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VPMA Voice

This past weekend, the Carver College of Medicine welcomed back to campus more than 300 alumni and guests for our annual Alumni Reunion Weekend. The events gave us the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, as well as celebrate the accomplishments of our alumni who have transcended their fundamental roles as health care providers, researchers, and teachers to advance the art and science of medicine

Part of the festivities included the chance to publicly recognize several of our outstanding graduates with one of the College’s top accolades–the Distinguished Alumni Award. Five individuals and the Sahai family were among those honored this year for their professional achievements and service. In addition, five other medicine alumni were among those who received Distinguished Alumni Awards from the UI Alumni Association. (See details below.) Each of the recipients has truly been a wonderful ambassador of The University of Iowa across the state and around the world.

UI Health Care has always taken great pride in the fact we do not simply educate scientists and clinicians–we train leaders in medicine who will transform health care for individuals and populations around the world. The activities and celebrations throughout Reunion Weekend are just another great reminder of the remarkable people connected to Iowa who are changing medicine and changing lives.

Signed, Jean Robillard

Curt Sigmund named Pharmacology head

Curt D. Sigmund, PhD, has been named professor and head of the Department of Pharmacology in the UI Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Sigmund, currently a faculty member in the departments of internal medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics, assumes his admin-istrative responsibilities on July 1, 2010, pending approval by the Board of Regents. He will retain joint appointments with both departments.

Dr. Sigmund joined the UI Carver College of Medicine faculty in 1991 as an assistant professor in the Cardiovascular Division of Internal Medicine and in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, also serving as the director of the Transgenic Animal Facility. In 1997 he was appointed associate professor, and in 2001 as professor. He is also the director of the Center on Functional Genomics of Hypertension; and since 2002, director of the Roy J. Carver Program of Research Excellence in the Functional Genomics of Cardiovascular Disease. In 2008, he was named the Roy J. Carver Chair in Hypertension Research.

Alumni honored during weekend

This past weekend we honored the classes of 1970, 1965, 1960, 1955, 1950, and 1945 at Medicine Alumni Reunion Weekend. In addition, five individuals and the Sahai family also received the UI Carver College of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Awards, and five other medicine alumni were among those receiving UI Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards

Those receiving the College awards this year were:


Richard McGee (75PhD-Biochemistry) is a tireless promoter of diversity in medical and graduate education, and in the advancement of underrepresented minorities in the biomedical sciences.

Gail McGuiness (75R, 77F-Pediatrics) is a nationally respected educator who has made significant contributions to medical education and is now involved in the continuing education of pediatricians and in setting the standards for their evaluation.


John Canady (83MD, 88MS, 88R-Otolaryngology) has used his skills and knowledge for nearly 20 years performing volunteer surgery on childhood facial deformities including cleft lips and cleft palates through Operation Smile and the local Rotary Miles of Smiles Team.

Dan Murphy (66BS, 70MD) has worked alongside César Chavez at a clinic for farm workers, worked for three years as the sole doctor in a district of 200,000 people in Mozambique, spent time working in Laos and in Nicaragua, and founded the Bairo Pite Clinic in East Timor a decade ago, where he currently serves more than 300 patients per day.

Early Achievement

Timothy Holtz (91MD) is a founding member of Doctors for Global Health, upholding the highest ideals of social justice and human dignity through his service as a physician, scientist, educator, and health care activist.


Sahai Family–As students, alumni, community-based faculty, and loyal advocates, Sahai family members have supported the UI Carver College of Medicine for decades. The family has championed Iowa on many different levels including educating future physicians, philanthropic efforts to give Iowa a true home for medical education, and demonstrating their commitment to primary care specialties.

The college is now actively seeking nominations for the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards. For information go to our nomination site.

The UI Carver College of Medicine alums honored by the UI Alumni Association with Distinguished Alumni Awards were:

John Cambier (72MS, 75PhD-Microbiology), one of the world’s premier immunologists, renowned for his knowledge of a vital subset of cells called B lymphocytes.

Bradley Hyman (82PhD, 83MD, 88R-Neurology, 89F-Pathology), an accomplished physician/scientist, working to gain new insights into, and develop therapies for, Alzheimer’s Disease.

Richard Knapp (65MA, 68PhD-Hospital & Health Administration), devoted a distinguished career to advocating for academic medicine and helping find policy solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing health care and educational issues.

John Opitz (56BA, 59MD, 61R-Pediatrics), one of the pre-eminent clinical birth defects experts in the world, described and discovered more syndromes and genetic diseases than any other person.

P. Sue Beckwith (80BS, 84MD), a gifted surgeon who has given back to the university through scholarship support, serving on advisory boards and committees, and sharing her professional expertise as a clinical associate for the UI Department of Surgery.

UI Obesity Surgery offers program on weight-loss options

Isaac Samuel, MD, director of University of Iowa Obesity Surgery at UI Hospitals and Clinics, will discuss surgical options to weight loss at two free public presentations titled “Lose the Weight. Find Your Life,” to be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids, and at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 17, at the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Coralville. Registration is encouraged. For details, call 319-384-1743 or 877-MED-IOWA, or visit our online registration site.



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