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Brenner, Schmidt, Wilson honored for excellence

Thomas J. Schmidt, professor of molecular physiology and biophysics in the Carver College of Medicine, has won the 2014 President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of his years of outstanding teaching.

The award, which is administered by the UI Council on Teaching, was created in 2004 as a university-wide recognition for faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained, high level of teaching excellence.

Charles Brenner, professor of internal medicine, and Mary Wilson, joint professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, of the Carver College of Medicine have received the 2014 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.

Presented by the Iowa Board of Regents, the award honors faculty members for work representing a significant contribution to excellence in public education. Each honoree will receive $1,000.

Charles Brenner, Biochemistry

Brenner, Roy J. Carver Chair and departmental executive officer of biochemistry, and professor of internal medicine, is one of the Carver College of Medicine’s most internationally visible faculty members in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service.

A distinguished molecular scientist whose work has had a broad influence in proteolysis, molecular oncology, and metabolism, Brenner also is deeply committed to mentoring trainees and young faculty. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the high throughput screening facility and the creation of the Obesity Research and Education Initiative (OREI).

In addition to hiring new faculty, OREI has created a nexus of interdisciplinary research, helped launch new coursework and an undergraduate minor, and catalyzed extensive outreach across the university and state.

Brenner is a leader at Iowa and nationally in advocating curricular renewal, and—with the introduction of biochemistry to the 2015 Medical College Admissions Test—has been at the forefront of developing recommendations to improve undergraduate preparation for biomedical research and medical training.

Thomas J. Schmidt, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Schmidt directs and played an important role in the development and success of the Human Organ Systems course required of all first-year medical students. He has been very involved in curriculum design as well as student assessment and engagement, and will co-direct the new course Mechanisms of Health and Disease 3.

He served his department for 20 years as director of graduate studies, and has served the college as assistant dean in the Office of Student Affairs and Curriculum and as member and then chair of the Medical Education Committee. He currently serves on a USMLE Step 1 Test Material Development Committee for the National Board of Medical Examiners.

He has received many honors for his teaching, including the UI Marion L. Huit Award, and from 2006-2009 he held the Dr. Harold A. Myers Distinguished Professorship in Medical Education. He served on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Medical Science Educators and in 2010 received their Master Teacher Award.

Mary Wilson, Internal Medicine

Wilson is a joint professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Carver College of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Microbiology, with an additional secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health.

Her research focuses on visceral leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease prevalent in many underdeveloped countries. The international, collaborative research program she has built serves as an inspiration for the next generation of basic and clinical scientists with interests in parasitology and international health, and contributes greatly to the strength of her division, departments, and colleges.

She has been a member of 55 doctoral degree committees and has mentored well over 100 students. Deeply committed to international study, she has sponsored dozens of students, residents, and fellows for international clinical or research rotations, and has hosted visiting students and scientists.

Her efforts have made an immeasurable contribution to the university’s international reputation. In 2010 she was appointed the UI Carver College of Medicine Professor of Global Health.

Story Source: UI Health Care Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

Media Contact: Kris Yows, Office of the Provost,