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Thomas Jefferson Award
Dr. Robert M. Carey Receives University’s Highest Hono

October 31, 2003 -- Robert M. Carey, a guiding force at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, both as its dean for 16 years and as a leading researcher, today became the 48th recipient of the University’s highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award.

Carey, who stepped down as dean last year but remains on the faculty as an internationally recognized endocrinologist studying hypertension, received the award at the annual Fall Convocation program at University Hall.

“Dr. Carey has been an exemplar of the best in academic medicine,” said University President John T. Casteen III. “Peerless as a scientist, he also has been a mentor to generations of physician-scientists and a visionary administrator. To say that he transformed academic medicine at the University is to speak unadorned truth.

“No one is more deserving of the honor we pay him today.”

The Thomas Jefferson Award honors an individual who exemplifies in character, work and influence the principles and ideals of the University’s founder. In nominating Carey, colleagues, students and alumni attested to his outstanding qualities.

“During his years at the University, [Carey] has been, like Mr. Jefferson, a passionate scientist/scholar, an architect and builder, an institutional change agent, a champion of humanistic and professional values, a leader whose actions bespeak integrity and honor, a model citizen of the University, and a servant of the public good,” reads a nomination letter signed by 30 department chairmen.

Carey’s 16 years as dean, from 1986 to 2002, rank as one of the longest terms among medical school deans in the country. During that time, the Medical School increased private fund-raising from $2.7 million a year to $40 million annually, constructed four buildings for medical research and teaching, created five new departments and 16 interdisciplinary centers, and more than quadrupled research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Carey’s own research in cardiovascular and renal endocrinology has focused on the hormonal control of blood pressure and hypertension, which affects about one of every four adults.

Former students praised his leadership and how he fostered their growth and development.

“I enjoyed this work because I always came away from it infused with hope and the knowledge that the ‘man in charge’ cared about my development into a balanced physician trained to contribute to man and his society,” wrote former student Dr. Hughes Melton.

Born in Lexington, Ky., Carey received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University in 1965. He completed his residency in medicine at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and fellowships in endocrinology at Vanderbilt and in hypertension at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London.

Since beginning his career in academic medicine at U.Va. in 1973, Carey has written more than 250 scientific articles and three books. He is a member of numerous scientific societies and is a Master of the American College of Physicians. Earlier this year, U.Va. medical students initiated an award bearing his name to honor a member of the second-year class who exhibits qualities of leadership and scholarship and building a sense of community during the first two years of medical school.

Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-6189

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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