Ob/gyn researcher Tekmal appointed to Pauerstein Professorship


Rajeshwar Rao Tekmal, Ph.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of reproductive research at the Health Science Center, has been named to the Carl J. Pauerstein Professorship in Reproductive Research, the university announced March 15.

Dr. Pauerstein was chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Health Science Center from 1979 until his retirement in August 2002.

Dr. Tekmal is internationally known for his studies of how hormones influence the formation of cancer, specifically for his in vivo local estrogen models and their use in understanding the role of estrogen in breast and gynecological cancers.

“My main focus is the importance of local estrogen within the tissues of these cancers,” he said. “We have examined over-expression of estrogen in transgenic mouse models for breast and cervical cancer.” Dr. Tekmal also studies the role of cytokine growth factors in endometriosis, a gynecologic disease distinguished by benign growths involved with pain and infertility.

Dr. Tekmal received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the N.D.R.I./Kurukshetra University, India, in 1982. He was a faculty member at the Health Science Center from 1989 to 1995, when he moved to Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Dr. Tekmal rejoined the Health Science Center’s ob/gyn department in June 2003.

Dr. Tekmal is a member of a number of professional organizations and continues to serve on several National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other peer review panels. He is the managing editor of Frontiers in Bioscience (Hormonal Carcinogenesis). Dr. Tekmal has received awards from the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Dr. Tekmal is a well-funded and principal investigator on NIH and industry-funded grants. He is a listed author on more than 60 scientific publications, 70 abstracts and several book chapters. He has trained several clinical and non-clinical fellows.

“Dr. Pauerstein was the chairman when I was at the Health Science Center previously, and I am honored to have the professorship that bears his name and that supports his longstanding interest in research,” Dr. Tekmal said.

“Dr. Pauerstein has been a mentor and friend for almost 30 years,” said Robert S. Schenken, M.D., professor and chairman of obstetrics and gynecology and the Humana Foundation Distinguished Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology. “I am very pleased that this professorship will exist as a permanent reflection of the enormous impact he had on many colleagues and trainees. Recognizing Dr. Pauerstein’s significant contribution to reproductive research, it is only fitting that an internationally recognized scientist, Dr. Tekmal, will be appointed to this newly endowed position.”

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