Genetics and cardiovascular disease expert Dr. Dianna M. Milewicz returned to her alma mater recently to give a lecture at UT Southwestern Medical Center hosted by the Women in Science and Medicine Advisory Committee.

Milewicz is the 2014 Southwestern Medical Foundation Ida M. Green Distinguished Visiting Professor Honoring Women in Science and Medicine.

Each year, the committee selects an outstanding female physician scientist to visit UT Southwestern for a two-day professorship. The Ida M. Green professorship was established by the Southwestern Medical Foundation in honor of Ida Green, the wife of the late Texas Instruments Inc. founder Cecil H. Green.

Ida Green, who died in 1986, provided a major bequest to the foundation to help open career paths for women in science.

“We are thrilled to support the Ida M. Green Distinguished Professorship, which inspires so many women in science and medicine,” said Kathleen Gibson, president of Southwestern Medical Foundation.

Milewicz graduated from UT Southwestern’s first Medical Scientist Training Program class in 1984. She is a professor and director of medical genetics and vice chair for research in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Health Science Center at Houston. She also holds the President George H.W. Bush Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine and directs the joint M.D./Ph.D. program at the health science center and UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Milewicz, who has done award-winning research on the way genetics affect vascular disease, presented a talk titled “The Genetic Basis of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections: Identifying Molecular Pathways and Gene-Based Management.”

Her goal is to identify genes that predispose individuals to life-threatening aortic and cerebral aneurysms and to identify biomarkers to facilitate their early diagnosis.

Her awards include a Pfizer Scholars Award, the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award and the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award.

“As the foundation celebrates its 75th anniversary, it’s an honor to welcome Dr. Milewicz back to UT Southwestern and to remember the legacy of Ida Green and the wonderful vision she had for our community,” said William T. Solomon, chairman of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “Thanks to donors like Ida and Cecil Green, a whole new generation of physicians has been inspired to reach new heights of excellence in academic medicine and patient care.”

This is the 75th anniversary of Southwestern Medical Foundation.

“For 75 years, it has been our privilege to foster a unique culture where generosity can be imbued with meaning,” Solomon said. “The foundation currently manages over $800 million across 1,000 funds, creating a financial resource that will enable advances in health care benefiting the citizens of this community, state and the nation for years to come.”

Published by:
Robert Miller

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