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University of Iowa News Release


May 15, 2009

UI College of Public Health honors two outstanding alumni

The University of Iowa College of Public Health has selected two alumni to receive 2009 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 ceremony May 15.

"We're proud to honor two of our graduates who are doing innovative work in the field of cancer research," said Sue Curry, dean of the UI College of Public Health. "Both have demonstrated excellence in research, collaboration and mentoring."

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

--James Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair, Division of Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Cerhan earned a UI doctoral degree in epidemiology in 1991. He is recognized for his research in cancer etiology and prevention, cancer prognosis and survivorship, and molecular and genetic epidemiology. In addition to authoring or co-authoring more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and serving as principal or co-investigator on numerous grants, he is highly regarded as a teacher and mentor. Cerhan maintains ties to the UI by serving as an adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology and collaborating on research with colleagues in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI and the State Health Registry of Iowa.

--Vickie Shavers, Ph.D., epidemiologist/project officer in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute. Known for her leadership in health disparities and equity research, Shavers earned a Master of Science degree in 1993 and a doctoral degree in 1999 in epidemiology from the UI. Her work focuses on cancer prevention and control, particularly as they relate to racial and ethnic disparities in receipt of health services, cancer incidence, treatment and outcomes, behavioral risks, insurance status, health care access, and quality of health care. Shavers also has been involved in numerous activities aimed at training and developing the careers of minority researchers.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,