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University of Iowa News Release

 

June 6, 2007

UI Carver College Of Medicine To Honor Distinguished Alumni

The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine will honor the achievements of seven individuals at its 2007 Distinguished Alumni Awards presentation and luncheon Friday, June 8, in Iowa City.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor the college bestows upon its graduates. Established in 1998, this awards program recognizes former students and colleagues who have transcended their fundamental roles as health care providers, scientists and educators to become leaders in the advancement of medicine.

The awards represent three categories of distinction. The Award for Achievement recognizes UI Carver College of Medicine alumni for significant personal accomplishments in science, medicine and education. The Early Distinguished Achievement Award honors individuals who are less than 20 years removed from their medical training at Iowa and who have already achieved distinction in their fields. The Award for Service is presented to medical alumni for meritorious leadership and service in a professional capacity or to their community, state or nation.

Following are biographical sketches of this year's Distinguished Alumni Award recipients:

-- Horace Loh, Ph.D., Award for Achievement

An internationally respected investigator and educator who made significant contributions to the understanding of neurochemical mechanisms of opioids (major pain killers with addictive potential), Loh received a doctorate in biochemistry at the UI in 1965. For more than 40 years, his work has focused on the fundamental aspects of opioid drugs such as morphine. His research has provided basic knowledge about narcotic addiction as well as the molecular nature of opioid receptors, and the pharmacology and functions of endogenous opioid peptides. Today Loh is professor and head of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota. A native of China, he also serves as scientific advisor to the national governments of Taiwan and China and the regional government of Hong Kong.

-- Allyn Mark, M.D., Award for Achievement

An internationally acclaimed leader in translational medicine and cardiovascular research and training, Mark has made fundamental contributions to autonomic neurovascular biology. He also is recognized for his skills as a mentor, teacher and administrator. Mark earned bachelor's (1957) and medical (1961) degrees at the UI, and he completed a medical residency (1967) and fellowship (1969) in the UI Department of Internal Medicine before joining the UI medical faculty. Mark's research achievements have advanced understanding of the brain's role in regulating cardiovascular function and blood pressure, as well as the pathogenesis of hypertension and heart failure. Mark also served in numerous leadership positions within his department and the college - he directed the Clinical Research Center and later led the internal medicine department's cardiovascular division for 19 years. He also served as associate dean for research for 11 years.

-- Sarah Morgan, M.D., Award for Achievement

A highly respected scientist, educator, administrator and physician, and national expert on the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, Morgan received a medical degree in 1981 and completed residency training in 1984 in internal medicine at the UI. As professor of nutrition sciences and medicine and associate dean of research compliance at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Morgan monitors research involving human patients and teaches medical students about enteral formula feeding. After 20 years of research on folate metabolism and rheumatic diseases, she is considered an authority on the topic. She helped develop the Osteoporosis Treatment Center at UAB, where she now sees patients every week, providing nutrition support for patients and working toward accreditation of the clinic's bone densitometry service.

-- L. Jackson Roberts, M.D., Award for Achievement

Noted for his landmark discovery of isoprostanes and his subsequent pioneering work applied to understanding both the basic mechanism of oxidant stress and the role of isoprostanes in human disease, Roberts received a medical degree at the UI in 1969. A professor of pharmacology and medicine at Vanderbilt University, Roberts is best known for his discovery of isoprotanes, compounds that serve as biomarkers of stress in the body. Roberts' other scientific contributions have led to the widely accepted use of low-dose aspirin to prevent myocardial infarction and niacin-induced vasodilation in patients being treated for hypercholesterolemia, and of antihistamines to treat gastric carcinoid syndrome and strombroid fish poisoning.  Roberts has patented a number of methods to apply his discoveries to clinical problems, and he is a founding member of the Association for Patient-Oriented Research.

-- Jay Horton, M.D., Award for Early Achievement

An accomplished young clinical investigator who has earned an international reputation in the field of nutrition and lipid metabolism, Horton earned bachelor's and medical degrees, in 1984 and 1988 respectively, at the UI. Currently an associate professor of molecular genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Horton has built an international reputation in the area of nutrition and lipid metabolism. His research focuses on the molecular mediators of steatosis (increased levels of fat in cells), and he has found that primary regulators of cholesterol metabolism also are key regulators of fatty acid synthesis and composition in the liver. Horton and colleagues are working to determine how these regulators contribute to the development of steatosis in diabetes, obesity and other conditions. Horton also is studying a key protein involved in cholesterol regulation that could lead to new cholesterol-lowering medications.

-- William Hamilton, M.D., Award for Service

A pioneering researcher, educator, leader and administrator who made an indelible mark on the specialty of anesthesiology, Hamilton received a bachelor's degree at Iowa in 1943, followed by a UI medical degree in 1946. He completed residency training at the UI in 1951. As a UI faculty member, Hamilton was instrumental in the establishment of UI Hospitals and Clinics' first intensive care unit, as well as the UI Department of Anesthesia, where he served as head of the department from 1958 to 1967. Hamilton then went to the University of California, San Francisco, where he led the UCSF anesthesia department for 16 years and also served as vice dean, associate dean for clinical affairs and associate dean for postdoctoral education. Since 1992, Hamilton has been professor emeritus at UCSF.

-- Russell Rulon, Ph.D., Award for Service

A gifted educator and mentor who has had a significant impact on the careers of hundreds of health science careers throughout Iowa and the nation, Rulon earned a master's degree in 1960 and a doctorate in physiology in 1961 at the UI. He is recognized as an outstanding educator and mentor from his more than 40 years of service at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. For 37 years Rulon taught biology and physiology as a faculty member at Luther. He also served as chief health careers advisor from 1965-2000, counseling numerous students on their decisions regarding health sciences careers. Rulon noted that he has advised and taught more than 500 undergraduates who chose to go to medical school. Of this group, 215 received their medical education at the UI.

Alumni of the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine include all graduates of the University's education and training programs for undergraduate and graduate medical education, associated medical sciences and graduate basic sciences.

Detailed profiles of the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are available online at http://www.medicine.uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032, david-pedersen@uiowa.edu.