JOHNSON CITY (Posted June 30, 2011) – Two renowned
professors from East Tennessee State University and a widely
admired faculty member who passed away earlier this year are among
the recipients of the 2011 Health Care Hero Awards presented by the
Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia.
Award winners were Dr. Priscilla Wyrick, chair of the Department
of Microbiology at ETSU’s James H. Quillen College of
Medicine; Dr. Ronald Hamdy, chairholder of the Cecile Cox Quillen
Chair of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology; and the
late Dr. Tiejian Wu, who was an associate professor of
biostatistics and epidemiology in the College of Public Health.
The careers of all three ETSU honorees are marked with
distinction in the fields of academic research and medical
Wyrick received the Health Care Heroes Distinguished Service
Award for her achievements in microbiological research. She is
particularly renowned for her groundbreaking studies of chlamydia.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have funded her research
for 30 consecutive years.
In the past year, Wyrick’s accomplishments were also
recognized by colleagues overseas. The University of Zürich,
one of the top scientific research centers in Europe, presented
Wyrick an honorary doctorate.
Hamdy, a professor of internal medicine, is the director of the
ETSU Osteoporosis Center. During the recent annual meeting of the
International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD), Hamdy
received the ISCD Clinician of the Year Award, presented to an
outstanding clinician for distinguished service to the field of
densitometry in the areas of publication, education or leadership.
Actively involved in patient care, research and teaching in his
main areas of expertise, Hamdy has four books and over 200 articles
in medical journals and numerous chapters in textbooks to his
Wu, who also held a faculty appointment in the ETSU Department
of Family Medicine, remained steadfast in his pursuit of an NIH
research grant even while battling cancer. His project, which aims
to cut obesity among high school students, is innovative in using
ETSU college students as ambassadors who will go into area high
schools to promote supportive peer relationships and positive
attitudes in regard to healthy eating habits and physical activity.
Wu designed the project and guided it through the application
submission process before he died earlier this year. NIH has since
notified the university that the grant was approved at the
requested $978,000 funding amount, and Wu’s colleagues in the
College of Public Health are moving forward with his research.
Profiles of the magazine’s Health Care Heroes and photos of the awards ceremony will be published in the July edition of the Business Journal.