January 26, 2012

Hill inducted into Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Rutgers

Hill inducted into Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Rutgers

George C. Hill, Ph.D., the Levi Watkins Jr. Professor for Medical Education and professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, is one of five Rutgers University alumni selected for induction into the school’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni, according to an announcement by the Rutgers University Alumni Association.

George C. Hill, Ph.D.

George C. Hill, Ph.D.

Created in 1987, the hall recognizes alumni who, through their achievements in professional and civic life, have brought honor to themselves and to the university.

More than 200 Rutgers graduates have been inducted, including actor James Gandolfini, author Janet Evanovich, NBC news anchor Natalie Morales and Nobel Prize winners Selman Waksman and Milton Friedman.

Hill, a member of the class of 1961, is an expert in the field of microbiology of infectious diseases and has conducted groundbreaking research to advance biomedical science worldwide, resulting in a broader understanding of the tsetse fly-transmitted African sleeping sickness.

His laboratory was the first to grow in culture the causative agent of African trypanosomiasis, Trypanosoma rhodesiense, which they characterized biochemically and published in the leading scientific journal, Science.

“I am honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Hill, assistant vice chancellor for Multicultural Affairs and special assistant to the provost and vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

“It would have been difficult to attend college without support from Rutgers University.

“My interest in a biomedical research career in tropical diseases began there as a result of exciting teachers and their encouragement to pursue my research interests. It is a special institution to me and our family,” he said.

Hill is also being recognized for his service as a mentor and role model in encouraging minority students to seek and achieve their goals of a career in medicine and the biomedical sciences.

He came to Vanderbilt in 2002, from Meharry Medical College, as the school’s first associate dean for Diversity in Medical Education and as director for the school’s newly created Office for Diversity in Medical Education.

The medical school has since progressed toward increasing diversity of its class to more broadly represent different races/ethnicities, sexual orientation, economic backgrounds, rural versus urban upbringing and varying religious backgrounds.

Hill, along with staff members Ella Butler and Judith Allen, recently documented Vanderbilt’s progress in the report, “The Changing Face of Medicine — Office for Diversity in Medical Education — 2011.”