Awards and Nominations
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 Medical Alumni Association Awards, which are presented at the annual Medical Alumni Awards Banquet. Recipients earned awards in the following categories:
Medical Alumni Citation – Distinguished Alumni Award
This award honors an alumnus who has achieved distinction in medicine. Achievement is recognized through excellence in the practice of medicine, in academic activities and in research accomplishment.
Mary M. Herman Rubinstein, MD '60
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Consultant Neuropathologist (retired)
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
Howard University Hospital, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Herman Rubinstein earned her medical degree from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in 1960. Beginning in 1960, she spent a year in a highly competitive rotating Internship at the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital (MHMH), affiliated with Dartmouth College. She returned to the UW Medical Center in 1961, for one year as a resident in Neurology. She then completed a one-year pathology internship at Yale. She was a fellow of Neuropathology at Yale and Stanford before accepting a position as assistant professor of pathology at Stanford University. Beginning in 1981, Dr. Herman Rubinstein worked as a professor of pathology and co-director of the Division of Neuropathology at the University of Virginia.
With her husband, Dr. Lucien Rubinstein, she published numerous articles in esteemed journals advancing research in the field of neuropathology. Dr. Herman Rubinstein went on to build a notable career holding significant positions, including Neuropathologist, Special Expert in Neuropathology and Senior Staff Scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Consultant Neuropathologist at District of Columbia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Consultant Neuropathologist at Howard University Hospital. She retired in November 2013.
Dr. Herman Rubinstein named the UW School of Medicine and Public Health inaugural chair in the new Department of Neuroscience “Mary Herman and Lucien Rubinstein Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience,” in addition to creating the Rubinstein Herman Library within the Ebling Library at the Health Sciences Learning Center.
Resident Citation - Distinguished Resident Award
This award honors an individual who has completed a residency or fellowship at the UW Hospital and Clinics and achieved distinction in medicine. Achievement is recognized through excellence in the practice of medicine, in academic activities and in research accomplishment.
Peter A. Rasmussen, MD '91, PG '98
Director, Cerebrovascular Center
Medical Director of Distance Health
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
Cerebrovascular Center–Neurological Institute
Dr. Rasmussen earned his medical degree from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in 1991 and completed his neurosurgery residency at the UW Hospital and Clinics in 1998. His fellowship training in interventional neuroradiology/endovascular neurosurgery was at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, as well as a fellowship in microsurgical treatment of cerebrovascular disease.
In 2014 he served as the president of the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery. Currently, Dr. Rasmussen is the medical director for distance health and associate professor of neurosurgery in the Cerebrovascular Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He was the director of the Cerebrovascular Center for nine years, founder of their Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit Program (one of the first in the US), and is now charged with guiding the Clinic’s overall distance health strategy and implementation of their telemedicine programs – while maintaining a busy clinical practice.
A recognized innovator, entrepreneur and key opinion leader in both neurovascular disease and telemedicine, he has been appointed as a fellow to both the American Heart Association (FAHA) and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (FAANS). Dr. Rasmussen is one of the premier leaders in the field of both open and endovascular cerebrovascular neurosurgery and we are pleased to present him with an award that honors excellence and distinction in medicine.
Basic Sciences Emeritus Faculty Award
This award is given to a basic scientist who demonstrates long and effective service to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in teaching and/or research or noteworthy administration, including program development.
Richard R. Burgess, PhD
James D. Watson Professor Emeritus of Oncology
UW School of Medicine and Public Health
Founder, UW Biotechnology Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Burgess earned a BS in Chemistry at Caltech in 1964, a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard in 1969, and was a postdoctoral fellow in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Burgess has been a professor of oncology at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the UW-Madison since 1971. He founded the UW Biotechnology Center in 1984 and was director until 1996. He and his research group have published more than 250 research papers in scientific journals on work on the biochemistry, molecular biology, and immunology of RNA polymerase, transcription factors and gene expression; and on protein biotechnology and protein purification.
Dr. Burgess was the recipient of the 1982 Pfizer Award for outstanding contributions to enzyme chemistry and the 1999 Waksman Medal of Rutgers University for his discovery of the first transcription factor, the E. coli sigma factor. He was awarded the United States Department of Agriculture Honor Award for developing biopulping, an environmentally-friendly technology in1997 and was named James D. Watson professor of oncology at UW-Madison in Jan 2001. In 2003, he was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology and in 2008 to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is editor-in-chief of the journal, Protein Expression and Purification and, from 1992 to 2013, was chair of the two-week lab course on Protein Purification at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
He served on the University Committee, the highest faculty governance committee of the UW-Madison from 1999-2001. He was elected vice-president of science of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters in 2011. He has served on the Wisconsin Governor's Council on Biotechnology, and consults with or serves on boards of a number of biotechnology companies. In 2001, he co-founded ConjuGon, Inc., a Madison-based anti-microbial drug discovery company. In his semi-retirement, he plays an active role in educating the public about biotechnology, biomedical research, creativity, and entrepreneurism.
Clinical Sciences Emeritus Faculty Award
This award is given to a clinical scientist who demonstrates long and effective service to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in teaching and/or research or noteworthy administration, including program development.
M. Bruce Edmonson, MD, MPH
Department of Pediatrics
UW School of Medicine and Public Health
Dr. Edmonson earned his medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1975. He completed his pediatric training at the UW Hospital and Clinics and began practicing general pediatrics as a primary care pediatrician in rural Wisconsin in 1979. He joined as faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at UW School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH) in 1980.
Dr. Edmonson’s clinical activities have included continuous service as a primary care pediatrician at the UWSMPH, first at the General Pediatrics and Teenage Clinic located at UWHC and later at University Station. In 1994, Dr. Edmonson was named Medical Director of the Pediatric Diagnostic Clinic and continued to serve in that role until his retirement in 2012. In the several years before his retirement, he developed an interest in international adoption and provided outstanding care to a large number of adopted children in his practice.
Dr. Edmonson’s research interests include epidemiological and health service research spanning a broad range of topics, but often dealing with pediatric infectious diseases. Research highlights include publications on secondary measles vaccine failure, the risk of low birth weight pre-term delivery associated with advanced maternal age, and hospital readmission following early postpartum discharge of normal newborns. In his role as Associate Director for the Generalist Research Fellowship (funded by a National Research Service Award), he has served as primary research mentor to several pediatric fellows and thoughtfully guided their research activities.
Dr. Edmonson is an outstanding faculty member who has made numerous contributions to our community, department, the UWSMPH and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Sigurd Sivertson Medical Education Award
This award recognizes an individual who has contributed to the education of medical students throughout his or her career. The award further recognizes the contributions made to the health of the citizens of Wisconsin by providing quality care while offering medical students rich educational opportunities in their communities.
Stephen Holthaus, MD
Family Medicine Physician
Rice Lake, Wisconsin
UW School fo Medicine and Public Health
Dr. Holthaus earned his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School in 1995 and completed a family practice residency at the University of Minnesota Fairview – Riverside Family Practice Program.
Dr. Holthaus joined the Marshfield Clinic health system in Rice Lake as a family medicine physician in 1998. He has served as a Wisconsin Academy of Rural Medicine (WARM) student clerkship site director since 2011, providing oversight and planning for the WARM program in Rice Lake in cooperation with the Marshfield Clinic Division of Education and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. He has been integral to both coordinating the WARM student rotations in Rice Lake as well as teaching students as they rotate through primary care rotation. Dr. Holthaus also serves as a preceptor for third- and fourth-year students during Primary Care Clerkship, Acting Ambulatory Internship, and Family Medicine Electives.
Dr. Holthaus is well-respected within his department and within the Marshfield Clinic health system. He has been a valued member of the Family Medicine Department serving in many capacities, including leadership roles. He has particularly excelled in his teaching abilities. In his role as a preceptor, he serves as a mentor to students, as their educator, but most importantly, he serves as a true role model of what a physician should be. Medical students praise Dr. Holthaus on his teaching abilities, and recognize that he is also a true patient advocate. His students cite his tremendous honesty, professionalism and work ethic.
Ralph Hawley Distinguished Service Award
This award honors an alumnus who has made outstanding contributions to the local community through medical practice, teaching, research or other humanitarian activities.
Henry A. Anderson, III, MD '72
Institute for Environmental Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Adjunct Professor of Preventive Medicine
UW School of Medicine and Public Health
Dr. Anderson earned his medical degree in 1972 from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. He was certified in 1977 by the American Board of Preventive Medicine with a sub-specialty in occupational and environmental medicine, and in 1983 became a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology. He holds adjunct professorships at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Population Health Sciences, and the University of Wisconsin Institute for Environmental Studies, Center for Human Studies.
In November 2016, he retired from his positions as Wisconsin State Environmental and Occupational Disease Epidemiologist, and Chief Medical Officer in the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, which he held since 1980. Dr. Anderson currently serves on the USEPA Science Advisory Board, Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee. He was chair of the Environmental Health Committee of the USEPA Science Advisory Board, served on the USEPA SAB Executive Committee and is past Chair of the Board of Scientific Councilors for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. He has served on five National Academies of Science Committees and is currently on the NAS Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. He serves on the Presidential Advisory Board on Radiation Worker Compensation. He is associate editor of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
His 46 years of public health practice and scientific research began with an article about his 1971 experiences in Afghanistan during his 3rd year of medical school. Since then he has contributed over 275 peer-reviewed articles to help advance public health broadly and specifically occupational and environmental medicine.
WMAA Service Award
This award honors an alum who has exhibited exceptional commitment to the WMAA over the years.
Donn D. Fuhrmann, MD '76
Family Practice Physician
New London Family Medical Center
New London, Wisconsin
Dr. Fuhrmann earned his medical degree from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in 1976. After interning in internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, he completed a residency in family practice at St. Luke's Hospital in Milwaukee.
He is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH), and a staff physician in his hometown of New London, Wisconsin.
Dr. Fuhrmann is past president of the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians and president of the Fox Valley Chapter of the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians. He served as the 47th president of the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association (WMAA) from 2010-2012. He has served as a member of the WMAA board of directors for over ten years, and has served in the role of class representative for his UWSMPH class of 1976 since graduation.
During his two-year term as president of the WMAA, Dr. Fuhrmann worked to develop stronger relationships and increase interactions among UWSMPH alumni. In his many roles, he has consistently shown commitment to improving his community, whether it be
hometown, university, medical school or specialty.
Honorary Life Membership in the WMAA
This award honors a UW School of Medicine and Public Health or UW Hospital and Clinics employee who has been particularly supportive and helpful to students and alumni.
Gary Lyons, PhD
Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology
UW School of Medicine and Public Health
Dr. Lyons earned his PhD in Anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and obtained a postdoctoral fellowship at the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1991. He then joined the faculty of the Anatomy Department at the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, where he has taught and mentored first-year medical students for 26 years.
He was named course director for Cell Structure & Function, better known as Histology, in the first curricular transformation in 2008. He has received four teaching awards from the medical students and the Dean in the last ten years and has been a member of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy since 2008. He also received the Distinguished Teaching Award for Basic Science from the WMAA in 2014. He has been chosen twice in the last eight years to serve in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health graduation ceremonies. In 2011, he became part of the new Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology. In March 2015, he accepted the position of integrated block leader of the course ‘Food Fasting & Fitness’, in the new ForWard curriculum. He recruited a design team and a committee of assistant block leaders to create, organize and present this inter-departmental course, which is being taught for the first time this year.
Dr. Lyons, beloved to his students, is a devoted medical educator who has contributed to the training and emotional well-being of thousands of medical students. His student evaluations are consistently outstanding and he is routinely honored with requests to attend their social events as well as their academic milestones.