Bruick honored as rising star in Texas research

Dr. Richard Bruick, Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Dr. Richard Bruick, Associate Professor of Biochemistry

By Deborah Wormser

The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) selected Dr. Richard Bruick, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center, as one of four recipients of the 2014 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards, which recognize rising Texas researchers.

Dr. Bruick, who studies factors that affect the critical iron and oxygen balance in cells, was honored Jan. 16 during TAMEST’s 11th annual conference near Austin.

TAMEST presents Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards each year – in medicine, science, engineering, and technological innovation – to recognize Texas researchers whose work exemplifies excellence in advancing understanding of important unmet needs. Each award consists of a $25,000 honorarium, a citation, a trophy, and an invitation to speak at the conference.

“The O’Donnell Awards highlight some of the most promising research being carried out in Texas today,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. “In defining some of the most critical determinants regulating basic cell function, Dr. Bruick’s discoveries can serve as a foundation for development of new therapeutic paradigms with potential impact in a range of disorders.”

Dr. Bruick, honored in the medicine field,  researches cellular responses to maintain oxygen and iron homeostasis that have helped lay the foundation for the development of small molecule therapeutics. These hold the potential to provide improved treatments for anemia, renal cancers, and iron overload disorders.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award, which reflects the efforts of many talented lab members and colleagues. I’m incredibly grateful for the support my work has received at UT Southwestern, starting with my postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Biochemistry Chair Dr. Steven McKnight,” said Dr. Bruick. “Our studies have greatly benefited from the vision of UT Southwestern leaders, who created resources such as the High Throughput Screening (HTS) facility, providing us with opportunities to move our basic science discoveries toward clinical applications.”

Dr. Bruick said the HTS facility, which makes it possible to sort through hundreds of thousands of chemicals for those with favorable attributes, is just one of several shared facilities across campus that allow researchers access to advanced technology that would be prohibitively expensive for any one researcher, particularly for early-career investigators.

The awards, first presented in 2006, are named in honor of the O’Donnells, who are among the state’s staunchest advocates for excellence in scientific advancement and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

Dr. Bruick is a Michael L. Rosenberg Scholar in Biomedical Research.

Dr. McKnight holds the Sam G. Winstead and F. Andrew Bell Distinguished Chair in Biochemistry, and the Distinguished Chair in Basic Biomedical Research.

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

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