(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — David C. Zawieja, Ph.D., of the College of Medicine and Peter Buschang, Ph.D., of the Baylor College of Dentistry are the Texas A&M Health Science Center’s (TAMHSC) latest recipients of the prestigious Regents Professor Award.
Established in 1996, the Regents Professor Award is bestowed annually by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in recognition of awardees’ exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas. Since its adoption, 166 faculty members from universities, agencies and the Texas A&M Health Science Center across the A&M System have been recognized with the award.
Drs. Zawieja and Buschang were announced at the Nov. 2 meeting of the Board of Regents. In all, 11 A&M System faculty members were designated Regents Professors for 2011-12.
In the TAMHSC-College of Medicine, Dr. Zawieja is professor and vice chair of the Department of Systems Biology and Translational Medicine, director of the Division of Lymphatic Biology, and director of the Integrated Microscopy Imaging Laboratory (an advanced molecular and cellular imaging center). His laboratories in Temple and College Station investigate microcirculation, primarily the control and regulation of fluid and macromolecular transport throughout the three microcirculatory compartments: blood, interstitial and lymphatic. Most of his work specifically focuses on lymphatic system function, defining the mechanisms responsible for the generation and regulation of lymph flow as well as delineating the roles of lymphatic function in body fluid homeostasis, lipid absorption/metabolism, and immunity during health and disease.
Honored and excited about his selection, Dr. Zawieja appreciates the regents, TAMHSC, Texas A&M University, those who supported his nomination, and those who have worked with and supported him during his more than 25 years here.
“I choose to spend the vast majority of my academic career at this great institution because of the unique opportunities it provided me as an educator and scientist and what it allowed me to offer our students and citizens,” Dr. Zawieja said. “Texas A&M and its extended community is a unique and special place whose spirit and tradition fosters the growth and development of young and old minds alike. It provided an environment that I felt comfortable with growing in both professional and personal pursuits, and importantly, it has been a place at which I felt I played a valued role in its growth.”
Dr. Zawieja obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biology/Chemistry/Population Dynamics from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Doctorate in Physiology from the Medical College of Wisconsin.
“Dr. Zawieja is an international leader in the field of lymphatic biology,” said Thomas (Sam) Shomaker, M.D., J.D., dean of the TAMHSC-College of Medicine and vice president for clinical affairs. “Along with his research, he has taught medical and graduate students for more than 20 years and mentored pre- and postdoctoral fellows along with junior faculty and research scientists.”
At the TAMHSC-Baylor College of Dentistry since 1988, Dr. Buschang is the Peter H. Buschang Endowed Professor of Orthodontics and director of orthodontic research. His research interests pertain to craniofacial growth, the evaluation of orthodontic and surgical treatment effects, and motor-oral function. He has mentored more than 120 master’s and doctoral students, along with 45 dental students. He also has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles, 15 book chapters and 195 abstracts; and given more than 100 invited talks, lectures and courses in 12 different countries.
“It is both an honor and privilege to have been associated with the students, faculty and staff at Baylor College of Dentistry who made my Regents Professorship possible,” Dr. Buschang said.
Dr. Buschang received his Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1980. He spent three years as a National Institute of Dental Research postdoctoral fellow in the University of Connecticut Department of Orthodontics and five years in the orthodontic section and Human Growth Research Center at the University of Montreal.
For his work with the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Buschang was awarded the Earle E. and Wilma S. Shepard Award. He is an honorary member of the American Association of Orthodontics and the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontics.
“Peter Buschang is an outstanding researcher, instructor and mentor who is highly regarded by students and whose contributions extend far beyond our dental school,” said Dr. Lawrence Wolinsky, dean of the TAMHSC-Baylor College of Dentistry. “It speaks volumes that the orthodontic alumni donated more than half-a-million dollars in his name to create the Peter H. Buschang Endowed Professorship to fund continued valuable orthodontic research. Dr. Buschang is certainly deserving of the designation as Regents Professor.”
Award recipients are designated as Regents Professors for the duration of their service or employment within the A&M System, provided a $9,000 stipend payable in $3,000 increments over three consecutive years, and receive a special medallion bearing the seal of the A&M System and a certificate signed by the chancellor and the chairman of the Board of Regents.
The designation as Regents Professor places Drs. Zawieja and Buschang on a growing list of TAMHSC faculty members to receive this distinction. TAMHSC is now home to 29 Regents Professor Award holders, whose excellence in a variety of fields of expertise has earned them this recognition.
George C.Y. Chiou, Ph.D., of the College of Medicine and Larry D. Gamm, Ph.D., of the School of Rural Public Health were named Regents Professor last year from the TAMHSC.