Texas A&M names Regents Professors
Two faculty members from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center received 2018 Regents Professor Awards: Thomas J. McDonald, PhD, professor in the School of Public Health, and Jian Q. Feng, PhD, professor at the College of Dentistry.
Established in 1996, this award from the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents recognizes faculty members who have provided stellar contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas. Recipients have the title added to their current designation or rank. To date, 239 Texas A&M system faculty members have been recognized with the Regents Professor Award.
McDonald earned his doctorate in oceanography from Texas A&M. He studies environmental chemistry, petroleum geochemistry and organic chemistry in relation to public health. He has served as head of the Environmental and Occupational Health Department and as interdisciplinary faculty of toxicology. McDonald is currently leading the Research Translation Core of the Texas A&M Superfund Research Center composed of scientists from across campus conducting four environmental research projects funded by a $10 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Feng earned his doctorate in physiology from the University of Connecticut. He teaches physiology to dental and graduate students and researches craniofacial, tooth and bone developmental biology. His work has challenged the dogma of bone formation and improved understanding of the transformation of cartilage into bone.
The selection process for the awards begins with a call for nominations from the chancellor. Final nominations are put forth to the chief executive officer of each respective entity. They are then subject to a system-level review consisting of academic vice chancellors and past recipients of the awards. Finally, nominations are forwarded to the chancellor and the board for final approval.
“These outstanding individuals are doing incredible work on behalf of the A&M System and the entire state of Texas,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “They exemplify the values and commitment to excellence that defines the A&M System and I am grateful for their dedication.”