Read more about the Alumni Award recipients honored at the 2017 Alumni Awards Recognition Ceremony and Dinner.

Distinguished Alumnus Award – Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Janet S. Butel, Ph.D. '66
Dr. Janet Butel retired as chair of the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine in December 2016. A highly regarded faculty member, she continues to educate and mentor talented young scientists at the College.

Dr. Butel was the first woman to chair an academic department at Baylor, to be appointed to one of the College’s endowed professorships, and to be a Baylor Distinguished Service Professor. She became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1988 and of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2004. In 1997, she was included in the book, “Women Pioneers in Texas Medicine.”

Dr. Butel attended Kansas State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1966, she received her doctorate from Baylor, where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in virology.

Distinguished Alumnus Award – Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Robert E. Lanford, Ph.D. '79, Fellow '82
Dr. Robert Lanford is director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center and a scientist in the Department of Virology and Immunology at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio. With more than 40 years of experience as a virologist focusing on hepatitis viruses, he has made several seminal contributions to our understanding of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). These contributions include helping to develop safe and effective antivirals that now can cure the majority of chronic HCV in a matter of weeks.

He has served on the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals, and he is a former adjunct professor in the Department of Virology and Epidemiology at Baylor College of Medicine as well as in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree at The University of Texas at Arlington, Dr. Landrum finished both his Doctor of Philosophy and postdoctoral work in virology at Baylor.                

Distinguished Alumnus Award – School of Medicine

Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Resident '95
Dr. Brendan Lee is chair of the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and director of the Center for Skeletal Medicine and Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. He also is co-director of the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Bone Disease Program of Texas and chief of service of the Skeletal Dysplasia Program at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Contributions made by Dr. Lee in the field of genetics include helping to pinpoint the gene responsible for osteogenesis imperfecta or “brittle bone disease,” a group of painful inherited disorders characterized by increased susceptibility to bone breaks and fractures. Dr. Lee was elected to the prestigious Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and he holds the Robert and Janice McNair Endowed Chair in Molecular and Human Genetics. After earning a medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, he completed his residency and two clinical fellowships, genetics and clinical biochemical genetics, at Baylor College of Medicine.

Distinguished Alumnus Award – School of Medicine

Walter R. Wilson, M.D. '67
Dr. Walter Wilson is a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he also has practiced as an infectious disease consultant for more than four decades. He is one of the world’s leading experts on infectious endocarditis, and his development of an experimental model of endocarditis has resulted in numerous critical studies on prevention and treatment for this condition.

An outstanding scientist, educator and leader, he earned the Mayo Clinic’s Teacher of the Year Award on multiple occasions and eventually was elected to the Clinic’s Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame. He also is a recipient of the Edward C. Rosenow, III, M.D., Professorship in the Art of Medicine and the Mayo Distinguished Clinician Award.

A highly sought after speaker, Dr. Wilson was invited to present at Baylor’s first Raymond Pruitt Lectureship. He has served on dozens of medical and scientific committees at the Mayo Clinic and around the world. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Baylor University in Waco, followed by a medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. After serving in the United States Navy, he completed his residency in internal medicine and two fellowships, both in infectious diseases and microbiology, at the Mayo Clinic.

Young Alumnus Award – School of Medicine

Lawrence M. Simon, M.D. '03, Resident '08
Dr. Lawrence Simon is a pediatric otolaryngologist with Herbert Medical Group in Eunice, La. He entered private practice after serving on the faculty of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, including a period as co-director of the hospital’s pediatric otolaryngology service. He is an accomplished scientific author and speaker and has served in multiple leadership roles for the Louisiana State Medical Society, the Louisiana Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

A native of Lafayette, Dr. Simon received an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from LSU before going on to complete both medical school and his residency in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Baylor. He then completed a fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology at Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego.

Distinguished Faculty Award

Susan M. Blaney, M.D.
Dr. Susan Blaney is a professor and executive vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. She holds the Martha Ann and Harold M. Selzman, M.D. Endowed Chair in the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research Clinical Fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

She is also the vice chair of the Children's Oncology Group, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) supported clinical trials group and the world's largest organization devoted exclusively to pediatric cancer research. A primary focus of her research is the development of new drugs for the treatment of central nervous system tumors in children, with a particular emphasis on the development of new agents for intrathecal administration.

She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio, internship at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, residency at Letterman Army Medical Center and completed a clinical fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Distinguished Faculty Award

James R. Walker, DNP, CRNA ’92
Dr. James Walker is an international leader in the fields of nurse anesthesia practice and nursing education, and he directs the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program-Nurse Anesthesia (DNP) at Baylor College of Medicine. Under his guidance, the College’s prestigious DNP program produces exemplary graduates and ranks as the No. 2 such program in the nation.

Dr. Walker has received numerous awards and honors, including a United States Congressional Honor and selection as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2014. He holds memberships in a number of professional nursing societies, and he has served as president of both the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Science degree in Nurse Anesthesia from Baylor and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Texas Christian University.

Distinguished Service Award

Barry H. Goodfriend, M.D., Resident '65
Dr. Barry Goodfriend has served as a volunteer associate professor of internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine since his retirement as a clinical assistant professor in 2001. Numerous honors and awards have been conferred upon him, including a United States Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service as chief of clinical services at DeWitt Army Community Hospital, the Methodist Hospital Honorary Award for Excellence in Medical Care, an American College of Physicians Fellowship and the Joseph R. Guitreau, M.D. Consummate Physician Award.

He has served as president of numerous civic organizations, including Jewish Family Service, the Houston Society of Internal Medicine and the Retired Physicians Organization of the Harris County Medical Society. He received an undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin and earned a medical degree at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He then went on to complete an internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania before finishing his residency in internal medicine at Baylor.

Distinguished Service Award

Kenneth Landrum, M.D. '54
Dr. Charles Landrum has devoted his professional and civic life to serving the people of South Texas. A former president of the McAllen Independent School District Board of Trustees and chair of the Vannie E. Cook Cancer Foundation Board of Directors, he spearheaded an initiative to open the first pediatric hematology-oncology clinic in South Texas, giving families of children with cancer and blood disorders a much needed regional healthcare option.

He served as chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McAllen Medical Center, medical director of Rio Grande Regional Hospital and is co-founder of Landrum-Chester OB-GYN Associates, a private obstetrics and gynecology practice in McAllen, Texas. For his activities as a captain in the United States Air Force Medical Service, he received a Commendation Medal for meritorious service. A native of Kingsville, Texas, Dr. Landrum earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Texas A&M University in 1950 and went on to complete a medical degree and his residency at Baylor.

Humanitarian Award

Mary L. Brandt, M.D. ‘83
Dr. Mary Brandt is a longtime professor in the Division of Pediatric Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. She also directs the Adolescent Bariatric Surgery program and Anorectal Malformation Clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital. She is principal investigator for three National Institutes of Health-funded multi-center studies on adolescent bariatric surgery and has received numerous awards and honors for her work. Regarded as an experienced and passionate educator, she is a much sought after and tireless mentor to students, residents and trainees.

Previous leadership appointments held by Dr. Brandt at the College include vice chair of education in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery and director of the General Surgery Residency program. She currently serves as secretary of the American Pediatric Surgical Association and has held many other high-ranking roles in prominent medical and scientific societies, including the American Board of Surgery, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association of Medical Colleges. A native of Cambridge, Mass., Dr. Brandt received a Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin and went on to earn a medical degree at Baylor. She then completed her pediatric surgery residency at the St. Justine Hospital of the University of Montreal.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Carol J. Baker, M.D. '68
Dr. Carol Baker is a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine. She previously served as head of the Section of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship program and associate professor of pediatrics, microbiology and immunology at the College.

A former Harvard Medical School instructor, she has been an active member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation since 1982. She received the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2016, and she was identified as among the top one percent of American physicians in 2012 by U.S. News & World Report. She has served both as vice president and president of the Baylor Alumni Association and has been on the editorial boards of numerous highly regarded infectious disease publications, including Red Book, an essential reference for pediatric infectious disease treatment and prevention used by healthcare providers around the world. After receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California, Dr. Baker earned a medical degree from Baylor where she also completed a residency and a fellowship in pediatrics. She then undertook a research fellowship in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Charles H. McCollum, M.D., Fellow ’66 
Dr. Charles McCollum is a professor of surgery and director of alumni affairs in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. He has served in numerous leadership roles in the department, including acting chair, program director for the General Surgery Residency program, and vice chair for education. A vascular surgery specialist, Dr. McCollum has made major contributions to the educational mission of the College, especially through valuable mentorship to students, residents and faculty.

His many awards and honors include the Gene Guinn, M.D., Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, the Baylor College of Medicine Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Fulbright & Jaworski LLP Faculty Excellence Award in Educational Leadership. His long and impressive history of community leadership includes service on the boards of Amigos de las Americas, Covenant House Texas, Good Samaritan Foundation and the Guild Shop at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. Dr. McCollum earned his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin. He then received his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, followed by an internship and residencies in general surgery and thoracic surgery at Baylor.