Doctoral Grads Lauded for Serving Public Good
May 20, 2008
Three doctoral recipients from UT Dallas recently were featured in a report titled “Making a Difference,” which detailed how a group of about 300 graduate degree holders from across the nation have contributed to the greater public good.
The three UT Dallas honorees were:
- John A. Ryals, Ph.D. in molecular biology, 1982 — CEO and president of Metabolon Inc., for his expertise in genetics and biotechnology, which complements his ability to develop small businesses. He founded Paradigm Genetics Inc., which at its peak employed 280 people and received $100 million in funding.
- Aziz Sancar, Ph.D. in molecular biology, 1977 — Professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who has researched DNA repair and made fundamental discoveries relating to the circadian clock.
- Linda S. S. Smith, Ph.D. in geosciences, 2004 — Research scientist, at UT Dallas who founded the nonprofit company Filters for Families, which distributes free or low-cost filters for Nepalese families. The filters are designed to remove the arsenic prevalent in remote village wells. Smith also called for vitamins to be distributed to those same families to counteract the effects of long-term arsenic exposure.
The testimony comes from a larger account, “Graduate Education and the Public Good,” by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), and tells the stories of people with higher degrees from U.S. universities and the importance of their contributions at the local, state, national and international levels.
The larger report is part of CGS’ effort to promote the value of graduate education and its central role in enhancing the nation’s economic, social and cultural vitality.
Ryals, Sancar and Smith were nominated for inclusion in the report by UT Dallas’ Office of Graduate Studies, which is headed by Dr. Austin Cunningham.
Those honored included scientists and researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators, government, business and nonprofit leaders, teachers and academics.