Dr. Adan Rios, associate professor of internal medicine, recently was recognized by the University of Houston Law Center with an Arrival Award.

Four Arrival Awards were bestowed to successful Houstonians at the River Oaks Country Club March 6 in recognition of their outstanding achievements after immigrating to the United States.

A native of Panama, Rios received his medical degree from the University of Panama and completed his fellowship in medical oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he subsequently was the director of clinical research and academic affairs of the AIDS Program at the Institute for Immunological Disorders.

He immigrated to the United States in 1981 and joined McGovern Medical School faculty in 2008.

“We become Americans by choice,” Rios said of immigrants. “We do it because of all of the great opportunities of this country. When you migrate, you must do something that is worth leaving your homeland – there has to be something you can show for the effort. It has been a blessing for me to come to this country.”

A general oncologist with special interest in lymphoma, leukemia, and immune compromised related malignancies, Rios is internationally renowned for his work in HIV-associated malignancies and the treatment of tumors with biological response modifiers. He patented a methodology for the development of a preventive HIV vaccine, which he continues to pursue.

Proceeds from the awards dinner benefit the UH Law Center’s Immigration Clinic, which assists hundreds of immigrants and refugees who could not otherwise find legal representation. It also serves as a vital, hands-on teaching laboratory for aspiring lawyers.

-Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School