Two from UTHSC Receive 2018 University of Tennessee President’s Awards

Dr. Samuel Dagogo-Jack is the recipient of the UT President’s Award in the Discover category. (Photos by Allen Gillespie/UTHSC)

Two outstanding faculty members from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center were among the winners of the 2018 University of Tennessee President’s Awards. The awards are the UT System’s highest honor for faculty and staff.

UTHSC’s Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, and Trevor Sweatman, PhD, were two of the four honored today with the awards.

The winners were announced by UT President Joe DiPietro during a luncheon in Nashville prior to his annual State of the University Address. The awards recognize exceptional contributions to the education, research and outreach missions of the system. They are given in four categories — Educate, Discover, Connect, and Support.

Dr. Dagogo-Jack won in the Discover category. Dr. Dagogo-Jack is a professor and the interim chair of the Department of Medicine in the College of Medicine, director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, director of the General Clinical Research Center, and the former president, Medicine and Science, of the American Diabetes Association.

He has spent his career in the international fight against diabetes as an educator, clinician, researcher and advocate.

The A.C. Mullins Endowed Chair in Translational Research, Dr. Dagogo-Jack has been awarded 32 grants, including 10 from the National Institutes of Health and three from the American Diabetes Association, totaling more than $20 million over the past 20 years. He has published seven books, along with more than 270 peer-reviewed publications.

His most recent book titled, “Diabetes Mellitus in Developing Countries and Underserved Communities,” features experts from all over the world addressing issues related to the growing global diabetes epidemic.

“Dr. Dagogo-Jack has my strongest recommendation,” UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD, said in his nomination. “His work not only brings positive recognition to UTHSC and the University of Tennessee, but more broadly, it has national and international impact.”

Dr. Dagogo-Jack directs the Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program. He serves on the World Health Organization’s Strategic Planning Committee on Diabetes Mellitus. The National Medical Association named him Internal Medicine Section Physician of the Year, and the American Diabetes Association awarded him the Banting Medal for Leadership. He also received the Distinction in Endocrinology Award from the American College of Endocrinology.

“I thank President DiPietro and the university for this award, which recognizes the pivotal value of research to our mission,” Dr. Dagogo-Jack said. “I proudly share this award, first with all individuals who volunteer as research participants, and next with my tireless colleagues in the research enterprise, who like me, uphold the conviction that research and discovery chart the only credible path to new treatments and cures for the many ailments that afflict humanity.”

Dr, Trevor Sweatman won a 2018 UT President’s Award in the Educate category.

Dr. Sweatman, a professor of pharmacology, medical education, and bioscience research, received the President’s Award in the Educate category.

Dr. Sweatman has made significant educational contributions across multiple colleges and academic programs at UTHSC. He has been on the faculty at UTHSC for 35 years.

He has been active in advancing curriculum for professional and graduate students with innovative methods, including interprofessional education, flipped classroom sessions, podcasts, team-based learning, and simulation training. His major focus is on how pharmacology relates across disciplines.

“I can think of no one who comes close to the positive academic influence Dr. Trevor Sweatman has had on students across our colleges and academic programs over such a sustained period of time,” Dr. Schwab said in nominating Dr. Sweatman.

Dr. Sweatman is a member of the UT Center for Cancer Research and the United States Pharmacopeial Convention for the College of Medicine.

“I am delighted to receive the 2018 President’s Award for Education,” Dr. Sweatman said. “The accelerating pace of scientific discovery and its implication for future health care professionals continues to challenge all of us who strive to provide a meaningful educational experience for our students. I am proud to play my part in providing the foundation upon which so many careers will be based.”

Other winners are Elizabeth Strand, PhD, LSCW, director of veterinary social work and clinical associate professor of biomedical and diagnostic sciences at UT Knoxville, and Charley Deal, UT Martin associate vice chancellor for alumni relations and annual giving. Dr. Strand won in the in the Connect category, and Deal won in the Support category.

Honorees are selected each year from across the system from nominations by campus and institute leaders. Winners receive plaques and awards of $3,000.