Link: University of Iowa

Information About

Distinguished Alumni Awards

2014 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Awards will be given at the DAA ceremony June 6, 2014



Castellino, FrancisFrancis Castellino
66MS, 68PhD-Biochemistry

Francis Castellino, director of the W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research and dean emeritus of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, has contributed groundbreaking research related to hemostasis—the formation and dissolution of blood clots—and inflammation, advancing understanding of conditions including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and hemophilia. Castellino has more than 400 publications in some of the top journals in the world, and he has trained a number of highly successful doctoral students in his laboratory. His talent as a mentor and administrator, including the 23 years he spent as dean of the College of Science at Notre Dame, has significantly contributed to the college’s commitment to excellence.

Gebhart, GeraldGerald F. Gebhart
69MS, 71PhD-Pharmacology

Gerald Gebhart is the founding director of the Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research and professor of anesthesiology, medicine, neurobiology, and pharmacology and chemical biology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is internationally recognized for his research on mechanisms and modulation of pain, principally visceral pain arising from the internal organs. He is a leading authority in his field, contributing to more than 400 publications and earning him numerous awards and distinctions. Gebhart’s multidisciplinary approach to conducting cutting-edge research has also allowed him to serve as a mentor to countless medical and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and colleagues.


Welsh, MichaelMichael Welsh
71BS, 74MD, 77R-Internal Medicine

Michael Welsh is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator whose research has helped to define the molecular basis of cystic fibrosis and laid the foundation for new therapeutic and preventive strategies for this fatal disease. His work and collaborations have revolutionized the way people think about cystic fibrosis and have tremendous implications for the design of therapies to treat it. Welsh also directs the UI’s Cystic Fibrosis Research Center and the Pappajohn Biomedical Institute. During the course of his career, Welsh has provided outstanding training and mentoring to generations of UI students, fellows, and faculty, and he exemplifies the “bench-to-bedside” connection that aims to better the lives of individuals living with cystic fibrosis.



Beaty, LarryLarry Beaty
69BA, 73MD

Larry Beaty is a Marshalltown, Iowa, family physician specializing in geriatric care, and has devoted most of his career to leadership roles in programs training UI medical students and family practice residents. He was instrumental in advancing the family practice residency program at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, and he has helped develop the Des Moines Area Medical Education Consortium, which partners with the UI. Beaty established a new clinic in Marshalltown to care for an underserved geriatric population, and his influence and expertise extend to a number of leadership roles in the medical community, including his time as the original chair of the Iowa Medical Society Public Health Committee.

Jessen, ThomasThomas Jessen
64BS, 68MD

Thomas Jessen has been a family physician in Newton, Iowa, for 40 years and is a dedicated community supporter. He serves as the high school football team physician, attending every home and away game, and he volunteers at the Jasper County free medical clinic. He leads by example through his involvement with a variety of local organizations and is a well-respected and trusted figure in the Newton community. He goes above and beyond for his patients, and is readily available to help anyone in need. Jessen’s compassion for his patients and community members is unparalleled, and he has dedicated himself to serving others.


Early Career Achievement

Nugent, AndrewAndrew Nugent
92BS, 96MD

Andrew Nugent, chair and department executive officer of emergency medicine at the UI Carver College of Medicine, was instrumental in establishing the department just 10 years ago and creating Iowa’s only emergency medicine residency program, which has trained many of the emergency physicians practicing at hospitals across his native Iowa. Nugent became the UI’s first emergency medicine-trained, board-certified emergency physician, and under his leadership, emergency medicine now competes with the primary care specialties as one of the top career choices of graduating medical students at Iowa. Nugent has also served as a co-investigator in a number of research studies, with topics ranging from stroke to smoking cessation.

West, ColinColin West
95MS, 99MD, 99PhD-Biostatistics

Colin West, professor of medicine, medical education, and biostatistics at Mayo Clinic, strives to improve patient care by promoting physician well-being through groundbreaking research that studies quality of life, burnout, empathy, and other markers of personal well-being and distress among medical students, residents, and practicing physicians. His work not only significantly impacts those practicing medicine, but ultimately the care being given to patients, as well. In addition to his research, West is also a respected member of the general internal medicine staff at Mayo Clinic. He has shaped a new field of study and has established himself as a “triple threat” with resounding success in patient care, education, and research.

University of Iowa Alumni Association Awards

The University of Iowa Alumni Association will also honor two medicine alumni this year with their Distinguished Alumni Award. Honorees include: Cassandra Foens (83BS, 97MD, 92R-Radiology) and Stephen Wolken (65BS, 68MD, 75R-Ophthamology). Click here to view more information about the UIAA honorees.




Medicine Alumni Society
Phone: 319-335-8886
Toll Free: 877-MEDIOWA
Fax: 319-384-1746