Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Board of Regents Honors Two Longtime Professors
Harry Weitlauf, M.D., and Afzal Siddiqui, Ph.D., were recognized for their contributions to the university and the School of Medicine.
Written by Suzanna Cisneros
The Board of Regents has bestowed prestigious titles upon two longstanding members of the School of Medicine.
Harry M. Weitlauf, M.D., was honored with a posthumous professor emeritus title for his long and faithful service to the university, and Afzal Siddiqui, Ph.D., was named a Grover E. Murray Professor, the highest faculty honor.
Harry M. Weitlauf, M.D.
President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., said Weitlauf’s contributions have impacted not only the university, but the community as well.
“He was involved in the expansion of cancer research at the university, bringing new researchers to West Texas, and encouraging collaboration across the region,” Mitchell said. “He was a passionate champion for those affected with cancer and was instrumental in bringing the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge to Lubbock. His spirit and compassion in all that he did will impact many generations to come.”
Steven L. Berk, M.D., executive vice president, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, said Weitlauf was a dedicated teacher, who thoroughly enjoyed the classroom and interaction with students.
“The personal impact of Dr. Weitlauf’s service to the School of Medicine is immeasurable,” Berk said. “His dedication to faculty, staff and students was evident in everything he did. He is sorely missed by all of us.”
Weitlauf received his medical degree from the University of Washington in 1963 and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology and postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Kansas Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. He joined the School of Medicine in 1982 as a professor and chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry where he served until his death on Oct. 11.
He was a committed educator and researcher, focusing on human embryology, developmental biology and histology. He passionately championed the integration of ultrasound teaching in anatomy curriculum. He had a distinguished list of publications, extramural grants, scientific presentations, numerous awards and an outstanding record of administrative service to the university.
Afzal Siddiqui, Ph.D.
Siddiqui has been a member of the School of Medicine since 2000.
The Grover E. Murray Professorship is intended for a faculty member who attains national and international distinction for outstanding research, scholarly and creative achievement.
Mitchell said Siddiqui exemplifies all of these criteria.
“Murray professors represent the very best among our faculty,” Mitchell said. “We value Dr. Siddiqui for his research and his many contributions to our university and we are proud to commend him with this honor.”
Berk said Siddiqui is an individual of extraordinary value in parasite immunology and vaccine development.
“He is an unselfish leader who has been able to skillfully balance the needs of his research and teaching, making him a consummate and invaluable member of our faculty,” Berk said.
Siddiqui holds several prestigious awards and appointments to local and national positions of honor, including a Fulbright Research and Teaching Scholarship for Southeast Asia. He is presently in India on a sabbatical to perform research and teaching under this scholarship. At TTUHSC, he has received the Dean’s Research Award (2003), the President’s Excellence in Research Award (2009), the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Award (2009), and the Dean’s Basic Science Teaching Award (2010).
Siddiqui is funded as a principal investigator by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has obtained more than $4 million in peer-reviewed funding in the past five years. He is the recipient of the highest amount of funding from the NIH for TTUHSC during the past three years.
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School of Medicine
Since 1969, the School of Medicine has graduated more than 3,000 physicians. The school aims to provide quality lab space, recruit creative, innovative research faculty, and develop graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for lifelong careers in medical research.
Today, more than 20 percent of the practicing physicians in West Texas have graduated from the School of Medicine or its residency programs.
Beginning in 1969 as Texas Tech University School of Medicine, TTUHSC now is a six-school university with campuses in Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Highland Lakes, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa.
TTUHSC has trained more than 10,000 health care professionals, and meets the health care needs of more than 2.5 million people in the 108 counties including those in the Texas Panhandle and eastern New Mexico.