Dr. Alma Rodriguez
Dr. Alma Rodriguez

Two outstanding alumni of McGovern Medical School will be honored in a special ceremony Friday, Oct. 23, at Trevisio.

Dr. M. Alma Rodriguez, ’79 and Dr. Walter Lowe, ’83, are the 2015 winners of the Distinguished Alumnus Award of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and will be the featured guests of honor at the Distinguished Alumnus Award ceremony.

Established in 1987, the purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding contributions of alumni in the areas of medical science and education, or the prevention and treatment of diseases, as well as continued interests in the Medical School and its students.

Rodriguez is vice president for medical affairs and professor in the Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The daughter of migrant farm workers, Rodriguez was the first in her family to attend college and changed her career goal from chemistry to medicine as the result of encouragement from her teachers. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, followed by a medical oncology fellowship at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. She joined the faculty of MD Anderson in 1986 and has spent her entire career there.

She is known as “an outstanding physician role model, leader and mentor, embodying MD Anderson’s core values of caring, integrity and discovery,” wrote her nominators.

She concentrates on the treatments of patients with lymphomas, focusing on aggressive B-cell lymphomas and salvage chemotherapy. She has served as principal investigator or co-PI on more than 50 clinical therapeutic trials of lymphoid malignancies. She has authored several book chapters and co-edited a book on the treatment of lymphomas. Recently she co-edited two books related to survivorship. She was the first recipient of the President’s Leadership Award for Advancing Women Faculty at MD Anderson.

Dr. Walt Lowe
Dr. Walt Lowe

Lowe joined the UTHealth faculty as chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Edward T. Smith Professor in 2009. He is chief of orthopaedic surgery service at Memorial Hermann Hospital and Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, as well as medical director of the Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute.

Specializing in sports medicine with an emphasis on diagnosis and treating a wide range of knee, shoulder and elbow injuries and disorders, he serves in the top medical capacity for several high-profile sports teams. He is the team physician for the NFL Houston Texans; he is the official head team physician and preferred orthopedic surgeon for the NCAA University of Houston Cougars; and he is the official head team physician and preferred orthopedic surgeon for the NBA Houston Rockets.

After finishing an internship at John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth, he completed an orthopaedic residency at Tarrant County Affiliated Hospitals and an orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship at Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Sports Medicine in Inglewood, Calif.

“Walt is world-renown in sports medicine. He has established a clinical orthopedic group that others have tried but has never been done before in the greater Houston area,” wrote his nominator.

The Oct. 23 event begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The dress is cocktail attire, and a cash bar will be available. To register for the event, please see the website.