Newsmakers – September 2013
Dr. Kim Orth, Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been appointed holder of the Earl A. Forsythe Chair in Biomedical Science. A faculty member since 2001, Dr. Orth has identified previously unknown mechanisms by which invading bacteria hijack and deregulate a cell’s signaling systems, cutting off its ability to communicate with immune system cells. Her work has led to a new understanding of the fundamental mechanisms human cells use for survival, and it has important implications in medicine, especially in understanding and potentially treating infectious diseases. Dr. Orth, a graduate of Texas A&M University and a W.W. Caruth Jr. Scholar in Medical Research at UT Southwestern, earned her doctorate at UT Southwestern in 1993 before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan. Dr. Orth’s honors and recognitions include the 2012 Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; the 2011 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Science from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas; and the 2010 Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research, presented by The Welch Foundation.
Dr. Dinesh Rakheja, Associate Professor of Pathology and Pediatrics, has been named holder of the John Lawrence and Patsy Louise Goforth Distinguished Professorship in Pathology. Dr. Rakheja studies the genetics and metabolism of childhood cancer, including Wilms tumor, germ cell tumors, hepatoblastoma, brain tumors, and pediatric sarcomas of bone and soft tissue. He has specific interests in tumor tissue banking, establishing primary pediatric cancer cell lines, and developing laboratory assays for diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic targets in pediatric cancers. Dr. Rakheja earned his medical degree at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. He trained in gastrointestinal pathology and neuropathology as a senior resident (fellow equivalent) at G.B. Pant Hospital (Delhi University) and completed a pediatric pathology fellowship at UT Southwestern/Children’s Medical Center Dallas in 2006.