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Distinguished Alumni 2007-2019

 

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Barbara Alexander, PhD, FAHA, FAPS -- 2019 

Barbara T. Alexander, Ph.D., FAHA, FAPS, is a Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Dr. Alexander received her undergraduate degree in Zoology from Mississippi State University; she then received her PhD in Biochemistry and postdoctoral training in Physiology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Dr. Alexander has made major contributions to our understanding of the link between birth weight and blood pressure with a special emphasis on the mechanisms by which insults during fetal life lead to sex and age related differences in the developmental programming of hypertension. For more on Dr. Alexander's career and research, click here.

 

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P. David Rogers, PhD -- 2018

Dr. P. David Rogers currently holds the First Tennessee Endowed Chair of Excellence in Clinical Pharmacy and is Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine. He also serves as Vice Chair for Research for the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science, the Director of Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics, and Co-Director of the UTHSC Center of Excellence for Pediatric Experimental Therapeutics. For more on Dr. Rogers' career and research, click here.

 

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Robert Hester, PhD -- 2017

Dr. Robert Hester is a native of Starkville, MS, and a Biological Engineering graduate of Mississippi State University. He completed a year of graduate work in Mechanical Engineering at MSU before earning a PhD in Biomedical Engineering jointly from Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He joined the faculty at UMMC in 1985 and rose from the rank of Assistant Professor to his current rank of Professor-- he is also the Director of the Center for Computational Medicine and a Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor. For more on Dr. Hester's career and research, click here.

 

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Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN -- 2016

Kaye Bender, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, is the president and CEO of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), a position she has held since 2009. Before coming to the PHAB, she served in both local and state public health practice for the Mississippi State Department of Health, including 12 years as deputy state health officer. She served as associate vice chancellor for Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Dean of the University of Mississippi School of Nursing for six years. For more on Dr. Bender's career and involvement in healthcare research, click here.

 

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A.P. "Pete" Shepherd, PhD -- 2015 

A native of Greenwood, Mississippi, Dr. Shepherd received a BS degree from Millsaps College in 1966 and his Ph.D. degree in Physiology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1971. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Shepherd completed his postdoctoral studies in Physiology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston where he later joined the faculty as an assistant instructor in 1972. In 1973, Dr. Shepherd moved to Irvine, California, to join the Department of Physiology at the University of California College of Medicine as an assistant professor. For more on Dr. Shepherd's career and research, click here.

 

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David Dzielak, PhD -- 2014

A native of Syracuse, New York, Dr. Dzielak received an AAS degree from the State University of New York at Delhi and a BS degree from Cornell University. Dr. Dzielak received his Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1982. In 1987 Dr. Dzielak returned to the University of Mississippi Medical Center to continue his career in academic medicine. Dr. Dzielak is an integrative cardiovascular physiologist by training, and his research has focused on the neural control of the circulation and the role of immune mechanisms in cardiovascular disease. For more on Dr. Dzielak's career and research, click here.

 

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Richard O'Callaghan, PhD -- 2013

Dr. O’Callaghan is a native of New Orleans and a biology graduate of LSU in New Orleans (now University of New Orleans). He earned MS and PhD degrees in the Department of Microbiology of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He moved to the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology at LSU Medical Center in New Orleans (later LSU Health Sciences Center) where he rose from the rank of assistant professor to professor and Chief of Bacteriology. As a faculty member at LSU Medical Center, Dr. O'Callaghan led research on influenza C virus that discovered a unique viral receptor-destroying enzyme. For more on Dr.O'Callghan's research, click here.

 

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Helen Turner, PhD -- 2012

Dr. Helen Turner was born in Walnut Grove, Mississippi, and grew up in Kosciusko, Mississippi. In 2003, she became the first associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at UMMC. As a faculty member at UMMC, she received recognition for teaching excellence, being named Alpha Omega Alpha Teacher of the Year for two years. She was also recognized for clinical excellence and was named to “Best Doctors in the Southeast Region” and “Best Doctors in America” for several years. During her career, she has been a trailblazer as the first woman to serve as associate chief of staff for education and chief of medicine at the VAMC. For more on Dr. Turner's career and research, click here.

 

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D. Neil Granger, PhD -- 2011

D. Neil Granger is a Boyd Professor and Head of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and both his Master’s and PhD degrees in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Dr.Granger’s research has focused on the role of the microcirculation in acute and chronic inflammation, and how risk factors for cardiovascular disease influence microvascular function. Dr. Granger has served as President of the American Physiological Society (APS) and the Microcirculatory Society (MCS). For more on Dr.Granger's career and research, click here.

 

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Robin Robinson, PhD -- 2010

Dr. Robin Robinson was appointed in April 2008 as the first director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), established in the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response by the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006. BARDA provides medical countermeasures to man-made and natural threats including chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases. BARDA meets this mission by supporting product innovation, advanced development, acquisition and stockpiling, and building manufacturing infrastructure. For more on Dr. Robinson's career and research, click here.

 

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Douglas S. Lyles, PhD -- 2009

Dr. Lyles is currently Professor and Chair of Biochemistry at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He received his Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, and he received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry with a minor in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1975. Dr. Lyles has an active research program on the biochemistry and biophysics of virus envelope assembly that has been NIH-funded since 1979. His laboratory is studying the structure and assembly of enveloped RNA viruses. The goal of one research program is to define the molecular interactions involved in assembly of enveloped viruses by budding from cellular membranes. For more on Dr.Lyles' career and research, click here.

 

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Dennis J. O'Callaghan, PhD -- 2008

Dennis J. O’Callaghan is Boyd Professor, Willis-Knighton Chair of Molecular Biology, and Head (Chairman) of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA. A native of New Orleans, he received his BS from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1962. In 1968, he was awarded a Ph.D. at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and trained under the direction of Dr. Charles C. Randall, a pioneer in virology. Dr. O’Callaghan directs a research program on the molecular biology of alpha herpesviruses with emphasis on the mechanisms by which viral regulatory proteins determine whether the outcome of infection is a productive cytocidal infection or a persistent infection. For more on Dr. O'Callaghan's career and research, click here.

 

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L. Gabriel Navar, PhD -- 2007

Luis Gabriel (Gabby) Navar is Professor and Chairman ofthe Department of Physiology at Tulane University
Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA. A native of El Paso, Texas, he received his B.S. from Texas A&M University in 1962. He received his Ph.D. in 1966 at the University of Mississippi under the direction of Dr. Arthur Guyton in the Department of Physiology. He served as a faculty member at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine until 1974. In 1972, Dr.Navar was a visiting scientist at Duke University. Dr. Navar joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1974 and remained there for 13 years, rising to Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Senior Scientist in the Nephrology Research and Training Center. Dr. Navar was appointed as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Physiology at the Tulane University School of Medicine in 1988. For more on Dr. Navar's career and research, click here.