David W. Niesel, professor and chairman of the department of microbiology and immunology, has been appointed interim vice president and dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Niesel succeeds Cary Cooper on his retirement. Niesel joined the faculty in 1983 and, under his leadership, the department of microbiology and immunology ranked among the top 10 departments nationally for National Institutes of Health funding. Niesel is co-creator and co-host of the award-winning radio show and column, Medical Discovery News, which provides insights into a broad range of biomedical science topics and is broadcast on more than 110 stations in 16 states, Puerto Rico, and three countries.

Dr. Pamela Watson, dean of the UTMB School of Nursing, recognizes Cathy Copeland as a Shining Star saying, "Cathy Copeland is far more than a Shining Star. She is a Shining Planet!  Her contributions to UTMB School of Nursing are beyond belief.  She is outstanding in every way.  I do not t think I could do my job without her."

Danny O. Jacobs, executive vice president and provost, dean of UTMB School of Medicine, has received an award from the National Medical Association.

Jacobs was one of seven deans of U.S. medical schools who received special Presidential Awards on July 30 during the NMA’s annual convention and scientific assembly in Toronto. The deans were recognized for “their notable achievements and extraordinary commitment to academic excellence and medical education.”
The other deans honored were: Drs. Charles P. Mouton of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.; Mark S. Johnson of Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.; Valerie Montgomery Rice of Morehouse Medical School in Atlanta; E. Albert Reece of the University of Maryland in Baltimore; and Daphne P. Calmes of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles.
Founded in 1985, the National Medical Association is the nation’s oldest and largest medical association representing the interests of more than 35,000 black physicians and their patients.

Dr. Nicola Abate, the Charles C. Sprague, M.D. Distinguished Professor in Internal Medicine and chief of the division of endocrinology, has been appointed as a member of the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity Study Section, Center for Scientific Review. Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. Abate joined UTMB in 2008 and is internationally recognized as a clinical investigator in the field of obesity and metabolic syndrome, diabetes and lipid metabolism.

Marxa Figueiredo, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology and a member of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, has received a $364,000 grant award from the National Cancer Institute. The grant will support her research, in collaboration with Dr. Miriam Falzon, on reducing morbidity in prostate cancer patients who have bony metastases, thereby improving their quality of life.

Patricia Ciejka has been appointed associate vice president of library services and academic resources. She has been serving in the position on an interim basis for a year. Ciejka joined UTMB in 1981 as a clinical librarian for internal medicine and has served in progressively responsible roles in the Moody Medical Library and Academic Resources. She currently holds an appointment to the Texas Health Science Libraries Consortium Board of Directors, a regional group of medical libraries dedicated to furthering access to biomedical information resources, and the National Network of Medical Libraries, South Central Regional, Resource Libraries Board of Directors.