Pinkel Named Medical School’s Distinguished Alumnus

By Lois Baker

Release Date: September 21, 2000

BUFFALO, N.Y, -- Donald Pinkel, professor of pediatrics at Texas A&M University Medical School and a renowned specialist in pediatric oncology, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UB Medical Alumni Association at a dinner held Sept. 14 in the Buffalo Club.

A Buffalo native, Pinkel received a bachelor's degree from Canisius College in 1947 and a medical degree from UB in 1951. He served his residency at Children's Hospital of Buffalo, and was a research fellow at the Children's Cancer Research Foundation in Boston -- now Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Pinkel returned to Buffalo in 1956 to start the pediatric department at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

In 1961, he was appointed the founding director of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, the first institution devoted solely to basic and clinical pediatric research.

Since leaving St. Jude in 1973, he has accomplished a variety of tasks, including rejuvenating Milwaukee Children's Hospital and establishing the Midwest Children's Cancer Center in the city; developing pediatric leukemia research programs at City of Hope Medical Center in California and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and, as medical director, taking a key role in rebuilding St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in its North Philadelphia neighborhood.

In addition to his post at Texas A&M, he currently serves as professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.

Pinkel has received many honors, including the Albert Lasker Award for Medical Research, the Kettering Prize for Cancer Research, the Zimmerman Prize for Cancer Research (Germany), the Biennial Windermere Lectureship of the British Pediatric Association and the Return of the Child Award from the Leukemia Society of America.

He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the UB Alumni Association in 1974.

He is the author or co-author of 150 scholarly articles or book chapters, and has taught courses in hematology and oncology in both developed and undeveloped countries worldwide.