Dr. Thomas King selected as 2015 Piper Professor

SAN ANTONIO (May 14, 2015) — Thomas S. King, Ph.D., a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is a 2015 Piper Professor as selected by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation.

Dr. King received a $5,000 award, certificate and gold pin May 11, presented at the foundation’s request by William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of the UT Health Science Center.

Only 10 faculty members statewide from institutions of higher learning are honored annually as Piper Professors.

Dr. King is a professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is very active as an instructor throughout the preclinical curriculum, and is one of a number of faculty central to the design and implementation of a new and highly innovative, clinically integrated curriculum in the School of Medicine.

Dr. King sees himself as a lifelong learner with a passion for sharing his learning experiences with his students. He doesn’t subscribe to the idea that good teachers are born that way.

“Good teachers have an innate curiosity about the unknown, a strong desire for sharing gained knowledge and experiences and a knack for communicating this knowledge and experience to others,” he said.

“Tom is dedicated to empowering his students through knowledge and is relentless in his pursuit of innovative methods that will increase learning and drive lifelong learning,” said Chris Walter, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology.

As an example, in collaboration with colleagues and with funding from AT&T, Dr. King developed Virtual Microscopy for Health Professionals, a comprehensive set of digitally scanned color images of human tissue specimens that all but replaces use of the traditional light microscope and glass slides to teach histology and pathology to medical and dental students.

Over the course of more than three decades of teaching in the School of Medicine, Dr. King has received numerous teaching accolades and awards, including the prestigious University of Texas System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013. Other awards include:

• Barbara Sanford Preclinical Teaching Award, American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) – 2002
• Gender Equity Award for Preclinical Medical Education (AMWA) – 1996
• Golden Apple Award, American Medical Student Association – 1998
• Outstanding Faculty Award, Graduating Medical Class – 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1992, 1989, 1988
• Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching – 1997
• UT Board of Regents Distinguished Teaching Professor – 2009
• UT Health Science Center Academy of Master Teachers – 2008


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 13 percent of academic institutions receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 31,000 graduates. The $787.7 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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