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Friends Honor Alumnus With Scholarship

March 1, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Bruce Erickson

William Brinkely (center), with university President Dana Gibson and biological sciences department chair Todd Primm.

Friends and colleagues of one of the world’s top cellular biologists found a good way to honor him – they created a scholarship to help future students explore the world of science at Sam Houston State University, as he himself did, and perhaps set them on progressive careers in science similar to his.

The honoree is William R. Brinkley, who now serves as dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine as well as a distinguished professor of molecular and cellular biology and co-director of the W. M. Keck Center for Computational Biology.

Brinkley earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Sam Houston State University.

Brinkley “is probably one of the most well-known graduates of Sam Houston State in the world of cellular biology," according to Todd Primm, chair of SHSU’s biological sciences department.

“Bill is very proud to be an alumnus of SHSU,” Primm said.

“He received his start in science here. He started college not intending to be a scientist. He discovered science as a profession here at Sam. We are proud to have such an internationally recognized and respected teacher and researcher as a Sam grad.”

Brinkley went on to earn his doctorate in biology at Iowa State University and then do post-doctoral work at the National Institutes of Health and teaching and research at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

In 1972, he accepted a position as professor and director of cell biology in the department of human biological chemistry at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Four years later, Brinkley joined the Baylor College of Medicine as director of cell structure and function in the department of cell biology and in 1985 became chair of the department of cell biology and director of the Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He returned to Baylor College of Medicine in his present position in 1991.

The Dr. William R. Brinkley Scholarship fund was initiated by a personal gift from SHSU biology professor James DeShaw and subsequently increased by additional gifts from friends and colleagues.

 

 

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