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Hearts of Gold Gala honorees

Hearts of Gold Gala honorees

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Barbara Bass, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Houston Methodist Hospital
Senior Member, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
John F. and Carolyn Bookout Distinguished Endowed Chair, Department of Surgery Director, Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education (MITIE) Professor of Surgery

Dr. Bass has led a funded laboratory program in gastrointestinal epithelial injury and repair and has held leadership roles in the development of surgical quality initiatives at the national level in both the Veteran Affairs Health Care System and at the American College of Surgeons. Most recently, Dr. Bass was appointed to the Strategic Planning Group of the National Institutes of Health’s National Commission on Digestive Diseases.

Mary L. Brandt, M.D.
Texas Children’s Hospital
Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
Vice Chair of Education, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine Associate Dean, Student Affairs, Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Brandt’s research seeks to improve outcomes for all children who require surgery by designing prospective clinical trials in pediatric surgery. She is Director of the William J. Pokorny Fellowship and mentors residents and students in the design and implementation of pediatric surgical clinical studies. Dr. Brandt is also the Principal Investigator for an NIH study designed to research the outcome of bariatric surgery in adolescents.

Janet Butel, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Distinguished Service Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular Virology & Microbiology

The Butel Laboratory is interested in polyomavirus pathogenesis of infections and disease, with a primary focus on polyomavirus SV40, a small DNA virus that is able to transform cells in culture and induce tumors in rodents. As a model tumor virus, SV40 has provided many fundamental insights into the molecular basis of carcinogenesis.

Lynda Chin, M.D.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department Chair, Department of Genomic Medicine

Dr. Chin is currently the founding chair of the Department of Genomic Medicine at MD Anderson. She also serves as the scientific director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science, which merges the best attributes of academia and industry to enable science-driven drug discovery.

Lois DeBakey, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Professor of Scientific Communication

Alongside her sister Selma, Lois DeBakey launched a new discipline, scientific biomedical communication, which encompassed critical reasoning; writing, editing and publishing; visual aids; oral presentations; ethics; and other related subjects. In the sixties, their courses at Tulane University School of Medicine represented the first curriculum-approved instruction in this field in any medical school. Lois and Selma have worked at Baylor College of Medicine since 1968.

Nancy W. Dickey, M.D.
Texas A&M Health Science Center Houston
President Emeritus

From 2002 to 2012, Dr. Dickey assumed the role of President of the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs for The Texas A&M University System. Under Dr. Dickey’s leadership, the health science center grew in both the number of programs and graduates, expanded its research programs, and extended its service to the citizens of Texas. Dickey was the first woman ever to be elected president of the American Medical Association.

Mary C. Farach-Carson, Ph.D.
Rice University
Ralph and Dorothy Looney Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Vice Provost for Translational Bioscience; Scientific Director, BioScience Research Collaborative

A native of Galveston, Texas, Mary’s current administrative duties include building collaborations between Rice and local biomedical research and education institutions. She is an active researcher and has a federally funded laboratory focused on tissue engineering, extracellular matrix and cancer biology. She came to Rice in 2009 to provide scientific leadership and vision for the BioScience Research Collaborative and to foster a climate of interdisciplinary and translational research.

Edith Irby Jones, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Dr. Edith Jones Wellness Retreat Center

Dr. Jones broke racial barriers and made national news when she became the first African-American to attend the University of Arkansas School of Medicine in 1948, from which she received her M.D. in 1952. Jones was the first African-American woman resident at Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals in Houston and the first female president of the National Medical Association. Dr. Jones has also taught and consulted on health care in several countries and established medical clinics in Veracruz, Mexico, and Vaudreuil, Haiti.

Eugenie Kleinerman, M.D.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Mosbacher Pediatrics Chair & Division Head, Division of Pediatrics

Dr. Kleinerman, is professor and head of the Division of Pediatrics as well as the first woman Division Head at M. D. Anderson. She is board certified in pediatrics, holds the Mosbacher Pediatrics Chair and is also a Professor of Cancer Biology.

Margaret Kripke, Ph.D.
Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Chief Scientific Officer

A world-renowned expert in the immunology of skin cancers, Dr. Kripke oversees CPRIT’s research portfolio, which has funded the majority of the Institute’s $300 million in annual grant awards. She recently completed a nine-year term on the three-person President’s Cancer Panel, an honor reserved for the most distinguished oncology scientists in the nation. Due to her esteemed position within the scientific community, the Margaret L. Kripke Legend Award was established by MD Anderson in 2008 to honor individuals who have enhanced the careers of women in cancer medicine and cancer science.

Jennifer Keating Litton, M.D.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Director of Breast Medical Oncology Education Program
Associate Professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology
Faculty Member, Clinical Cancer Genetics
Faculty Member, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Dr. Litton’s research interests centers on the treatment of young breast cancer patients, the treatment of breast cancer during pregnancy, treatment-related infertility, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndromes and triple negative breast cancer. She also is the current author of the breast cancer blog,

Mirjana Maletić-Savatić, M.D., Ph.D.
Texas Children’s Hospital & Baylor College of Medicine
Department of Pediatrics, Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute

Dr. Maletić-Savatić is leading an interdisciplinary team that is developing an integrative systems biology approach to the study of early developmental disorders. The team uses patients’ own cells to re-create human neurons outside the body and learn ways to diagnose developmental disorders much earlier in a child’s life.

Margaret McNeese, M.D.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Associate Dean for Admissions & Student Affairs and Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. McNeese, an expert on child abuse and author of numerous articles on the subject, is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is a member of and former alternate delegate to the Texas Medical Association, where she previously served on the Child and Adolescent Health Subcommittee and the Child Health Committee.

Dixie Melillo, M.D.
The Rose
Medical Director and Co-Founder

Dr. Melillo is a co-founder of The Rose, a local nonprofit aiming to provide quality breast health care, and was the second female to complete the surgical residency program at The University of Texas, Medical Branch-Galveston. She has received recognition from several sources for her civic and volunteer services. Among her many honors, she serves as the namesake for the Dr. Dixie Melillo Middle School, a Pasadena ISD campus.

Martha P. Mims, M.D., Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Chief of the Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine

Dr. Mims’ scholarly interests range from translational laboratory research to identifying clinically relevant biomarkers of prostate cancer, to clinical trials research to assess the efficacy of novel therapies for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies. She is Baylor College of Medicine’s principal investigator of the institutional Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) award, for which she is a member of the national Genitourinary Oncology Committee.

Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D.
NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

Dr. Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman to become an Astronaut. Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Ochoa is a veteran of four space flights. She first flew in space on the shuttle Discovery in 1993 and has logged 978 hours in space.

Nancy D. Perrier, M.D., F.A.C.S.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery

Dr. Perrier has served in numerous roles in MD Anderson’s Department of Surgical Oncology, including Chief-Section of Surgical Endocrinology, Associate Medical Director and Fellowship Program Director.

Lois Ramondetta, M.D.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Chief of Gynecologic Oncology at Lyndon Baines Johnson General Hospital, Harris County Hospital District Professor, Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine

Dr. Ramondetta is a key member of the MD Anderson Outreach Program, which provides quality cancer care at regional medical centers, and trains fellows, residents and medical students in the field of gynecologic oncology.

Susan Rossmann, M.D., Ph.D.
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Rossmann is Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s first Chief Medical Officer. She is also an inspector with the College of American Pathologists’ laboratory accreditation committee and a blood bank standards assessor with the American Association of Blood Banks.

Peggy B. Smith, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Professor, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychology, and Pediatrics

Dr. Smith is committed to the provision of quality health care programs to inner city teens, actively conducting research concerning childbearing and rearing by adolescents. As Director of the Baylor Teen Health Clinic, she is responsible for overall direction, evaluation and funding of this county-wide system of seven comprehensive reproductive health programs for indigent teens.

Anna Steinberger, Ph.D.
The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Professor Emerita

Dr. Steinberger along with her husband Emil, were instrumental in establishing in 1974 the American Society of Andrology and served as its president. Her research yielded over 250 scientific articles, books and book chapters for which she received numerous awards and recognitions in the USA and abroad.

Doris A. Taylor, Ph.D., F.A.H.A., F.A.C.C.
Texas Heart Institute
Director, Regenerative Medicine Research and Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology
Texas A&M University
Adjunct Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology

Dr. Taylor is a pioneer in cell therapy and organ engineering and currently serves on the advisory board to the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation Basic Science/Translational Research Council and on the scientific committee. She also sits on the jury of the Grand Prix Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation at the Institut de France, which awards a half-million euro prize yearly to a scientist with the greatest impact on the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Nelda Wray, M.D., M.P.H.
Houston Methodist Hospital
Co-Director, Center for Outcomes Research
Full Member, Houston Methodist Research Institute
Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Education, Department of Surgery, Research Professor of Medicine in Surgery
Houston Methodist Hospital

An award-winning researcher, Dr. Wray holds numerous state and federally appointed advisory roles, including the National Advisory Council for the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (appointed by Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services) and the Texas Board on Aging (appointed by Governor George W. Bush). She has also been a member of the National Advisory Committees for the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Service and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program.

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