Teaching, Research Faculty Honored at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert L. Duncan presented the system’s highest faculty honors to four educators and researchers at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

Presented during a campus ceremony on Feb. 3, the awards recognize outstanding contributions to teaching and research and include the presentation of a medal and a $5,000 award. The awards are supported by contributions to the Chancellor’s Council, which raises funds to support the chancellor’s priorities across the Texas Tech University System.

This year, the Chancellor’s Council honored the contributions of 16 faculty members across the Texas Tech University System with the Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards, including 2 recipients at Angelo State University, 4 recipients at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and 6 recipients at Texas Tech University.

Distinguished Teaching Awards

Honored with the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Awards for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso were faculty members Harry “Pete” E. Davis II and Janet Piskurich.

Davis is vice chairman for education and associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. He directs the department’s third year clerkship program and is an active member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical school’s honor society.

Following a distinguished military career, Davis joined the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in 1997 and has been recognized for his work at the university with the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also been honored as a master in the American College of Physicians. Davis received both his bachelor’s degree and medical degree from West Virginia University.

Piskurich is a college master and professor of immunology and microbiology in the Department of Medical Education at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. Experienced in curriculum development and course administration, she led the design of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s clinical presentation-driven curriculum.

Focused on creating practical learning environments, Piskurich’s teaching career of more than 15 years has been recognized with election to the steering committee of the Association of American Medical Colleges Souther Group on Educational Affairs and appointment as associate editor of the International Journal of Self-Directed Learning. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University Of Pittsburgh and a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University.

Distinguished Research Awards

Receiving this year’s Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Awards for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso were Rajkumar Lakshmanaswamy and Richard W. McCallum.

Lakshmanaswamy is the basic science research director for the Center of Excellence in Cancer Research and an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. His research into hormonal regulation of breast cancer has raised the university’s research profile by securing more than $3.5 million in external funding from organizations that include the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administratio, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

With more than 50 published articles in peer-reviewed journals, Lakshmanaswamy has served as a federal grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Defense and an editorial board members for a number of journals. He received a doctorate in endocrinology and oncology from the University of Madras in India and conducted postdoctoral training at the Cancer Research Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.

McCallum is medical director of the Center for Neurogastroenterology and GI Motility and professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. With more than 20 years of innovative research, McCallum is credited with inventing a gastric pacemaker that helps patients who cannot digest food properly. His research into understanding the interactions of the brain and stomach has been supported by organizations that include the National Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

A native of Australia, McCallum was the founding chairman of the Department of Medicine in the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. He holds three patents and is credited with writing more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and 120 textbook chapters as well as editing 14 scientific textbooks. McCallum received his bachelor’s degree and medical degree from the University of Queensland in Australia.

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