Southwestern Medical College was founded in Dallas, Texas. The wartime college’s campus was housed in several converted army shacks.
In the early days, there were just 5 women faculty and students on campus.
Gladys J. Fashena, M.D., joined Southwestern Medical School and helped inaugurate what would become UT Southwestern. She was the first full-time member of the Pediatric faculty and established the Pediatric Cardiology Division. She was promoted to full professor in 1949 and became the first female President of the Dallas County Medical Society in 1976. UT Southwestern named the Medical School’s Fashena College in her honor.
The second class to graduate from Southwestern Medical College. Out of 52 graduates, only 3 were women.
Alice Lorraine Smith, M.D., became one of Southwestern Medical College’s first female graduates. She joined the faculty in 1950 and became a professor in 1976. Dr. Smith was a leader in the field of cytopathology.
With the increase in women medical students, UT Southwestern established the first and only medical sorority, Alpha Epsilon lota.
L. Ruth Guy, Ph.D., cofounded the School of Medical Technology that became part of the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions in 1969. She was a noted innovator in medical technology and blood banking and helped develop a rape test kit in the 1950s. Dr. Guy was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1989.
Peggy J. Whalley, M.D., graduated from UT Southwestern, and joined our faculty in 1961. Her high-risk pregnancy unit at Parkland Hospital – dubbed “Peggy’s Palace” – has treated more than 10,000 women since its inception in 1971.
Mary E. Gaulden, Ph.D., joined UT Southwestern as a Professor of Radiology. She started a pre-X-ray screening program at Parkland for women of child-bearing age, which was later adopted nationwide. Dr. Gaulden was a tireless advocate for women’s health and overall rights.
Catalina E. Garcia, M.D., became the first Latinx graduate of UT Southwestern. Dr. Garcia would later co-establish the Dallas Women’s Foundation, which is now the Texas Women’s Foundation.
Dr. Garcia is shown with the class of 1969 (front row, fourth from right). Until 1970, women never made up more than 6% of any medical school class in the United States.
Barbara Cambridge, Ph.D., became the first African American full-time faculty at UT Southwestern when she was appointed Social Services Director for the Division of Community Women’s Healthcare. She led in a variety of roles at UT Southwestern over the next 44 years.
Doris E. Porter, PT (right), founded the Department of Physical Therapy in what is now the School of Health Professions, and served as its Chair until 1978. She advocated for the Physical Therapy Practice Act, enacted by the Texas Legislature in 1971.
The Women in the University System panel discussion was held to celebrate the first United Nation’s Women in Science and Medicine month. Panelists were from UT Southwestern (including Gladys Fashena, M.D.), Southern Methodist University, University of Dallas, and the Dallas Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
Ellen Vitetta, Ph.D., became Professor of Immunology. She was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in 1994, and the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007. She was the President of the American Association of Immunologists and has received many prestigious scientific and mentoring awards.
Helen Redman, M.D., an expert in diagnostic imaging, joined UT Southwestern. She was the first female president of both the Texas Radiological Society and the Radiological Society of North America. She was a founding member of the American Association for Women Radiologists in 1981.
Marilyn Leitch, M.D., was the only woman surgeon in the Department of Surgery in 1986. She has mentored many physicians. Dr. Leitch is pictured third from left, backrow of Department of Surgery, 1986.
The Ida M. Green Award was established to recognize a female UTSW Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences student who has demonstrated a commitment to research excellence, fellow student well-being, and exceptional community service. Ida M. Green Award winners include Ying Chuan Li, M.D., Ph.D., in 2017, Divya Bezwada, Ph.D. student in 2020, and Karolina Stepien, Ph.D. student in 2021.
Space Shuttle Columbia orbited the Earth, conducting medical experiments designed by Lynda Lane, RN. She served as a Senior Research Scientist at UT Southwestern from 1980–1996 and a Clinical Nurse Specialist onboard NASA’s reduced gravity aircraft in 1988.
The Women in Science and Medicine Advisory Committee (WISMAC) was established. Picture shows inaugural founding members and supporters. From left to right: Helen Yin, Ph.D., Carole Mendelson, Ph.D., Donald Seldin, M.D. (UT Southwestern’s intellectual “father”), Helen Blau, Ph.D. (visiting professor), Ellen Vitetta, Ph.D. (founding chair), Karen Bradshaw, M.D., a graduate student representative, and Nancy Street, Ph.D.
Carole Mendelson, Ph.D., current WISMAC co-chair and her M.D., Ph.D. student, Nora Renthal.
WISMAC has championed women in science and medicine at UT Southwestern through visiting professorships, awards, and more recently, annual women Poster Sessions.
UT Southwestern recruited many first-time faculty into its basic science departments, through multiple mechanisms, including the new Endowed Scholars Program in Medical Science. Nine women recruited as assistant professors between 1998–2008 have been promoted to tenured professors and are STEMM leaders including Vanessa Sperandio, Ph.D., Kim Orth, Ph.D., Yuh Min Chook, Ph.D., Lora Hooper, Ph.D., Kimberly Huber, Ph.D., Ondine Cleaver, Ph.D., Julie Pfeiffer, Ph.D., Yang Xie, Ph.D., and Jasmin Tiro, Ph.D.
Helen Hobbs, M.D., was appointed Director of the McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development. She pioneered the Dallas Heart Study and is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Hobbs has received many national and international honors, including the National Academy of Sciences (2007), the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2015), and the Passano Award (2016).
Linda B. Buck, Ph.D., who received her Ph.D. degree with Dr. Vitetta as her thesis advisor, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, together with Dr. Richard Axel, for their research on the olfactory system.
“As a woman in science, I sincerely hope that my receiving a Nobel Prize will send a message to young women everywhere that the doors are open to them and that they should follow their dreams.” – Linda B. Buck, Ph.D.
The Clinical Scholars Masters Degree in Clinical Science (M.S.C.S.) Program was launched to train the next generation of leaders in patient-oriented research. Five women Scholars from 2005–2008 have been promoted to full professors and are leaders in clinical and translational research. Heidi Jacobe, M.D., M.S.C.S., Ildiko Lingvay, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.C.S., Marlene Corton, M.D., M.S.C.S., Lina Chalak, M.D., M.S.C.S., and Kelly Chin, M.D., M.S.C.S.
Robin Jarrett, Ph.D., and Helen Yin, Ph.D., were the first two faculty sponsored by UT Southwestern to attend the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program to propel them to become leaders in academic medicine.
Subsequent ELAM attendees were Shawna Nesbitt, M.D., M.S. (2013), Associate Dean of Student Diversity and Inclusion, and Nora Gimpel, M.D., (2022), Professor and Vice Chair of Community Health, Family and Community Medicine.
The Southwestern Academy of Teachers (SWAT) was established to honor elite educators. Women SWAT Presidents are Susan Cox, M.D., (2006, 2007), Lynne Kirk, M.D., (2013), Kim Hoggatt Krumwiede, Ph.D., (2015), Beth Brickner, M.D., (2017), Dorothy Sendelbach, M.D., (2018), Larissa Velez, M.D., (2019), Mary Jane Pearson, M.D., (2021), Vivyenne Roche, M.D., (2022).
Six UTSW Medical School Academic Colleges established. Student orientation picture features speakers Robert Rege, M.D., Angela Mihalic, M.D., and Gary Reed, M.D. Since 2021, 50% of the college heads have been women including Carol Croft, M.D., Dorothy Sendelbach, M.D., and Temple Howell-Stampley, M.D., M.B.A.
The UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (ROTA) was established to honor extraordinary teaching innovations. UT Southwestern’s 53 ROTA awardees have tremendous impact on our education systems. Women inducted since 2017 are Aditee Ambardekar, M.D., (2017), Beth Brickner, M.D., (2017), Laura Lacritz, Ph.D., (2017), Alisa Winkler, Ph.D., (2017), Lona Sandon, Ph.D., (2017), Dorothy Sendelbach, M.D., (2018), Reeni Abraham, M.D., (2020), Julie Champine, M.D., (2020), Vivyenne Roche, M.D., (2021).
The Patricia and William L. Watson Jr., M.D. Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine was established. Four out of 13 honorees are women. They are Sharon Reimold, M.D. (2012), Barbara Haley, M.D. (2013), Marilynn Punaro, M.D. (2014), and Diane Twickler, M.D. (2021).
Helen Yin, Ph.D., was appointed the inaugural Associate Dean of the Office of Women’s Careers. Her Office has organized many programs, including the Lean In at UT Southwestern Kickoff, Negotiation Workshops, and Sponsorship panel discussions. Panel pictured includes UT Southwestern President Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D., Sharon Reimold, M.D., Deborah Diercks, M.D., and Nobel Laureate Michael Brown, M.D.
The Dedman Family Program for Scholars in Clinical Care, established in 2009 to recruit promising early-career clinician scientists, has had 9 women awardees since 2017 including Pearlie Chong, M.D., (2017), Alexandra Callan, M.D., (2017), Maria Florian-Rodriguez, M.D., (2018), Ksenya Shliakhtsitsava, M.D., (2019), Nina Sanford, M.D., (2019), Anna Tavakkoli, M.D., M.Sc., (2020), Kimberly Goodspeed, M.D., (2020), Natasha Corbitt, M.D., Ph.D., (2021), Jessica Moore, M.D., (2021).
The Disease-Oriented Clinical Scholars (DOCS) Program was established in 2006 to recruit junior physician scientists. Two women were first appointed to DOCS in 2017 and 2 more were appointed in 2019. They are Tamia Harris-Tryon, M.D., Ph.D., (2017), Sarah Huen, M.D., Ph.D., (2017), Lenette Lu, M.D., Ph.D., (2019), and Sangeetha Reddy, M.D., (2019).
Southwestern Health Resources, a partnership between UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources (THR), established the THR Clinical Scholars Program in 2017 to support outstanding junior investigators. The first woman THR Scholar was appointed in 2018, and 3 more were appointed subsequently. They include Nneka Ifejika, M.D., M.P.H., (2018), Amy Hughes, Ph.D., (2019), Kara Goss, M.D., (2020), and Nicole Rich, M.D., M.S.C.S., (2021).
Compared with 1986, UT Southwestern has many more women faculty surgeons. Sara Hennessy, M.D., and Shelby Holt, M.D., established the first Texas Chapter of the Association of Women Surgeons.
Some of the surgeons who attended the inaugural Women in Surgery Meeting at work include Marilyn Leitch, M.D. (Breast Cancer Surgery), Toral Patel, M.D. (Neurological Surgery), Shelby Holt, M.D. (Endocrine Surgery), and Melissa Kirkwood, M.D. (Vascular Surgery).
The Leaders in Clinical Excellence Awards were established. Inaugural women awardees Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, M.D. (Institutional Service), Larissa Velez, M.D. (Mentoring), Rachel Wooldridge, M.D. (Patient & Family Recognition), and Kavita Bhavan, M.D., M.H.S. (Program Development), and Elizabeth Paulk, M.D. (President’s Award for Diversity and Humanism in Clinical Care). Since then, many more women have received recognition in these and in the Rising Star category.
UT Southwestern’s 3 currently existing degree granting schools (the UT Southwestern Medical School, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Health Professions) centralized their student diversity efforts under the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion. Our students from the School of Health Professions (Mariana Pardo Carrillo, Elexis Stephens, Ayriana Windfield) and the Graduate School (Lidiette Angeles-Perez). Women Student Associate and Assistant Deans in the office are Shawna Nesbitt, M.D., M.S., and Carolyn Bradley-Guidry, M.P.A.S., DrPH, PA-C.
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences trains STEMM Ph.D. students. 2019 graduates pictured taking a selfie: Bishakha Mona, Ph.D., Yi-Li Min, Ph.D., and Hema Manjunath, Ph.D. Women graduate program directors (45% of total) are Ondine Cleaver, Ph.D., Betsy Kennard, Psy.D., Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D., Angelique Whitehurst, Ph.D., and Anne Satterthwaite, Ph.D.
The Office of Faculty Wellness was created and Susan Matulevicius, M.D., M.S.C.S., was appointed as the inaugural Assistant Dean of Faculty Wellness. The Office uses evidence-based approaches to advocate for more flexible work, the needs of caregivers, and improving mental health resources for all faculty. Photos feature Susan Matulevicius, M.D., M.S.C.S., the first Wellness Symposium Day, and a beloved therapy dog.
The White Coat Ceremony features Christine Kulstad, M.D. (faculty) and Valeria Mejia Martinez (Medical School Class of 2024), Faculty Kehinde Odedosu, M.D., Melanie Sulistio, M.D., and Reeni Abraham, M.D. at the celebration, and Grace Osuji (School of Health Professions Physician Assistant Class of 2020) and Nawal Suleman (Class of 2021).
Four UT Southwestern faculty Nina Sanford, M.D., Julie Mirpuri, M.D., Danielle Robertson, O.D., Ph.D., and Kirsten Tulchin-Francis, Ph.D. were selected as IF/THEN® Ambassadors among 125 nationally by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and Lyda Hill Philanthropies. Ms. Lyda Hill pictured at celebration. Our IF/THEN Ambassadors are shown in front of a large statue display of Women in STEMM in Dallas. A similar exhibition was held at the Smithsonian/National Mall in March 2022. The IF/THEN program’s motto is “IF we support a woman in STEM, THEN she can change the world.”
Margaret Phillips, Ph.D., Sandra Schmid, Ph.D., and Kim Orth, Ph.D., were inducted into the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
Joan Conaway, Ph.D., was recruited to UT Southwestern as Dean and Vice Provost of Basic Research. She has received many honors, including membership in the National Academy of Sciences (2020). Dr. Conaway will provide strategic leadership for our state-of-the-art basic biomedical research and guide the expansion and coordination of resources that support investigations at the forefront of innovation.
The 9 women National Academy of Science members account for 33% of total NAS members at UT Southwestern including Ellen Vitetta, Ph.D., (1994), Melanie Cobb, Ph.D., (2006), Helen Hobbs, M.D., (2007), Beth Levine, M.D., (2013; now deceased), Lora Hooper, Ph.D., (2015), Joan Conaway, Ph.D., (2020), Kim Orth, Ph.D., (2020), Sandra Schmid, Ph.D., (2020), and Margaret Phillips, Ph.D., (2021).
Catherine Spong, M.D. became the new Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Women now account for 22% of our Medical School chairs/center directors, compared with 26% as full professors. These leaders include Helen Hobbs, M.D., (2000), Carol Tamminga, M.D., (2010), Kathleen Bell, M.D., (2014), Deborah Diercks, M.D., M.P.H., (2014), Lora Hooper, Ph.D., (2016), Margaret Phillips, Ph.D., (2016), Celette Skinner, Ph.D., (2018), Anke Henning, Ph.D., (2019), and Catherine Spong, M.D., (2021).
Holly Crawford, M.B.A., was appointed as Executive Vice President for Business Affairs, to lead more than 15 business- and service-related departments.
During the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, our faculty, staff, and trainees were at the forefront of team-based health care and research. They showed remarkable resilience and resourcefulness. Trish Perl, M.D., M.Sc., demonstrates the use of personal protective equipment. On the COVID-19 ward: Kimberly Williams, RN, Meagan Johns, Pharm.D., Leah Cohen, M.D., Blair Lane, RN, Julie Trivedi, M.D., and Mamta Jain, M.D., M.P.H.
UT Southwestern and the Dallas Independent School District partnered to open a transformative Medical District PK-8 Biomedical School that will increase STEMM education and create a pipeline.
A team of women from UT Southwestern created the Women’s Wall. Many have contributed, including Courtney Crothers, Marissa Hansen, M.S., Traci Barros, M.B.A., Julie Mirpuri, M.D., Helen Yin, Ph.D., and Charlondra Thompson.