School of Medicine faculty honored as Nevada Business magazine’s Healthcare Heroes

Four winners statewide including a sweep of the technology/research category

RENO/LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Four University of Nevada School of Medicine faculty members earned honors at Nevada Business magazine's Fourth Annual Healthcare Heroes awards dinners last week Las Vegas and Reno.

At the northern Nevada banquet, three faculty were honored including Ken Maehara, M.D., as the "educator" hero; Phil Goodman, M.D., as the "technology/research" hero and Tom Kozel, Ph.D., for lifetime achievement. At the southern Nevada banquet, Colleen Morris, M.D., was honored for "technology/research," making for a clean School of Medicine sweep in that category statewide.

The annual award program honors Nevadans making significant contributions to health care across 10 categories in both the northern and southern regions of the state. Proceeds from both banquets benefit students pursuing careers in health care education.

Maehara, associate professor of pathology, was recognized for his strong dedication to education and his passion for teaching medical students. He is consistently recognized as one of the school's most popular faculty members and receives high marks from students. He serves as chair of the admissions selection committee and helped create the medical school's first B.S.–M.D. accelerated degree program.

Kozel, founding faculty member, professor of microbiology and former chair of the microbiology department, earned honors for his lifetime of research on opportunistic fungal infections and, more recently, bio-threats such as anthrax. His 31-year National Institutes of Health grant is one of the longest running in the NIH portfolio. Kozel has taught every medical student, past and present, attending the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

Goodman, professor of internal medicine, enjoys delving into the mysteries of the human brain and foresees a day when epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease can be effectively treated by altering the biochemistry of the brain. His lab research involves super computer modeling of the brain and he is in the process of collaborating with other institutions in Europe for a more complete picture of the human brain.

Morris, professor of pediatrics specializing in genetics, has been on the forefront of research regarding Williams syndrome, a rare congenital disorder characterized by a mix of physical and developmental characteristics. Discovering there was very little information on this subject when she first ran across it more than 25 years ago, Morris initiated research that made the initial discovery of the elastin deletion in Williams syndrome.

Other recipients were honored for their work in administration, care providing, community work, entrepreneurial efforts, humanitarian, innovation and non-profit achievement at each awards dinner.

Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen, MPA
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.