MSTP alumna selected as Ida Green visiting professor
By Lin Lofley
Dr. Dianna M. Milewicz of UT Health Science Center at Houston, a graduate of UT Southwestern Medical Center’s inaugural Medical Scientist Training Program class in 1984, will speak on campus Feb. 5 as the Ida M. Green Distinguished Visiting Professor Honoring Women in Science and Medicine.
The event, presented annually by the Women in Science and Medicine Advisory Committee (WISMAC), will take place at 4 p.m. in the Excellence in Education Foundation Auditorium on the North Campus. Dr. Milewicz’s talk is titled “The Genetic Basis of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections: Identifying Molecular Pathways and Gene-Based Management.”
She is a Professor and Director of Medical Genetics, Vice Chair of Internal Medicine and holder of the President George H.W. Bush Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine at UT Health Science Center at Houston, where she directs the M.D./Ph.D. program there and co-directs the Biomedical Engineering Center – a joint program between UTHSC-Houston and UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr. Milewicz’ research interests include the genetic basis of cardiovascular diseases and understanding the effects of identified mutations on protein function. In particular, she is interested in genetic mutations that result in increased smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration, causing diffuse and diverse vascular diseases, and in aortic aneurysms.
After completing her internship and residency in internal medicine and a research fellowship in endocrinology and cardiology at UT Southwestern, she was a fellow in medical genetics at the University of Washington, Seattle, and joined the faculty at UTHSC-Houston in 1991.
Her awards include a Pfizer Scholars Award, the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, and the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award. A member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, she received the 1999 Anotine Marfan Award from the National Marfan Foundation. She also serves as an Associate Editor of the journal Circulation.
WISMAC annually hosts a distinguished female scientist/physician who visits campus for a two-day professorship and lecture. The organization is an institutional committee comprising appointed representatives of the faculty, staff, fellows, and student body whose goal is to promote representation and recognition for women in all campus activities.
The Southwestern Medical Foundation sponsors the Distinguished Visiting Professorship, established in honor of Ida Green, the wife of Texas Instruments co-founder Cecil H. Green. Both are now deceased. Mrs. Green was a great supporter of opening career paths for women in science and medicine and provided a major bequest to the Foundation.