Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan Receives Prestigious 'Distinguished Alumnus Award for Achievement'

from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, professor and head of The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics and director of the UA Steele Children’s Research Center, received the prestigious Distinguished Alumnus Award for Achievement from the University Of Iowa Carver College Of Medicine.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor the college bestows upon its graduates, recognizing those who have transcended their fundamental roles as health-care providers, scientists and educators to become leaders in the advancement of medicine.

Dr. Ghishan was honored for his leadership in pediatric gastroenterology that helped advance patient care, research and teaching. “This award highlights the significant contributions of our graduates to science, medicine, health care and their communities,” said Paul Rothman, MD, dean, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Ghishan, along with three other alumni, was honored during a special awards luncheon ceremony June 12 in Iowa City.

Dr. Ghishan completed his fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology from the University of Iowa in 1979. He then joined Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. In 1982, he was voted the Amos Christie Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the Vanderbilt pediatric housestaff. In the same year, Dr. Ghishan was awarded his first National Institutes of Health grant. He quickly ascended the academic ranks as one of Vanderbilt’s most prolific clinicians, enthusiastic teachers and productive scientists. He was named director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Vanderbilt in 1986 and vice-chair for research in 1989.

In 1995, Dr. Ghishan was recruited to the UA as chair of pediatrics and director of the Steele Children's Research Center.

Dr. Ghishan is internationally recognized for his research in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. He has authored more than 400 publications including original articles, editorials, abstracts, book reviews and chapters. He has contributed significantly to the major textbooks in pediatric gastroenterology, including Pediatric Gastrointestinal Diseases, Pediatric Nutrition, Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, Liver Diseases in Children and Textbook of Clinical Pediatrics. He is an associate editor for the major textbook, Physiology of the Gastrointestinal Tract. His work has been continually funded by the NIH for the past 30 years.

In 1996, the NIH granted Dr. Ghishan a MERIT Award. This funding mechanism is awarded to fewer than 5 percent of NIH investigators and targets researchers who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity during their previous research endeavors. The awards provide the opportunity for 10 consecutive years of federal support. Dr. Ghishan is one of a very few pediatric gastroenterologists to receive a second MERIT Award in 2008. In 2004, the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition awarded Dr. Ghishan its highest honor, the Shwachman Award, for life-long scientific and educational contributions to the field.

The University of Arizona, University Physicians Healthcare and University Medical Center work together to care for patients, educate medical students, train resident-physicians and conduct clinical and basic research. The UA Steele Children’s Research Center and UMC are working together to build Diamond Children’s Medical Center (www.diamondchildrens.org), now under construction and scheduled to open in 2010. Diamond Children's will be Arizona’s only pediatric inpatient medical center connected to an academic research facility – the Steele Center (www.steelecenter.arizona.edu).