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18 Graduate School faculty members honored at endowment luncheon

Faculty endowment holders receive medals in recognition of exemplary service

December 19, 2022 By: Meredith Raine

18 Graduate School faculty members honored at endowment luncheon
Kevin A. Morano, PhD, with Sharon Y.R. Dent, PhD, at the endowment luncheon

In this season of gratitude and giving, UTHealth Houston celebrated faculty endowment holders and honored the generous benefactors who created those endowments to propel the university’s mission forward.

During a luncheon hosted by Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, MD, UTHealth Houston president and Alkek-Williams Distinguished Chair, members of the university’s executive leadership welcomed distinguished faculty members who have been appointed to endowed positions between 2019 and 2022.

The luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Cooley University Life Center was the first in-person event honoring faculty endowment holders since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Take a look around the room,” said Kevin A. Morano, PhD, senior vice president and chief academic officer ad interim. “You all represent the best of the best researchers, educators, and clinicians who have earned the prestigious honor of holding an endowment. We thank you for your amazing contributions to the communities we serve.”

“We also want to thank the benefactors who created these endowments,” Morano said. “They saw that through their generosity, they could spark progress that saves and improves lives.”

Endowments are permanent funds designated for a specific purpose by the donors who create them with gifts to the university. During fiscal year 2022 alone, gifts from donors created 66 new endowed funds for a total of 840 across the university.

“Today, we recognize you – the beneficiaries of this generosity,” Morano said. “Your ongoing pursuit of excellence helps train the health professionals of tomorrow, advance research that changes lives for the better, and serve our communities through patient-centered outreach and care.”

After lunch, Richard Andrassy, MD, senior vice president for clinical and faculty affairs, presented each faculty member with a medal in recognition of exemplary service. Andrassy himself is the beneficiary of multiple endowments. He holds the Jack H. Mayfield, MD, Distinguished University Chair in Surgery and the Denton A. Cooley, MD, Chair in Surgery.

For more information on endowments and how they help to advance the mission of UTHealth Houston, visit this Ways to Give webpage.

Listed below are the faculty endowment holders honored at the luncheon. The names in bold font are faculty members of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Visit the photo gallery webpage for pictures of the event.

  • Ronald E. Acierno, PhD
    Louis A. Faillace, MD, Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Ore-Ofeoluwatomi O. Adesina, MD
    John P. McGovern, MD, Distinguished Professorship in Ophthalmology
  • Mary E. Aitken, MD, MPH
    Dan L Duncan Distinguished University Chair in Pediatrics
  • Shervin Assassi, MD, MS
    Dr. Noranna B. Warner Endowed Chair in the Division of Rheumatology
    George S. Bruce, Jr. Professorship in Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases
  • Bijal A. Balasubramanian, MBBS, PhD
    The Rockwell Distinguished Chair in Society and Health
  • Pamela D. Berens, MD
    Dr. John T. Armstrong Professorship in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Sean C. Blackwell, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Wei Cao, PhD
    Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Distinguished Professorship
  • Nathan Carlin, PhD, MA, MDiv
    John P. McGovern, MD, Chair in Medical Humanities
  • Peng Roc Chen, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Martin J. Citardi, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Jessica S. Coviello, DNP, RN
    Patricia L. Starck/PARTNERS Endowed Professorship in Nursing
  • Charles S. Cox, Jr., MD
    Glassell Family Distinguished Chair
  • April Crawford, PhD
    Meg and Dick Weekley Distinguished Chair in Childhood Reading and Learning
    Michael Matthew Knight Memorial Professorship in Pediatrics
  • Christopher S. Daniel, MD, DDS
    Nguyen-Thang Family Professorship in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Radbod Darabi, MD, PhD
    Jerold B. Katz Distinguished Professorship in Stem Cell Research
  • Charles Darkoh, PhD
    R. Palmer Beasley, MD, and Lu-Yu Hwang, MD, Chair
  • Nagi M. Demian, MD, DDS
    Thomas M. Weil Professorship in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Sharon Y.R. Dent, PhD
    John P. McGovern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    Endowed Distinguished Professorship
  • Carmen W. Dessauer, PhD
    John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Distinguished Chair
  • Maja Djukic, PhD, RN
    John P. McGovern Distinguished Professorship in the School of Nursing
  • Robert M. Feldman, MD
    Eunise Hermes Davidson Distinguished University Chair
  • Erin E. Furr Stimming, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Xin Ge, PhD
    Kay and Ben Fortson Distinguished Chair in Neurodegenerative
    Disease Research
  • Matthew R. Greives, MD
    Dr. Thomas D. Cronin Chair in Plastic Surgery
  • John F. Hancock, MA, MB, BChir, PhD, ScD
    H. Wayne Hightower Distinguished Professorship in the Medical Sciences
  • Adelaide A. Hebert, MD
    Cornelia and Meredith Long Professorship in Pediatric Dermatology
  • Daphne C. Hernandez, PhD, MSEd
    Lee and Joseph Jamail Distinguished Professorship in the School of Nursing
  • Linda Highfield, PhD
    Distinguished Chair in Population Health
  • Deepa A. Iyengar, MD, MPH
    Stanley G. Schultz, MD, Endowed Professorship in Global Health
  • Vasanthi Jayaraman, PhD
    John S. Dunn Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Biswajit Kar, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Amir M. Khan, MD
    Richard Warren Mithoff Professorship in Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine
  • Manickam Kumaravel, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • James R. Langabeer, PhD
    Robert H. Graham Professorship in Entrepreneurial Biomedical Informatics and Bioengineering
  • David A. Lee, MD
    Susan and Richard Anderson Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology
  • Jessica L. Lee, MD
    Carmel Bitondo Dyer, MD, Chair in Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
  • Yafen Liang, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Samuel D. Luber, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Charles L. Maddow, MD
    Wyatt Ranches Distinguished Professorship in Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
  • Christine Markham, PhD
    Allan King Professorship in Public Health
  • Kenneth B. Mathis, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Nami McCarty, PhD
    Annie and Bob Graham Distinguished Chair in Stem Cell Biology
  • Timothy J. McCulley, MD
    Richard S. Ruiz, MD, Distinguished University Chair
  • Michelle K. McNutt, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Alanna C. Morrison, PhD
    Thomas Stull Matney, PhD, Endowed Professorship in Environmental and Genetic Sciences
  • John W. Munz, MD
    Rochelle and Max Levit Chair in Orthopedic Surgery
  • Aanand D. Naik, MD
    Nancy P. and Vincent F. Guinee, MD, Distinguished Chair
  • Ana C. Candia Solari Neumann, DDS, PhD, MPH
    Gene C. Stevenson Distinguished Professorship in Dental Education
  • Nghia D. Nguyen, MD
    Dr. John D. and Carol J. Milam Chair in Pathology
  • Hope Northrup, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Gustavo S. Oderich, MD
    John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Distinguished Chair
  • Luis Z. Ostrosky, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Sheng Pan, PhD
    Rochelle and Max Levit Chair in the Neurosciences
  • Anilkumar Pillai, PhD
    Louis A. Faillace, MD, Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Pamela A. Promecene, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Elda G. Ramirez, PhD, RN
    Dorothy T. Nicholson Distinguished Professorship
  • John Rasmussen, PhD
    The Carolyn Frost Keenan Professorship in Cardiovascular Disease Research
  • Nahid J. Rianon, MBBS, DrPH
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • John W. Riggs, MD
    The Patricia and Ian Butler Endowed Professorship in Medical Professionalism
  • Leissa A. Roberts, DNP
    Judy Fred Professorship in Nursing
  • Emily K. Robinson, MD
    Memorial Hermann Chair
  • Diane M. Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN
    The Jane and Robert Cizik Distinguished Chair
    Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in Nursing Education Leadership
  • Joy M. Schmitz, PhD
    Louis A. Faillace, MD, Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Manish N. Shah, MD
    William J. Devane Distinguished Professorship
  • Nitin Tandon, MD
    Nancy, Clive and Pierce Runnells Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience of the Vivian L. Smith Center for Neurologic Research
    BCMS Distinguished Professorship in Neurological Disorders and Neurosurgery
  • Cui Tao, PhD
    Dr. Doris L. Ross Professorship
  • Susan Tortolero Emery, PhD, MS
    Guy S. Parcel Chair in Public Health
  • Muhammad F. Walji, PhD, MS
    Chair in Dental Informatics
  • Consuelo Walss-Bass, PhD
    John S. Dunn Foundation Distinguished Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Stephen J. Warner, MD
    Emmanuel “Manny” G. Melissinos, MD, Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Andreea S. Xavier, MD
    Wyatt Ranches Distinguished Professorship in Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
  • Hua Xu, PhD
    Glassell Family Distinguished Professorship
  • Chao H. Yeh, PhD, MSN, RN
    The Jane and Robert Cizik Distinguished Chair
  • Bing Yu, PhD
    The JLH Foundation Chair in Transplant Prevention
  • Guo-Qiang Zhang, PhD
    Distinguished Chair in Digital Innovation
  • Tricia A. Zucker, PhD
    Albert and Margaret Alkek Distinguished Chair in Early Childhood Development
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