UT-Houston Medicine Magazine The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
UT-Houston Medicine Magazine


By Camille Webb

Alumni Profile – Souba, '78, selected for 2007 Distinguished Alumnus Award

Wiley 'Chip' Souba Jr., M.D.

The highest honor bestowed to an alumnus of the Medical School is the Distinguished Alumnus Award, and this year's recipient couldn't be more deserving of the honor. The 2007 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient is Wiley "Chip" Souba Jr., M.D., a 1978 graduate of the Medical School and current dean of the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes outstanding contributions to medical science and education or the prevention and treatment of disease.

"The alumni association is proud to sponsor this award, which recognizes the accomplishments of such an eminent alumnus as Dr. Souba," says Joel Dunnington, M.D., '81, president of the Medical School's Alumni Association. "He has represented this Medical School well."

A Venezuelan native, Dr. Souba was born in Caracas but is an American citizen. He attended Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, for his undergraduate education in chemistry, graduating summa cum laude. In addition to his medical degree, he received his Doctor of Science degree in nutritional biochemistry from Harvard School of Public Health, and his Master of Business Administration from Boston University School of Management. He completed his residencies at the Medical School and fellowships at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and one in surgical oncology at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

His career started in 1987 with the University of Florida College of Medicine as an assistant professor of surgery, and he became a full professor before joining Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in 1993. He was professor of surgery at Harvard and chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the hospital.

From Harvard, Dr. Souba joined Penn State College of Medicine in 1999 as chair of the Department of Surgery and holder of the John A. and Marian T. Waldhausen Professorship in surgery. He also was surgeon-in-chief at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and director of the Penn State Hershey Center for Leadership Development. He was with Penn State for seven years before being appointed to the deanship at Ohio State.

Dr. Souba is a firm believer in faculty advancement. He instituted a successful leadership program at Penn State, and he has published many articles and delivered lectures on the importance of leadership development in academic medicine.

An accomplished researcher, Dr. Souba studies the molecular regulation of glutamine transport and has 18 years of continuous federal research funding.

As a surgical oncologist, Dr. Souba is a compassionate caregiver. "He cares for his patients giving them his superb technical expertise and by giving them a place to repose their confidence and in so doing, lose their fears," says his nominator Henry Strobel, Ph.D., who also is associate dean for faculty affairs and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.

Throughout his career, he has been recognized for his skills as a mentor, researcher, and clinician. For 11 years, he was named one of America's Top Doctors. He received the University of Florida College of Medicine Faculty Research Prize for Outstanding Research in the Clinical Sciences and the Lester R. Dragstedt Physician-Scientist Award.

"Chip is a leader in all the areas of his endeavor because he is a man who cares for people," Dr. Strobel says. "Chip's focus is on individuals; it never seems he has no time for one more."

Dr. Souba is married to Lynne Hayes Souba, and they have two children, Matthew Hayes and Julia Lynne.

Dr. Souba is also the Medical School's 2007 commencement speaker. Commencement is scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 29 at the Assembly Hall at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

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