Newsmakers - August

Three UT Southwestern doctors have been elected members of the American Society for Clinical Investigation: Dr. Preet Chaudhary, associate professor of internal medicine and molecular biology; Dr. Jonathan Graff, associate professor in the Center for Developmental Biology and of molecular biology; and Dr. Chandra Mohan, associate professor of internal medicine and in the Center for Immunology.

The society, established in 1908, comprises more than 2,700 physician-scientists from all medical specialties. Members are elected based on their scholarly achievements in biomedical research.

The society considers the nominations of several hundred physician-scientists from the United States and abroad every year and annually elects up to 80 new members. Members must be younger than 46 years old. This year, 64 new members were elected to the ASCI at the society's recent annual meeting in Chicago.


Dr. G. Patrick Clagett, chairman of vascular surgery, was recently elected to the Distinguished Fellows Council of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS).

The council consists of four SVS leaders who oversee the activities of the fellows, a select group of individuals who have made notable academic and scientific contributions to the field of vascular disease. The society is the largest national and international organization of surgeons devoted to the diagnosis and management of vascular disease.

Dr. Clagett is holder of the Jan and Bob Pickens Distinguished Professorship in Medical Science, in Memory of Jerry Knight Rymer and Annette Brannon Rymer and Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Pickens.


Dr. Michael Devous, professor of radiology, was presented with the Kuhl-Lassen Award by the Brain Imaging Council of the Society of Nuclear Medicine at its recent meeting in Philadelphia. The award -  the highest honor given by the Brain Imaging Council - recognizes researchers' contributions to the advancement of functional brain imaging using Single Photon Emission Tomography and Positron Emission Tomography. The annual award is named for two pioneers in functional brain imaging, Dr. David Kuhl and Dr. Nils Lassen.


Two leading cancer specialists, Drs. Yadro Ducic and Jerry L. Barker Jr., have been named co-directors of the head and neck clinic at the UT Southwestern Moncrief Cancer Center in Fort Worth.

Dr. Ducic is a widely known facial plastic, skull bone, and head and neck surgeon. He is associate professor of otolaryngology - head and neck surgery at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Barker, a radiation oncologist, was recruited to Moncrief in 2003 following completion of his fellowship in head and neck oncology at UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Barker is a clinical assistant professor of radiation oncology at UT Southwestern.

The Moncrief Head and Neck Cancer Clinic, based at Moncrief's flagship facility at 1450 Eighth Ave., offers a highly specialized approach to treat some of cancer's most challenging cases.


Dr. David Hillis, vice chairman of internal medicine, has been named a member of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's (NCCAM) National Advisory Council.

The 18-member council, appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, meets three times a year to offer advice and recommendations to the NCCAM on research, training and prioritizing projects.

Dr. Hillis, holder of the James M. Wooten Chair in Cardiology, has done extensive research on patients with ischemic, valvular and congenital heart disease, and has performed a series of studies on how cocaine affects the heart. Dr. Hillis has written more than 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and 50 book chapters and review articles. He is the primary author of Manual of Clinical Problems in Cardiology and serves on the editorial boards of The New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation and American Journal of Cardiology.


Dr. Larry Irvin, former clinical assistant professor of internal medicine, has been awarded a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Home Care Physicians (AAHCP).

Dr. Irvin, who died in March from complications of cancer, was honored for his work to serve the senior citizens of Dallas County. Among other programs and services, he founded the Senior House Calls Geriatric Outreach Program for Parkland Health & Hospital System. The service provided medical care for the homebound, indigent elderly.

The academy noted Dr. Irvin's compassionate and respectful care for patients and their families. Dr. Irvin's truck was a familiar sight and well known in city neighborhoods by patients and caregivers alike, according to the AAHCP. His 2001 description of the impact of the Parkland program won him an AAHCP Best Poster Award.


Dr. David Mangelsdorf, professor of pharmacology and biochemistry, received the 2004 Gerald D. Aurbach Award from the Endocrine Society in June during the organization's annual meeting in New Orleans. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to research in endocrinology. As the award winner, Dr. Mangelsdorf presented a lecture during the meeting on the role of LXR nuclear receptors in regulating lipid metabolism.

Dr. Mangelsdorf is the 1998 recipient of the Endocrine Society's Richard E. Weitzman Memorial Award, given to an exceptionally promising young investigator.

He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and holds the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science. His research interests include the molecular biology of orphan nuclear receptors, the role of nuclear receptors in lipid metabolism, and transcription factors and gene expression.


Dr. Steven McKnight, chairman of biochemistry, received the 2004 Wilfred T. Doherty Award from the Dallas/Fort Worth section of the American Chemical Society. The award - for significant achievement in research, teaching and service in the chemical field - is the highest sectional honor bestowed.

Dr. McKnight, who holds the Sam G. Winstead and F. Andrew Bell Distinguished Chair in Biochemistry and Distinguished Chair in Basic Biomedical Research, is only the fifth biochemist to win the Doherty Award, out of 34 recipients. He will receive the award during the ACS' Southwest Regional Meeting this fall. Dr. McKnight's research focuses on gene-specific transcription factors and is aimed at understanding the regulation of transcription factor function at a biochemical level.


Dr. Clifford L. Simmang, director of colon and rectal surgery at UT Southwestern, recently was appointed an American Medical Association representative of the Residency Review Committee for Colon and Rectal Surgery.

The committee - with representation from the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, and the AMA - maintains the quality of graduate medical education in colon and rectal surgery. Dr. Simmang, associate professor of GI/endocrine surgery, will serve a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2005.


Dr. Diane M. Twickler, professor of radiology and obstetrics and gynecology, was recently inducted into the American College of Radiology as a fellow during the organization's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Dr. Twickler holds the Dr. Fred Bonte Professorship in Radiology and is active in the Dallas County Medical Society and other medical societies.

Fellowship is one of the highest honors conferred by the American College of Radiology, a national nonprofit association serving more than 32,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists. About 10 percent of members are selected for fellowship.


Dr. Jonathan C. Weissler, chief of pulmonary/critical care medicine, has been elected president of the Association of Subspecialty Professors (ASP).

The ASP is the national organization of subspecialty internal medicine divisions at medical schools in the United States. The major mission of the ASP is to promote proper training of subspecialists and to interact with organizations such as the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

The ASP is the third national academic organization that Dr. Weissler has been president of in the last decade. Dr. Weissler, holder of the James M. Collins Professorship in Biomedical Research and director of the Collins Center for Biomedical Research, has also headed the American Federation for Clinical Research and the Association of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Program Directors. His research focuses on regulation of surfactant protein production.