Two UT Southwestern physicians elected to National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine


DALLAS Oct. 18, 2004 Two faculty members at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas one specializing in genetics and heart disease and the other in urologic illness were elected today to the Institute of Medicine, a component of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Helen Hobbs, director of the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development and chief of clinical genetics, and Dr. John D. McConnell, executive vice president for health system affairs and former chair of urology, were the only Texans among 65 new members elected in 2004 to the organization, which addresses national health issues.

Drs. Hobbs and McConnell bring the total number of current UT Southwestern faculty members inducted into the institute to 17, the largest representation in Texas and surrounding states.

Members of the Institute of Medicine shape policies affecting public health and advise the federal government on issues involving medical care, research and education. Selection is based on international distinction in science, clinical medicine, public health or medical administration. Inductees are elected by incumbent members.

"This is a notable honor for two of UT Southwestern's most distinguished and accomplished faculty members," said Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president of UT Southwestern. "Dr. McConnell and Dr. Hobbs set great examples for others through their steadfast dedication to medicine and science. We are extremely pleased that their accomplishments have been recognized by their colleagues."

Dr. Hobbs also directs the Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at UT Southwestern and is leading the Dallas Heart Study, a multiyear, multimillion dollar project aimed at learning more about the hidden causes of heart disease and finding new treatments. She is also an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UT Southwestern. Dr. Hobbs holds the Eugene McDermott Distinguished Chair for the Study of Human Growth and Development and the Dallas Heart Ball Chair in Cardiology Research. She earned her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

"I am honored to be elected to the Institute of Medicine, and I greatly appreciate the recognition of the contributions of my laboratory," Dr. Hobbs said. "I am especially thankful for all the support I have had from my colleagues here at UT Southwestern and for the work of the individuals in my lab."

Dr. McConnell, an internationally recognized authority in prostate disease, is responsible for the overall management of university outpatient clinics, Zale Lipshy and St. Paul University Hospitals, and the UT Southwestern integrated health system. He served as chairman of urology at UT Southwestern from 1993-2001 and led the development of the 1994 national clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of enlargement of the prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia.

"I am very honored by this recognition, but in reality I believe the Institute of Medicine is really recognizing a true team effort at UT Southwestern, involving basic and clinical scientists, who over the course of 15 years fundamentally changed the way a common disease, BPH, is managed around the world," said Dr. McConnell.

Dr. McConnell holds the S.T. Harris Family Chair in Medical Science. He served on the advisory council of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He also directs the National Institutes of Health George W. O'Brien Urology Research Center at UT Southwestern and the Prostate Disease Center. Dr. McConnell earned his medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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