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Researcher earns third honorary doctorate (11-17-99)

Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D., professor of neuroendocrinology in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, was awarded an honorary doctorate of medicine (Doctor Honoris Causa) from the University of Granada in Spain.

This is the third such honorary degree the renowned melatonin researcher has received during his more-than-35-year career. In 1990 Dr. Reiter was given an honorary doctorate of medicine from the Medical Academy of Lodz in Lodz, Poland. He received a second honorary doctorate in 1992 from the University of La Laguna in La Laguna, Spain.

Dr. Reiter is a world expert on the hormone melatonin and has devoted more than 30 years to researching the brainís pineal gland, which produces a majority of the bodyís melatonin. He also is investigating the connection between melatonin, an anti-oxidant that helps rid the body of harmful free radicals, and the aging process. He has authored 10 scientific books on melatonin and the pineal gland and has edited more than 40 others.

A graduate of Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Wake Forest, N.C., Dr. Reiter has been on staff at the Health Science Center since 1971. In 1998 he was the recipient of the inaugural Presidential Distinguished Scholar Award and has been recognized with several citations as an outstanding educator.

Among other honors, Dr. Reiter has been elected president of several international societies and was awarded the Senior U.S. Distinguished Scientist Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, from the Federal Republic of Germany. He also has been recognized with scientific accolades from universities and organizations in Hong Kong, Egypt, Poland, Spain, Finland and Japan, among many others.

"I certainly feel honored that they consider me qualified for these degrees," said Dr. Reiter. "I have been very fortunate because I have had the opportunity to train about 130 postdoctoral fellows from around the world."

Contact: Will Sansom or Heather Feldman