Dallas Doings
By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn

Shrell receives Ebby Halliday Community Service Award

Good wishes to Julie Shrell, co-founder of Be The Difference and the Wheel to Survive, Indoor Cycling Event for Ovarian Cancer (Feb. 23 at the JCC), who has been recognized as the 2013 recipient of the MetroTex Association of Realtors Ebby Halliday Community Service Award.

Julie Shrell
Julie Shrell

Shrell began her real estate career in 1986, as a Realtor with Ebby Halliday Realtors. In 2001, she became a loan officer, working at Chase Mortgage, Met Life and then Executive Home Mortgage, which, in 2009, became part of Southwest Bank. Shrell participated in the MetroTex Association of Realtors Leadership Academy, for which she has served as finance committee chair, and is currently vice chair of its alumni committee.
In 2012, one of Shrell’s BTD co-founders, Lynn Lentscher, recently retired as senior vice president of residential sales at Republic Title, also received the MetroTex Association of Realtors Ebby Halliday Community Service Award as well as Women’s Council of Realtors Ebby Halliday Leadership and Service Award.

DCMS installs Todd Pollock, M.D., as its 131st president

Dallas County Medical Society installed Todd Pollock, M.D., as its 131st president Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Park City Club. Two awards were presented: the Charles Max Cole, M.D., Leadership Award to Richard Joseph, M.D. and the Millard J. and Robert L. Heath Award to Larry James, CEO of CitySquare.

Stephen Brotherton, M.D., president of the Texas Medical Association swears in Todd Pollock, M.D. as president of the Dallas County Medical Society Jan. 23. | Photo: DCMS
Stephen Brotherton, M.D., president of the Texas Medical Association swears in Todd Pollock, M.D. as president of the Dallas County Medical Society Jan. 23. | Photo: DCMS

Dr. Pollock, a plastic surgeon, practices at North Dallas Plastic Surgery. He also serves as parliamentarian for the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons and as program committee co-chair for the Parkland Surgical Society. He has previously served as president of the Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons, medical staff president at Presbyterian Hospital Allen and chair of the DCMS Board of Censors.
He received a psychology degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a biology degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and his medical degree in 1990 from the Chicago Medical School. After a residency in general surgery at UT Southwestern and another in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Chicago Hospital, Pollock has been in private practice since 1997.
Todd is married to Kasi Pollock and is the father of Abby. He is the son of Hannah Kay and Dr. Harlan Pollock.

Dr. Beth Levine receives the 2014 Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award from the ASCI

Dr. Beth Levine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and director of the Center for Autophagy Research at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has received the 2014 Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).
The award recognizes Levine’s fundamental contributions to the understanding of autophagy — literally, “self-eating” — a housecleaning process in which cells destroy damaged proteins and organelles.
Each year, the award recognizes the outstanding achievements of ASCI members in advancing knowledge in a specific field and in mentoring future scientists. The award is named after the late Dr. Stanley Korsmeyer, an oncologist and researcher who identified key genetic mechanisms that govern cell death and survival. The ASCI, established in 1908, is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected medical honor societies and counts more than 3,000 physician-scientists as members.
Last year, Dr. Bruce Beutler, Nobel Laureate and director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense, became the first UT Southwestern faculty member to receive the Korsmeyer Award for his discoveries in innate immunity. Levine’s honor thus marks the second award for a UTSW researcher.
“I am truly honored to receive this award in memory of a great physician-scientist, Stanley Korsmeyer,” said Levine, also a  professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology. “This recognition underscores the importance of autophagy as a crucial pathway in health and disease and thus represents an accomplishment for the entire field of autophagy research.”
Inspired by Korsmeyer’s co-discovery of Bcl-2 as a B cell lymphoma oncogene, Levine began her research career by searching for proteins that interacted with the Bcl-2 protein. These experiments led to the identification of a gene she named beclin 1, and her subsequent characterization of beclin 1 opened the molecular era of disease-related autophagy research. Levine showed that it is an essential mammalian autophagy gene and important for preventing many tumors. One copy of the gene is lost in about half of human breast and ovarian cancers; beclin 1 prevents lung cancer, liver cancers, and B cell lymphomas in mice; and Bcl-2 and other oncogenes inactivate beclin 1.
Levine demonstrated how Akt, a gene in the insulin-signaling pathway activated in many cancers, inhibits autophagy by inactivating beclin 1, allowing unregulated tumor cell growth. More recently, her research showed that the epidermal growth factor receptor, expressed at abnormally high levels by many types of cancer cells, deactivates autophagy by binding the protein beclin 1, leading to increased rates of tumor growth and chemotherapy resistance in non-small cell lung cancer.
Levine’s work has also revealed the crucial role of autophagy in defense against intracellular pathogens. Her group showed that autophagy genes protect against lethal alphavirus encephalitis and Salmonella typhimurium infection, and found that a herpes simplex virus neurovirulence factor acts by antagonizing the protein beclin 1. Furthermore, her work suggests that the beclin 1 gene and the autophagy pathway slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, increase life span and underlie the beneficial effects of exercise on glucose metabolism.
Recently, Levine and her colleagues identified an autophagy-inducing peptide called Tat-beclin 1. Mice treated with this peptide are protected against several infectious diseases. In additional experiments, the team demonstrated that human cells treated with Tat-beclin 1 are resistant to HIV infection and are more efficient at clearing mutant huntingtin (sic) protein aggregates. The peptide may thus have therapeutic potential in the prevention and treatment of a broad range of human diseases.
Her current research focuses on the role of autophagy in normal development and aging, the mechanisms by which autophagy genes suppress tumors, biochemical mechanisms that regulate beclin 1, and the role of autophagy in infection and exercise physiology.
Levine, who holds the Charles Cameron Sprague Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science, was elected last year to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, representing one of the highest honors attainable by an American scientist. She was elected to ASCI membership in 2000 and to the Association of American Physicians in 2006. Her other honors include the American Cancer Society TIAA-CREF Award for Outstanding Achievements in Cancer Research and an Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.D

Dr. Brian  Schwartz to present seminar at Baylor Plano

Dr. Brian G. Schwartz, cardiologist, will present a seminar as part of Baylor Plano’s Heart Hospital from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3.  The seminar is part of Baylor Plano’s Heart Hospital’s education series on heart failure, and is open to anyone living with heart failure, or have a loved one managing this condition.
The sessions are free and different topics are offered monthly.  Call 1-800- 4-BAYLOR to register as seating is limited.  It will take place in the hospital’s auditorium at 1100 Allied Drive in Plano.

Jack Repp to speak at UNT

University of North Texas students, faculty and staff members and others will hear a firsthand account of the Holocaust and what it was like to live in Auschwitz and other camps during a lecture given by Holocaust survivor Jack Repp.
The lecture will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4 in Room 255 of the Eagle Student Services Center, 1147 Union Circle in Denton.
Repp, who was born Yitzik Rzepkowicz in Radom, Poland, will discuss the four years he lived in various ghettos and concentration camps, including Kielce, Auschwitz  and Dachau, and a death march that he endured until he was liberated when he was 21.
After being liberated by the American army, he moved to the U.S. in 1949 to work for his uncle selling clothes, and settled in Dallas. He owned Repp’s Department Store on Second Avenue near Fair Park for 44 years. Repp spearks at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.
For more information, contact the Jewish and Israel Studies Program office at 940-369-8926 or jewish-studies@unt.edu.

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