Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo
Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo

Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo, president of UTHealth and dean of McGovern Medical School, has been named this year’s commencement speaker.

Commencement for the Class of 2015 will take place at 4 p.m., Friday, May 29, at the George R. Brown Convention Center General Assembly Theater.

Colasurdo, a practicing pediatric pulmonologist, also is CEO of UT Physicians, McGovern Medical School’s clinical practice. An internationally known researcher and pediatrician, Colasurdo was appointed president of UTHealth and the Alkek-Williams Distinguished Chair in 2012. He has served as dean and H. Wayne Hightower Distinguished Professor in the Medical Sciences since 2007.

Born in Morrone Del Sannio, Italy, Colasurdo completed his undergraduate education at The Liceo Scientifico “Galileo Galilei” in Pescara, Italy. He earned his medical degree summa cum laude from G. D’Annunzio School of Medicine in Chieti, Italy.

He completed his residency at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and his fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Science Center and the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver. In Colorado, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Gary L. Larsen and initiated his studies on the autonomic regulation of the airway smooth muscle, the biology of respiratory syncytial virus infection, and ontogeny of airway dysfunction and inflammation in childhood asthma.

Colasurdo joined the Medical School’s faculty in 1995 as an assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine. He became the division head in 1997 and started directing the fellowship training program in pediatric pulmonary medicine in 2001. He was named chair of the Department of Pediatrics in 2005.

His numerous awards include the Dean’s Excellence Awards, the David W. Smith Trainee Award from the Western Society for Pediatric Research, and the Basic Scientist Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. In 2008, he received Houston’s Executive Communicator of the Year Award from the International Association of Business Communicators; the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Department of Pediatrics at The University of Texas Medical Branch; was elected to faculty membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society-Houston Delta Chapter; received the Facolta di Medicina e Chirurgia Award from the G. D’Annunzio School of Medicine in Chieti, Italy; and received the Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, presented by the Consul General of Italy.