Photo of Melinda Perrin

Melinda Perrin

HOUSTON – (Nov. 9, 2016) – Four women who have made significant contributions to the development and success of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the Texas Medical Center have been selected for induction into the Texas Medical Center Women’s History Project.

Inductees who are affiliated with UTHealth include Millicent “Mimi” Goldschmidt, Ph.D.; Margaret McNeese, M.D.; Kathryn Peek, Ph.D.; and Melinda Perrin. Diana Chow, Ph.D., who is on the faculty of the University of Houston College of Pharmacology, also was inducted.

The goal of the Texas Medical Center Women’s History Project is to document and preserve the oral histories of women who have made scientific contributions to the biomedical and health care fields at the Texas Medical Center. These oral histories and papers are available in The TMC Library’s John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center.

The 2016 inductees’ oral histories will be recorded for posterity and transcribed for preservation. The inductees also will be honored during the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce’s annual NO LIMITS Conference for Women in April 2017.

A leader in the field of microbiology at UTHealth for more than 40 years, Goldschmidt is a professor emerita in the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences at UTHealth School of Dentistry and also served on the faculty at McGovern Medical School and The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. In addition, she has served as a professor in laboratory medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2011, Goldschmidt earned the American Society for Microbiology Founders Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to science and the organization. Two years later, she was selected as the recipient of the Distinguished Professional Woman Award by the Committee on the Status of Women at UTHealth. This award honors professional women who demonstrate a pioneering spirit, support women as both mentors and as positive role models and promote and advance overall health, quality of life and public service.

McNeese is a pediatrician and vice dean for admissions and students affairs at McGovern Medical School. As a longtime faculty member and member of the Texas Medical Center Student Advisory Council, her leadership has been key to the education of thousands of students who successfully earn their medical degrees and go on to become physicians dedicated to exceptional, compassionate patient care. McNeese has dedicated much of her own career as a physician to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of child abuse. Since 2006, she has served on the Texas Medical Board. She is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Texas Medical Association, the American Medical Association and the Houston Pediatric Society and is a former member of the Southern Medical Association. She previously served on the Harris County Child Welfare Medical Committee, the Mental Health Mental Retardation Advisory Committee and the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse.

Peek earned a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at UTHealth and has held faculty and administrative positions at McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the University of Houston and Texas Woman’s University-Houston. Throughout her career, she has focused on educating health professionals and advancing women’s health research. She established the grant-funded Female Clinical Anatomy Program at UTHealth, one of the first medical education programs in the country dedicated to integrating women’s health awareness into the medical curriculum. More recently, as associate vice president for health initiatives at the University of Houston, Peek led the development of the seven-year B.S./M.D. dual degree program with McGovern Medical School. She was the co-founder and first president of the Texas Medical Center Women’s Health Network and is a past president of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the Association for Women in Science. Peek retired from the University of Houston in 2013 and now serves as an instructor of gross anatomy at McGovern Medical School.

Perrin is a legacy member of the UTHealth Development Board whose leadership has been key to the success of numerous UTHealth programs, including those in the School of Biomedical Informatics. She was the first woman to serve on the board of Memorial Hermann Health System and was instrumental in the development of the hospital system’s Life Flight® air ambulance service. Perrin is the 2002 recipient of the Distinguished Professional Woman Award by the Committee on the Status of Women at UTHealth.

“The induction of these outstanding leaders reflects the invaluable contributions each has made to both UTHealth and the TMC at large,” said Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D., UTHealth president and Alkek-Williams Distinguished Chair. “We are honored that their voices and their stories will be preserved, as they are a vital part of Houston’s history in the advancement of the health sciences.”

Since 2013, five prominent women in the Texas Medical Center have been inducted each year to share their oral histories for the Women’s History Project.

Previous inductees from McGovern Medical School include Julane Hotchkiss Knobil, Ph.D.; Dianna Milewicz, M.D., Ph.D.; and Anna Steinberger, Ph.D. Marianne Marcus, R.N., Ed.D.; Patricia Starck, Ph.D., R.N.; Lu Ann Aday, Ph.D.; and Dorothy Otto, M.S.N., Ed.D., of UTHealth School of Nursing, along with Asha S. Kapadia, Ph.D., of UTHealth School of Public Health, are also part of the Women’s History Project.

“These inductees are truly deserving and we are so fortunate to have women of such high caliber affiliated with UTHealth,” said LaTanya Love, M.D., vice president for diversity and leadership development at UTHealth. “They are wonderful role models for our students and future generations to come. I am looking forward to hearing their oral histories and learning more about their scientific contributions.

For more information, including transcriptions of the oral histories, visit http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/tmc-whp/.