College of Medicine professor named Presidential Impact Fellow

Glaser, a professor of medical physiology, awarded for excelling in research, teaching and service
November 25, 2019

An idea by Texas A&M President Michael K. Young, the Presidential Impact Fellow award serves as a significant investment in faculty excellence. In its first three years, the award has recognized more than 40 faculty members from across Texas A&M for their scholarship, personal commitment and global impact. Each winner has proved they rise to meet the challenges in their field and create impact. This year, Shannon Glaser, PhD, professor of medical physiology at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, was among those honored.

“Over the last decade at Texas A&M, Dr. Glaser has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of cholangiocyte biology and pathology and has become a clear ‘thought leader’ in the field,” said David C. Zawieja, Regents Professor and head of the Department of Medical Physiology at the College of Medicine. Cholangiocytes are the cells that line the bile duct. “She has developed this international research reputation while being one of the strongest leaders in the education of our medical and graduate students. Thus, I am delighted at the selection of Dr. Glaser to become one of the prestigious Presidential Impact Fellows. This award will provide her both the recognition and resources that will help make her research and scholarship even more highly recognized and impactful nationally and internationally.”

For example, Glaser and her team, including College of Medicine’s Gianfranco Alpini, PhD, distinguished professor of internal medicine and medical physiology, found that high levels of a digestive hormone called secretin may play an important role in the management of certain chronic liver diseases. They found that a specific secretin receptor antagonist—in other words, a substance that blocks the action of secretin—decreases liver fibrosis associated with cholestasis in animal models. Fibrosis, or an accumulation of scar tissue, can eventually take over most of the liver, resulting in cirrhosis and, eventually, liver failure or liver cancer. Their findings may prevent the beginnings of fibrosis and, for some people, liver failure.

Presidential Impact Fellows retain their new title for life and receive an annual stipend of $25,000 for three years. The goal of this investment is to allow scholars increased opportunities for national and global dialogue and collaboration across disciplines and beyond the borders of institutions.

— Mary Leigh Meyer