Professors honored as ‘heart’ of university

Regents officially confer Distinguished Professor status to faculty members
Professors honored as ‘heart’ of university

Stephen I. Goodman, M.D., left, Peter M. Henson, Ph.D., right, shake hands with Regent Tilman “Tillie” Bishop. Photos: Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado

At its Nov. 10 meeting at CU-Boulder, the University of Colorado Board of Regents continued to recognize the six Distinguished Professors chosen in 2011. Stephen I. Goodman, M.D., professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine, and Peter M. Henson, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, immunology and pathology in the School of Medicine, received the university’s highest honor -- and standing ovations for their ongoing contributions.

The board thanked the professors for their dedication to the university, its communities and across the globe. “A great university is a great many things, but academic excellence is at its heart,” said Kyle Hybl, chair of the regents.

Other 2011 honorees, Wayne Cascio, Peter deLeon and Richard Traytsman, received their awards at an earlier meeting, and E. Chester Ridgway, M.D., MACP, professor of endocrinology at the School of Medicine, will be honored at a future regents meeting.

Distinguished Professors are faculty members who demonstrate exemplary performance in research or creative work, a record of excellence in classroom teaching and supervision of individual learning, and outstanding service to the profession, university and community.

Goodman has worked for more than 45 years to develop and improve methods to diagnose, investigate, treat and prevent inborn human metabolism errors, rare genetic disorders in which the body cannot properly turn food into energy.

“When I came to Denver in the middle 1960s, my mentor told me if I could be successful in what I was aiming to do, I’d never really work, I’d be rewarded for ‘playing,’” Goodman said. “I’ve been extremely fortunate, and I haven’t worked a day in my life.” Goodman has been director of the Diagnostic Biochemical Laboratory in the School of Medicine for 40 years.

Henson joined the Pulmonary Division at the University of Colorado in 1977 and co-directed the division from 1985-1987. He has focused his research on tissue remodeling and homeostasis as well as many forms of pulmonary disease. He has placed particular emphasis on pathogenic and inflammatory mechanisms in acute lung injury, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and interstitial lung diseases.

“As has been said many times, it’s very special to be honored by one’s home institution,” Henson said. “I’ve been here 35 years and it has been a wonderful academic home: stimulating, rewarding. I appreciate the institution, the university and the regents that have allowed us to be successful.”