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UTHSC College of Medicine Honors Three with 2015 Outstanding Alumnus Awards


The College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will honor three physicians with the 2015 Outstanding Alumnus Awards for their contributions to the medical profession, their communities and their alma mater.

James Dale, MD
Dr. James Dale

James B. Dale, MD, a specialist in infectious disease and immunology; B. Mark Evers, MD, FACS, a specialist in gastrointestinal oncology and surgery; and Robert M. Herndon, MD, a specialist in neurology, will be honored by the College of Medicine Alumni Council on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 6:30 p.m., during the Alumni Awards Dinner in the Venetian Ballroom of The Peabody Hotel.

“These three alumni represent the best of UTHSC and the College of Medicine,” said Kris Phillips, associate vice chancellor for Alumni Affairs.“Their dedication to innovation, care, education and advancements in medicine carry our missions into the community and embody the excellence we strive to achieve.”

Dr. James B. Dale grew up in Norris, Tennessee, where he worked as an orderly at a hospital. This experience, along with two senior nurses he met at the hospital, inspired him to pursue a career in medicine. “They had seen it all and taught me a tremendous amount about people, health, disease and compassionate care,” Dr. Dale said.

Graduating from the UT College of Medicine in 1977, Dr. Dale completed an internship at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas; his residency at City of Memphis Hospitals and the Memphis VA Medical Center; and a fellowship in infectious disease and immunology at the Memphis VA Medical Center.

Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases for the College of Medicine since 1989, Dr. Dale has spent more than 30 years researching infectious disease and immunology. His research of Group A streptococcal diseases led to his invention of StreptAnova®. The vaccine designed to prevent Group A streptococcal infections is in Phase 1 clinical trial at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is being commercialized jointly by Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise Inc. and Vaxent, a company Dr. Dale founded.

Dr. Dale is also on the journal review for seven medical publications and has a bibliography of more than 100 publications.

B. Mark Evers, MD
Dr. B. Mark Evers

Dr. B. Mark Evers spent his childhood in Loretto, Tennessee. In a town nearby, he met a general surgeon who influenced him to study medicine. Receiving his degree from the UT College of Medicine in 1983, he then completed an internship and general surgery residency at the University of Louisville, and a fellowship in gastrointestinal physiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas.

Residing in Galveston until 2009, Dr. Evers considers his fellowship at UTMB as having a great influence on his career. “This time served as the basis for an academic career in surgery, which has been extremely rewarding and gratifying,” he said. While there, Dr. Evers held the title of Professor, Robertson-Poth Distinguished Chair in General Surgery, and Director of the Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology.

The University of Kentucky recruited him in 2009 to be Director of the Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center, Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Surgery, and Director of the Oncology Service Line for UK HealthCare. He was successful in achieving the National Cancer Institute designation for the Markey Cancer Center in 2013, making it the only NCI-designated cancer center in Kentucky. Dr. Evers is also the author of more than 600 peer-reviewed publications and abstracts. For 23 years, his research has been successfully funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Robert Herndon, MD
Dr. Robert Herndon

A native of Buffalo, New York, Dr. Robert M. Herndon credits his brother for sparking his interest in the field of neuroscience. “While in my second year of college at the University of Chicago, my brother gave me a book on the brain, and from that time on, I wanted to study the brain,” he said. During the first two years while earning his degree, Dr. Herndon was drafted. He applied for the Berry Plan, which allowed him to be deferred and complete his training, and also ensured that upon completion he would be working in his specialty.

Earning his degree in 1958 from the UT College of Medicine, Dr. Herndon completed an internship and residency in neurology at Wayne State University School of Medicine; a neurology research fellowship at the Montreal Neurological Institute; and a research fellowship in anatomy at Harvard Medical School. A captain in the U.S. Air Force, he served as a neurologist, and became Chief of neurology at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California.

Dr. Herndon has held faculty and clinical appointments at Veteran’s Administration Hospital and Stanford University in Palo Alto, California; Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine; Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center; and the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. He is currently in the Neurology Department at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.

The Alumni Awards Dinner is part of the College of Medicine Alumni Weekend September 17-19. Events include a class social and recognition dinner, reunion dinners, continuing medical education, panel discussions, and a walking tour of the UTHSC campus.