(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — Two faculty members at The Texas A&M Health Science Center were named recently as recipients of the prestigious Regents Professor Award.

Dr. Stephen H. Safe, Ph.D., director of the Center for Environmental and Genetic Medicine at the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, and Dr. John M. Wright, D.D.S., vice chair of Diagnostic Sciences at the Baylor College of Dentistry, received the award at a meeting of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in College Station.

The Regents Professor Award is bestowed annually by the Board of Regents in recognition of awardees’ exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas. Award recipients are designated as Regents Professors for the duration of their service or employment within the A&M System, receive a $9,000 stipend payable in $3,000 increments over three consecutive years, and receive a special medallion bearing the seal of the A&M System and a framed certificate signed by the chancellor and the chairman of the Board of Regents.

A member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1981, Dr. Safe has developed several courses, including a graduate course taught continuously since 1982, and directed the graduate research of 90 students at Texas A&M. He is principal investigator and director of a training grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that has been funded since 1992, and his research on breast cancer has received more than $10 million in NIH funding.

In 1989, Dr. Safe coordinated development of the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology, which has faculty members from 17 departments in six colleges and three laboratories within the A&M System. Author of 56 book chapters, 17 review articles and two books, his work has led to 550 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and he is on the editorial board of Toxicological Sciences.

Dr. Safe also is a distinguished professor of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology and holder of two endowed chairs.

Since becoming a part of the Baylor College of Dentistry in 1980, Dr. Wright has been instrumental in redesigning the curriculum in pathology. He is director and professor of the Division of Pathology, director of the Advanced Education Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, and director of Laboratory Services.

Dr. Wright, who has secured approximately $500,000 in externally funded grants and contracts, led a review of Baylor’s academic due process and academic standards and developed the graduate program in oral and maxillofacial pathology. He served 11 years on the Executive Council of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, including as president in 2000, and is the North American representative to the Council of the International Association of Oral Pathologists. He is director of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and will be its president in 2010.

Dr. Wright also has received five teaching commendations and was 1990 Teacher of the Year. He has presented more than 200 invited lectures nationally and worldwide and published 59 peer-reviewed papers, 10 non-peer-reviewed papers, two reviews and 22 abstracts. Author of 14 book chapters and three textbooks, he is an ad hoc reviewer for six journals and on the editorial board of two journals.

Their designation as Regents Professors places Drs. Safe and Wright on an extensive list of A&M HSC faculty members who have received this distinction. The HSC is now home to 16 Regents Professors or Regents Professor Service Award holders, whose excellence in a variety of fields of expertise has earned them this recognition.

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