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Faculty, staff honored with 2012 Presidential Awards

Posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2012 · Volume: XLV · Issue: 3

President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, (center with blue tie) congratulates the 2012 Presidential Award winners. Each honoree will be featured during the year in the HSC Express section of the portal.
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President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, (center with blue tie) congratulates the 2012 Presidential Award winners. Each honoree will be featured during the year in the HSC Express section of the portal. clear graphic

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By Rosanne Fohn

Sixteen faculty and staff members of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio received the university’s highest honor on Feb. 2 — a Presidential Award ― for outstanding work. The awards were presented at a dinner held at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade, to which the honorees invited family, friends and colleagues.

“Tonight we are celebrating 16 outstanding faculty and staff members who contribute, day in and day out, to our work of making lives better,” said Health Science Center President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP.

“As recipients of the Presidential Awards, you represent exceptional achievement in your fields. Through your creativity, perseverance and leadership, you elevate our Health Science Center as a beacon of hope for the sick, an exciting home for faculty pursuits and a stimulating environment for students. Congratulations on your accomplishments,” President Henrich said.
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Awards were presented in five categories:

Presidential Distinguished Scholar Award
Joel B. Baseman, Ph.D.
, was awarded the university’s highest honor, the Presidential Distinguished Scholar Award. Dr. Baseman is chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine.

The award recognizes a scholar who has made a significant contribution to the body of knowledge in the field of research.

In addition to having been chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology for 31 years, Dr. Baseman is a pioneer in the field of airway disease research. Among his many findings is one of special note, a toxin produced by a common respiratory bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma pneumoniae. This toxin is incredibly common — half the population has it — and it is spread like the common cold. It causes acute and chronic lung disease in pediatric, adolescent, adult and elderly patients and is thought to cause as many as 40 percent of all asthma cases. It is a significant threat to public health.

Dr. Baseman’s research is funded by an $11.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and from several other funding sources. He directs the San Antonio Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Center.

Presidential Junior Research Scholar Award
Salvatore Oddo, Ph.D.
, assistant professor in the Department of Physiology in the School of Medicine, was presented the second-highest honor, the Presidential Junior Research Scholar Award. The award honors remarkable investigators who began their independent research within the past five years

Dr. Oddo has authored or co-authored 57 articles, and he has made significant contributions in the understanding of neurodegeneration with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease. He developed a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease that is used in hundreds of labs, and its development is considered one of the most important steps toward the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and its treatment.

Additional award winners include:

Presidential Teaching Excellence Award
  • Constance L. Fry, M.D., associate professor and residency program director, Department of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Ophthalmic Oncology, School of Medicine;
  • Margit B. Gerardi, Ph.D., RN, WHNP, assistant professor, Family and Community Health Systems, School of Nursing, and Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine;
  • Linda M. McManus, Ph.D. , Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, and professor, Department of Periodontics, Dental School;
  • Kathleen A. Reeves, M.S.N., RN, CNS, CMSRN, CNE, clinical associate professor, Health Restoration & Care Systems Management, School of Nursing;
  • Nhung Tran, M.D., FAAP, assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine; and
  • Blaine Trautwein, Ed.D., CED, assistant professor and program director, Deaf Education and Hearing Science program, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine.
Presidential Clinical Excellence Award
  • Luis F. Angel, M.D., associate professor, director of lung transplantation, director of interventional pulmonary, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine/UT Medicine San Antonio;
  • Carlayne E. Jackson, M.D., FAAN, professor, departments of Neurology and Otolaryngology, and assistant dean for ambulatory services, School of Medicine, and chief medical officer, UT Medicine San Antonio; and
  • Martha P. Schatz, M.D. , assistant professor, Pediatric Ophthalmology/Neuro-ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, UT Medicine San Antonio.
Presidential Employee Excellence in Service Award
  • Teresita D. Carrillo, COT, clinic manager, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine;
  • JoAnn Lieberman, CPS, academic programs coordinator, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine;
  • Lupita Martinez, LMSW, social worker, CTRC Patient and Family Services, School of Medicine;
  • John R. Ramos, supervisor, Animal Care, Department of Lab Animal Resources, Office of the Vice President for Research; and
  • Janice L. Smith, assistant to the dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Look for stories about each of the Presidential Award winners throughout the year in the HSC Express section of the UT Health Science Center portal.

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