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Dean of the College of Medicine, and Chief Executive Officer of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at The Pennsylvania State University.

The AAMC is a not-for-profit association representing all 141 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; almost 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems; and 90 academic and scientific societies.

David Mangelsdorf
David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D.

Dr. Mangelsdorf, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and 2012 recipient of the Rolf Luft Award for advances in diabetes and endocrinology research, studies the mechanism of action of orphan nuclear receptors.

“I plan to talk to the graduates about the challenges that lie ahead for researchers,” he said. “These are uncertain times for us all, but our graduates hold a remarkable advantage in their training at UT Southwestern. I intend to reinforce that for them.”

Dr. Mangelsdorf earned his undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University and his doctorate from the University of Arizona. After postdoctoral studies at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, he came to UT Southwestern Medical Center in 1993.

Degrees will be conferred upon 221 medical students and 111 graduate students by Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern.

The Physician’s Oath will be administered by Dr. Cynthia Sherry, President of the Dallas County Medical Society and a member of the UT Southwestern Class of 1983.

Graduation marshals for the Medical School will be Associate Deans for Student Affairs Dr. Angela Mihalic, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Dr. James Wagner, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine. Other marshals are Dr. Mark Agostini, Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics; Dr. Dennis Burns, Professor of Pathology; Dr. David Greenberg, Associate Program Director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology; and Dr. Amit Shah, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine.

Graduate School marshals will be Assistant Deans Dr. Deirdre Brekken, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pharmacology; Dr. Lisa Gardner, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology; and Dr. Stuart Ravnik, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology. Also serving as marshals will be Dr. Nancy Street, Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Assistant Professor of Microbiology; and Dr. Andrew Zinn, Associate Dean for the Medical Scientist Training Program and Professor of Internal Medicine in the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development.

Dr. Kern Wildenthal, former President of UT Southwestern, will present Southwestern Medical Foundation’s annual Ho Din Award – the top award given to a graduating medical student – to Dr. David Leverenz.


Dr. Burns holds the Jane B. and Edwin P. Jenevein, M.D. Chair in Pathology.

Dr. Mangelsdorf holds the Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Molecular Neuropharmacology in Honor of Harold B. Crasilneck, Ph.D., and the Distinguished Chair in Pharmacology.

Dr. Podolsky holds the Philip O’Brian Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.