Pace Named HSC Distinguished Professor

July 15, 2004

Pace-Distinguished Professor
July 15, 2004
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C. Nick Pace Named Second HSC Distinguished Professor
C. Nick Pace, Ph.D., has been named the second Distinguished Professor for the A&M System Health Science Center. Dr. Pace, who is also a Texas A&M University System Regents Professor, is professor in the A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine’s department of medical biochemistry and medical genetics. He is also Tom and Jean McMullin Professor of Genetics at Texas A&M University. Dr. Pace was awarded both the Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Research awards by Texas A&M University prior to his coming to the A&M Health Science Center.
Dr. Pace was nominated for Distinguished Professor by the senior faculty of his department, including interim department head Martin Scholtz, Ph.D. The nomination was subsequently approved by the College of Medicine’s Faculty Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee; College of Medicine Dean Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., and the other A&M Health Science Center deans; HSC President Nancy W. Dickey, M.D.; and A&M System Interim Chancellor Benton Cocanougher, Ph.D.
Dr. Pace is a world-renowned expert in the areas of protein stability and the energetics of protein folding, in which the polypeptide chain is tightly “folded” into a globular formation that is essential for the biological function of cells. When protein folding goes awry, a number of diseases can result.
As the letter to Dr. Dickey in support of his nomination states: “Dr. Pace is clearly regarded as one of the top researchers/scholars in this field. The consensus seems to be that he is at least in the top five percent in the world. In fact, his work on the thermodynamic properties of proteins is considered ‘legendary’… His publications on protein stability are considered ‘definitive in the field’ and several are considered to be ‘pivotal’ in their impact.”
“Dr. Pace is an exemplary researcher, teacher and mentor,” said Dr. Nancy W. Dickey, president of the Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for the A&M System. “His work is recognized across the world. But his contributions don’t stop in the lab; he is also an exceptional teacher, and our students are fortunate to have such a professor. The Health Science Center is pleased to recognize his extraordinary track record.”
Responding to being named recipient of this prestigious award, Dr. Pace says: “I was delighted to learn that I was selected to be a Distinguished Professor. This confirms the fact that I have had a talented, hard-working group of undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows working in my laboratory over the past 35 years.”
James R. West, Ph.D., who is professor and head of the College of Medicine’s department of anatomy and neurobiology, was the first recipient (in 2003) of the A&M Health Science Center’s Distinguished Professor Award. Other Distinguished Professors in the Health Science Center who were selected previously by Texas A&M University are Harris J. Granger, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and head of the College of Medicine’s department of medical physiology and director of the college’s Cardiovascular Research Institute; Arthur E. Johnson, Ph.D., E.L. Wehner-Welch Foundation Chair and professor in the College of Medicine’s department of medical biochemistry and genetics; and Stephen H. Safe, D.Phil., director of the Center for Environmental and Genetic Medicine at the Institute of Biosciences and Technology.
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.

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