BOV 275x275In addition to serving as advocates and advisers, the School of Medicine’s Board of Visitors (BOV) is helping ensure the future of a program that recognizes junior faculty and supports the recruitment and retention of highly competitive scientists and physician-scientists. Pittman Scholars, named for the late James Pittman, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine from 1973-1992, are assistant professors who have held that rank for fewer than five years. Their department chairs nominate them based on their research achievements and potential for continued discovery.

Five Pittman Scholars are selected per academic year and each receives $12,500 per year for five years to support their research-related activities or scholarly enrichment. The 2019 Pittman Scholars are Matt Alexander, Ph.D., of the Department of Pediatrics; Aaron Fobian, Ph.D., of the Department of Psychiatry; Alexa Mattheyses, Ph.D., of the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology; Pankaj Arora, M.D., of the Department of Medicine; and Kyle Wood, M.D., of the Department of Urology.

Board of Visitors members including Michael Goodrich of Birmingham, Mary Heersink of Dothan, and Ted Love, M.D., of San Francisco, have committed gifts to the Pittman Scholars program, as has the Altec-Styslinger Foundation, directed by BOV member Sheri Cook. “Pittman Scholars are the future of research as they aim to discover new treatments for the most pressing diseases we face,” says Selwyn Vickers, M.D., FACS, senior vice president for medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. “I am grateful for our Board of Visitors’ support that helps bring these young researchers’ ideas to fruition.”

The 17-member Board of Visitors includes physicians and other health care industry veterans, business leaders, biotech CEOs, prominent activists and philanthropists, lawyers, and other experts in a variety of fields. Alongside their invaluable insight and expertise, they have given more than $46 million to the School of Medicine.

By Jane Longshore