Twelve honorees will be recognized at the 2023 Alumni Awards ceremony, Thursday, October 12, at The Westin Houston Medical Center/Museum District. Presented annually to Baylor alumni and faculty, the awards recognize career accomplishments in the areas of innovative research, outstanding patient care and excellence in teaching. Learn about the recipients below.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to alumni whose lifelong pursuits have achieved the zenith of accomplishment and serve as an inspiration to others.
Stephen Greenberg, M.D., Fel. ‘74, MACP, renowned in the field of infectious diseases, began his decades-long career at Baylor College of Medicine and Ben Taub Hospital. He was inspired by a book, Microbe Hunters, which was given to him by his father. After completing a medicine residency at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, he chose to specialize in infectious diseases. He came to Baylor College of Medicine for a fellowship to learn more about virology. Dr. Greenberg dedicated the first 15 years of his tenure to scientific research on influenza, the common cold and HIV. In 1990, he shifted his focus to take key leadership roles at Ben Taub Hospital, emphasizing education and patient care. Driven by his passion for academic medicine, he played a crucial role in revamping Baylor’s medical curriculum and providing ongoing education for physicians. Recognized for his teaching and patient care, Dr. Greenberg’s legacy continues to shape the future of medical training at Baylor.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented to alumni who make outstanding contributions to biomedical and/or medical science through clinical service, research, education and/or administrative leadership.
Marc L. Boom, M.D. ‘92, MBA, FACP, FACHE, is president and CEO of Houston Methodist, a hospital system with more than 2,500 beds and 30,000 employees. Its flagship, Houston Methodist Hospital, has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as an Honor Roll hospital six times and the No. 1 hospital in Texas for 11 years in a row. The System also includes a world-renowned research institute, seven community hospitals, two large physician organizations and more than 50 graduate medical education programs. Houston Methodist is affiliated with several academic institutions including Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital and Texas A&M University.
Elissa Love is an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in the School of Health Professions’ Physician Assistant (PA) Program. Her primary academic focus is on didactic and clinical education of PA students. In the PA Program, she serves as didactic course coordinator for Women’s Health, clinical coordinator for the Obstetrics/Gynecology clerkship, primary mentor for student master’s research projects, didactic instructor, and student advisor. Ms. Love also serves as the Director of Admissions for the PA Program, co-chair of the PA Program Admissions Committee, and recruitment representative. Her current research efforts focus on inclusive student recruitment, with multiple regional, national, and international presentations on innovative recruitment strategies during the pandemic.
Lawrence T. Reiter, Ph.D. serves as professor in the Department of Neurology, at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee. He maintains adjunct appointments in the departments of Anatomy & Neurobiology and Pediatrics. He received his Ph.D. in the laboratory of Professor James R. Lupski, M.D., Ph.D., from Baylor College of Medicine in 1997, where he characterized one of the earliest examples of genomic disorders, the CMT1A Duplication. Translational research investigating the molecular causes of human neurogenetic disease has been the focus of Dr. Reiter’s work since starting his laboratory in 2005.
The Young Alumnus Award is presented to alumni who make outstanding contributions to biomedical and/or medical science through clinical service, research, education and/or administrative leadership and who, at the time the award will be presented, will not yet have reached their 46th birthday.
Daniel Chelius, M.D., Int. ‘06, Res ‘10, FAAP, FACS, associate professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, is nationally recognized as a leader in both the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and in the developing field of complex pediatric head and neck tumor care. Dr. Chelius graduated from Baylor College of Medicine with honors in 2005 before completing otolaryngology residency at Baylor in 2010 and pediatric otolaryngology fellowship at the University of Kansas/Children’s Mercy Hospital. Dr. Chelius has long been a servant-leader in organized medicine including terms as president of the Houston Society of Otolaryngology, chair of the AAOHNS Young Physician’s Section and many appointed positions on national committees, taskforces and guideline development initiatives. In 2019, he was named AAOHNS Annual Meeting Coordinator and will serve five years on the AAOHNS Board of Directors organizing the world’s largest annual otolaryngology meeting.
Prathit Kulkarni, M.D. ’09, FACP, is assistant chief of Medicine at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, Texas. He is also assistant professor of Medicine in the Section of Infectious Diseases at Baylor College of Medicine and serves as program director for the adult Infectious Diseases fellowship training program at Baylor. Dr. Kulkarni graduated from Rice University summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry and from Baylor College of Medicine in 2009. Thereafter, he did residency training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Baylor and stayed on an extra year after residency to serve as a chief medical resident in Internal Medicine. After two years working at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer, with the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the United States Public Health Service, Dr. Kulkarni returned to Baylor to complete fellowship training in adult Infectious Diseases. From early 2020 through 2022, Dr. Kulkarni spent much of his time responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through clinical care, education, research and administrative efforts. In September of 2020, Dr. Kulkarni helped to establish the Post-Acute COVID-19 Clinic, of which he serves as the director, at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Rachel Davis, D.N.P. ’13, M.S. ’08, CRNA, CHSE, is an associate professor of Anesthesiology and Health Professions and the director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program – Nurse Anesthesia at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Davis obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Radford University in 2004. She began her nursing career as a critical care registered nurse in the Coronary Care Unit at Houston Methodist Hospital. In 2008, Dr. Davis obtained her Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia from Baylor College of Medicine. Upon graduation, Dr. Davis became a faculty CRNA, with a clinical appointment at Ben Taub General Hospital. In 2013, Dr. Davis obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree, and in 2014, she became the associate director of the DNP Program.
Shinya Yamamoto, D.V.M, Ph.D. ‘12, is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine and an investigator in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. He also serves as associate director of the Genetics and Genomics Graduate Program at Baylor, co-director of the Model Organisms Screening Center for the Undiagnosed Disease Network, co-investigator of the Center for Precision Medicine Models at Baylor and the chair of the Functional Study Working Group of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network International. He obtained his B.S. and D.V.M. degrees in Japan prior to joining the Graduate Program in Developmental Biology at Baylor in 2005. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2012 under the mentorship of Hugo Bellen, D.V.M., Ph.D., and started his own research group at Texas Children’s Hospital as a NRI Fellow in 2013. He became a tenure-track assistant professor in 2017.
The Distinguished Faculty Award is presented to Baylor faculty who make outstanding contributions through clinical service, research, education and/or administrative leadership.
George J. Hutton, M.D., Int. ’97, Res. ’00, Fel. ’01, joined the Baylor College of Medicine faculty as instructor during his fellowship and is a tenured professor since 2018. He is the recipient of the Linda and John Griffin Endowed Chair in Multiple Sclerosis (formerly Professorship). Dr. Hutton serves as a clinician, educator and researcher and has leadership and community service roles as well. He helped with the founding of the Maxine Mesinger Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center in 2003 and has been Medical Director since 2011. This multidisciplinary center is one of the largest such centers in the region and serves several thousand patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and related diseases.
The Distinguished Service Award is presented to alumni for outstanding service to BCM and/or the BCM Alumni Association.
Ida Orengo, M.D. ’87, Res. ’91, is professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. She has been a practicing Mohs surgeon for over 31 years. Dr. Orengo established the first Mohs unit within a Veterans Affairs medical center in the country. Dr. Orengo was the medical director for Dermatology for over 10 years. During her career, she has received numerous awards, including being named as the Top Doctor in Cancer, the Women of Excellence Award (Baylor) and she also received the Director’s Award for Professional Leadership from the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC). Expanding the educational reach of Baylor, Dr. Orengo implemented the dermatologic surgery fellowship and obtained permanent funding support from the MEDVAMC. She has trained over fifteen surgical fellows who now work all over the United States as Mohs surgeons. For many years, Dr. Orengo was the course director for the Baylor medical student core dermatology program and the primary surgical educator for the Mohs fellowship and dermatology residency programs.
The Humanitarian Award is presented to alumni for outstanding service to mankind including humanitarian, public and/or government service.
Jenny Brockington, D.O., Res. ‘14, moved across the world only months after completing her family medicine residency and receiving her diploma in tropical medicine from the Baylor College of Medicine National School of Tropical Medicine. She has dedicated her career and life to serving the underserved of Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015, she spent two challenging years as one of only two physicians in a busy outpatient clinic among the fields and rural villages of Malawi. In 2017, Dr. Brockington relocated to central Kenya to serve at Chogoria Mission Hospital as a family medicine specialist, and since 2020, Dr. Brockington has served at Nkhoma Mission Hospital, a 100-year-old, 200-bed mission hospital on the side of Nkhoma Mountain in central Malawi.
Rachel Davis, M.D. ’14, Res. ’21, is an academic global surgeon at Baylor College of Medicine, where she is director of the Baylor Center for Global Surgery. As a resident, she created and developed the Global Surgery Track of the General Surgery residency program, which is the first integrated, longitudinal global surgery training program and the only global surgery program in the NRMP match. Additionally, she is the director of strategic planning in the Division of Global Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. Since 2014, she has worked to build educational opportunities for trainees and professionals, including development of the Global Trauma Collaboration, which provides biweekly virtual trauma education for war zones, the Baylor Global Surgery Advocacy & Policy Fellowship in collaboration with Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, and the Diploma Course in Tropical Surgery, Obstetrics, and Gynecology in conjunction with the National School of Tropical Medicine. Dr. Davis has worked toward expansion of surgical access in Ecuador, Guatemala, Malawi, Mongolia, Nepal, Myanmar and Tanzania. She is a current member of the Houston Global Health Collaborative Board of Directors, Baylor Global Health Scholar and nonresident Fellow of the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
Stephen B. Greenberg, M.D., Fel. ‘74, MACP
Marc L. Boom, M.D. ‘92, MBA, FACP, FACHE – School of Medicine
Elissa L. Love, M.S., PA-C ’96 – School of Health Professions
Lawrence T. Reiter, Ph.D. ’97 – Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Daniel C. Chelius, M.D. ’05, Int. ’06, Res. ’10, FAAP, FACS – School of Medicine
Prathit A. Kulkarni, M.D. ’09, Res. ’14, Fel. ’18, FACP – School of Medicine
Rachel C. Davis, D.N.P ’13, M.S. ’08, CRNA, CHSE – School of Health Professions
Shinya Yamamoto, D.V.M., Ph.D. ’12 – Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences