Senate Taps Two Faculty for Top Honors

Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., a renowned colorectal surgeon at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Eugene R. Schiff, M.D., one of the world’s leading authorities on liver diseases, have been unanimously selected by the Faculty Senate to receive two of its most prestigious awards, the Outstanding Teaching Award and the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.

Among the University’s highest honors, the awards will be presented along with two previously announced awards at the 2016 Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 11.

Sands, professor of clinical surgery and Chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, was selected as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award for his distinguished record and commitment to providing students with the highest quality education and for inspiring them to strive for success.

A leader in the use of minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer at Sylvester, Sands is involved in every element of surgical education for medical students and post-graduate trainees, and he is known for using his energy and talent to provide students with the best education at every opportunity. For example, in response to a major concern of residents and students about the balance of clinical service and educational opportunities, he reorganized clinical/surgical rotations to increase educational opportunities.

Demonstrating their gratitude for his inspiration and dedication to their education, the Miller School’s 2011 graduating class selected Sands for the 2010 George Paff Teaching Award.

Schiff, the Director of the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases and Leonard Miller Professor of Medicine, will be honored at the April ceremony for his outstanding scholarly achievements. He will also present a short lecture on his research.

For decades, Schiff, a renowned gastroenterologist and hepatologist, led the University’s clinical research aimed at developing improved treatments and cures for hepatitis B, C and D, cirrhosis, and the entire spectrum of liver and biliary tract disorders.

In 2011, Schiff became the first holder of the Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Chair in the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases and Director of the new Schiff Center for Liver Diseases, the successor to the informal Center for Liver Diseases he and his father established in 1982.

Co-editor of the Eleventh Edition of Schiff’s Diseases of the Liver, Schiff has authored and co-authored more than 400 articles, books and book chapters concerning liver diseases and related topics. He is a former president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (his father, Leon, was the first president), past chairman of the Biliary Section of the American Gastroenterological Association, and was governor of the American College of Physicians for the state of Florida for four years. He was a member of the Gastroenterology Subspecialty Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine and former Chair of the FDA Advisory Committee on gastrointestinal drugs. He is also the recipient of numerous honors and awards.

The Faculty Senate previously voted to honor School of Law Professor Richard L. Williamson with its James W. McLamore Outstanding Service Award and, for the first time, to bestow a Special Faculty Senate Award posthumously, honoring the life and work of Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D., a distinguished cancer researcher and educator at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center who passed away October 8.

All members of the University community are invited to attend the awards ceremony, which will begin at 5 p.m. at Storer Auditorium at the School of Business Administration, and be followed by a reception.

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