WMU News

Jackson selected as Distinguished Faculty Scholar

February 4, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- A scientist known internationally for his work in microcirculatory physiology has been named Western Michigan University's 1998 Distinguished Faculty Scholar.

Dr. William F. Jackson, professor of biological sciences, will receive his award at a Feb. 12 dinner hosted by WMU President Elson S. Floyd. Jackson will be presented with a plaque and a $2,000 cash award. He also will have $2,000 added to his base salary.

The Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award, inaugurated in 1978, is WMU's highest honor for a faculty member. Nominations are sought campus-wide and selection criteria include evidence of a significant body of achievement, most of which has been accomplished while a faculty member at WMU. The recipients also must have wide recognition beyond the University.

Jackson, a WMU faculty member since 1989, specializes in research on the body's microvascular system, which is the network of arteries, veins and capillaries that facilitates the exchange of nutrients between body tissues and blood. His research, which looks at blood flow and pressure changes, has implications for treatment of heart attacks, stroke, hypertension and poor blood flow.

In nominating Jackson, colleagues noted that he has succeeded in obtaining consecutive funding grants for his research from the National Institutes of Health, which is not a common achievement. NIH grants are highly competitive, with 90 to 95 percent of the applications rejected. He has received more than $1 million in NIH grants for his work since 1984.

"Bill Jackson belongs to one of those rarest of the scientific 'birds'," wrote one colleague. "He has been sequentially and continuously funded for his work. To have an extramural grant renewed after highly competitive review is a tacit acknowledgment of his success."

Jackson has received numerous awards during his career including the NIH National Research Service Award and Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1995. He was also named a Fellow of the Cardiovascular Section for the American Physiological Society and received the NIH New Investigator Research Award in 1984.

He has authored more than 35 articles and 46 abstracts that have appeared in many highly regarded scientific journals. He serves on the editorial review boards for Journal of Vascular Research and the American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Regulation II Study Section.

Jackson has a background in biology, zoology, ecology, environmental physiology and toxicology, and teaches courses in physiology, pharmacology and experimental design and analysis. Such versatility "is particularly important in the current academic atmosphere, both in research and teaching, " wrote a colleague from another institution. "The current research environment requires a broad knowledge range to stay competitive. An individual like Dr. Jackson, who has a symphony of skills, is an attractive mentor for students."

A native of Detroit, Jackson earned bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees at Michigan State University. He also did a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia. Prior to coming to WMU, he worked at the Medical College of Georgia and Piedmont Virginia Community College. While at WMU, he served as director of the Center for Research in Environmental Signal Transduction from 1994-95. As part of his award, Jackson has been invited to give a presentation to the University community at a Distinguished Faculty Scholar Colloquium. The date, time and location will be announced later.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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