Dr. Barbara Sanford remembered through award and teaching fund
Dr. Barbara Sanford joined the faculty in the Department of Microbiology at the Health Science Center in 1968, educating more than 5,000 medical, dental and graduate students during her 32 years at the university until her death this spring at the age of 58.
A native of Hayes, La., Dr. Sanford received a bachelor's degree from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. Her interest in science led her to complete a master's degree and earn a Ph.D. at the Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.
Dr. Sanford was a nationally and internationally recognized researcher, studying the antigenic variation in human cancer cells, the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus as a serious complication of viral influenza and the science of the microbial biofilm formation. Even with her success as an investigator, her real love remained teaching.
Dr. Sanford co-directed the medical microbiology curriculum with Dr. Virginia Thomas, microbiology. She was a two-time winner of the institution's Gender Equity Award for pre-clinical education, which was recently renamed the Dr. Barbara Sanford Gender Equity Award to honor her memory. She also was well known for her microbiology book The Integrator Series in Microbiology, which she co-authored with Dr. Thomas.
"As a former student, I think one of the most important things to say about Dr. Sanford is what an impact her teaching had on the lives of so many students," said Dr. Sally Atherton, professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology and an alumna of the Health Science Center. "She influenced the critical thinking of thousands of students and she received numerous honors for her teaching excellence in microbiology."
Dr. Sanford passed away March 24 following a battle with cancer. At the time of her death, she was an active volunteer at the San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries shelter for the homeless and a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of San Antonio. She also was a member of the Pilot Club of San Antonio, a community service organization.
The Department of Microbiology has established the Dr. Barbara A. Sanford Teaching Fund. Individuals interested in contributing to the fund should contact the department at ext. 7-3939.