April 18, 2003

Chancellor honors VUMC faculty

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Dr. John Phillips

Virginia Shepherd, Ph.D.

Virginia Shepherd, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeffrey Balser

Dr. Jeffrey Balser

Dr. Al George Jr.

Dr. Al George Jr.

Four VUMC faculty members were honored by Chancellor Gordon Gee last week at the 2003 Faculty Assembly.

Dr. John A. Phillips III, professor of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, was presented the Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award, recognizing his work in the field of genetics.

The Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award is made to a full-time, regular faculty member without restriction as to age, rank, or school, for distinguished accomplishment in furthering the aims of Vanderbilt University.

The award was established in 1963 to honor retiring Chancellor Harvie Branscomb. It is endowed with funds contributed by members of the faculty. The winner receives a cash award of $2,500, an engraved silver tray and official designation as Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor for one academic year.

Virginia L. Shepherd, Ph.D., professor of Pathology and Medicine, was presented the Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award for her academic service and accomplishments.

The Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award was created on the occasion of the retirement of Chancellor Heard in 1982. It is endowed with funds contributed by faculty, staff and others.

The title is conferred upon a full-time faculty member, regardless of rank or school, for distinctive contributions to the understanding of problems of contemporary society. The purpose of the award is to encourage, recognize and honor faculty members’ contributions to the analysis and solution of contemporary social problems, broadly construed. Contributions may take the form of teaching, writing, basic or applied research, and consultative or other forms of service.

The recipient carries for one year the title Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor and receives a $2,500 cash award and an engraved silver tray.

Drs. Jeffrey R. Balser and Alfred L. George Jr. were presented the Chancellor’s Research Awards.

Balser, James Taloe Gwathmy Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology, was recognized for newest findings suggesting a molecular basis for integrating the electrical and mechanical functions of the heart muscle.

George, Grant W. Liddle Professor of Medicine, was recognized for his revelation of the molecular basis of an inherited form of epilepsy known as “generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures.”

The inaugural Chancellor’s Research Awards recognize excellence on the part of faculty for published research. The award carries a stipend of $1,000 and an engraved silver cup.

All faculty members who are tenured or on the tenure track are eligible for these research prizes. As many as five of these prizes may be awarded each year.