Two College of Medicine faculty receive Distinguished Achievement Awards

Awarded based on highest standard of excellence at Texas A&M University
April 30, 2020

Two faculty members from the Texas A&M College of Medicine have been chosen to receive Distinguished Achievement Awards in the categories of teaching and research by The Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University.

Since 1955, The Association of Former Students has presented these prestigious awards to more than 1,000 faculty and staff. The awards are given to the faculty and staff who have exhibited the highest standards of excellence at Texas A&M.

Diane E. Chico, PhD, instructional professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics at the College of Medicine, will receive the award in the teaching category.

Chico’s primary teaching responsibilities lie in gross anatomy, histology and neuroscience. Additionally, she emphasizes self-directed student learning and knowledge application and synthesis through the use of design, implementation and evaluation of instructional models.

“It is an honor to be recognized by The Association for my teaching endeavors,” Chico said. “I view this award also in recognition of my colleagues and our students who continue to inspire and motivate me to promote excellence in medical education.”

Samba Reddy, PhD, RPh, professor of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics at the College of Medicine, will receive the award in the research category. Reddy has conducted pioneering research in pharmacology and epilepsy neuroscience and drug development related to the life-threatening brain disorders. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for more than 14 years. He also received grants from the U.S. Army to find new therapies for veterans suffering with post-traumatic epilepsy and Gulf War illness.

Reddy has made accomplishments to neurotherapeutics and helped advance new drugs to clinical trials. He was among the first to characterize mechanisms of neurosteroids at extrasynaptic GABA-A receptors, discovered the neurocode for treating epilepsy, identified novel antidotes for chemical warfare agents and discovered an epigenetic mechanism of post-traumatic epilepsy.

“I am very honored to be chosen to receive this prestigious award among my fellow researchers,” Reddy said. “To receive an award that recognizes my research, something that I am extremely passionate about, is more than anything I could ask for. I am grateful to my students and colleagues for their dedicated research work in translating my ideas into therapeutic reality.”

The recipients are chosen by a campus-wide committee composed of faculty, former students and staff in a rigorous selection process. Each award recipient will receive a cash gift, a commemorative plaque and an engraved watch, all of which are funded by The Association of Former Students.

— Gracie Blackwell