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University of Iowa News Release

May 12, 2006

College Of Public Health Names Four Outstanding Alumni

The University of Iowa College of Public Health announces the recipients of its 2006 Outstanding Alumni Awards. The awards, recognizing outstanding past accomplishments, promise for future success and commitment to the college's mission, vision and goals, will be presented at the college's annual honors dinner May 12.

The College of Public Health Outstanding Alumni Awards, instituted in 2003, honor "up-and-coming" graduates as well as prominent alumni who have been in their field of practice for more than 10 years. Several alumni are recognized each year.

"These award recipients are truly exceptional graduates of our college," said John B. Lowe, Dr.P.H., interim associate dean for external relations and chair of the college's Alumni Relations Council. "It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to recognize them with this very well-deserved award."

This year's recipients of the College of Public Health's Outstanding Alumni Award are:

-- Brian Chih-Hung Chiu, assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill. He earned a Ph.D. in preventive medicine in 1997, studying in an area that is now the Department of Epidemiology. Chiu is an expert in the area of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with an interest in diet and lifestyle factors. At Northwestern, he also is a co-investigator on a breast cancer SPORE grant, and he serves as co-chair of the Diet and Lifestyle subgroup of the International Consortium of Lymphoma Epidemiology Investigators. 

-- Sister Mary Corita Heid, health care trustee for the Iowa Region of Trinity Health in Mason City, Iowa. She earned an M.A. in hospital and health administration in 1970. She also holds a B.A. in nursing from Mercy College of Detroit. A member of the Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of Detroit, Sister Heid has had a distinguished career in health management and continues to be active in governance of health care organizations. She is the former president of the Sisters of Mercy Health Corporation and executive vice president of Mercy Health Services, now Trinity Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States. She is a past chair of the board of trustees of the Iowa Hospital Association and has served on the National Advisory Council of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania as well as many other national boards and advisory committees.

-- Chad Roy, principal investigator at the Center for Aerobiological Sciences, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Md. Roy earned a Ph.D. in preventive medicine in 1999, studying in an area which is now the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health. Since graduation, he has established a national reputation in inhalation toxicology and infectious disease aerobiology research. During his tenure with USAMRIID, he has been promoted to team leader in his research division. He also developed an automated bioaerosol exposure system, which has been subsequently patented by the U.S. Army. In addition to running his research laboratory at USAMRIID, Roy founded and operates Biaera Technologies, a small biotechnology company specializing in consulting and supplying equipment for toxicological and infectious disease research.

-- MaryFran Sowers, professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Sowers also has appointments with the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan. Sowers earned a Ph.D. in preventive medicine in 1984, studying in an area that is now the Department of Epidemiology. An international expert in bone health, her research has contributed greatly to understanding bone development, maintenance and loss around menopause. Her work in metabolism, inflammation and osteoarthritis biomarkers is widely recognized. Sowers is a consultant to the National Arthritis Foundation and the Federal Trade Commission. She is director of the Center of Integrated Approach to Complex Diseases and was recently appointed the John G. Searle Professor of Public Health at the University of Michigan.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242

CONTACT: Kate Gleeson, 319-384-4277,

PHOTOS:  Available.