MALLET NAMED OUTSTANDING GRADUATE FACULTY MEMBER AT UNTHSC

December 13, 2004

Robert T. Mallet, Ph.D., was named the 2003-2004 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member by the student body of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Mallet, associate professor of integrative physiology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, presented a seminar about the history of his research on Thursday, Nov. 18, as part of the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Seminar Series. The seminar was titled â??Help for the Aching Heart: Manipulating Metabolism to Protect the Myocardium.â? The seminar series was created to foster an understanding of the long-term efforts of the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Members at UNTHSC.

Recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member award are selected based on their commitment to the ideals of higher education, involvement in graduate education, and dedication to the student body.

Dr. Mallet has devoted his research career to understanding how the mammalian heartâ??s complex metabolism affects its blood-pumping performance and its ability to survive heart attacks.

Studies in Dr. Malletâ??s laboratory funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute have shown that the natural carbohydrate pyruvate is a superior fuel for the heart, capable of enhancing the heartâ??s performance and preventing cardiac injury.

These studies demonstrated that pyruvate increases the heartâ??s energy supply, bolsters the heartâ??s antioxidant defenses and restores cardiac function following injury.

An ongoing collaboration with Albert Olivencia-Yurvati, DO, professor of surgery, funded by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation has extended pyruvate to clinical application; the use of pyruvate-fortified solutions prevents cardiac injury during cardiopulmonary bypass surgery and hastens the post-operative recovery of the patients.

Collaborations with Fred Downey, PhD, professor of integrative physiology, have investigated and refined the use of hypoxia to protect the heart.

The results of these and other investigations in Dr. Malletâ??s laboratory have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals.

In addition to his research, Dr. Mallet teaches renal physiology in the health science centerâ??s medical and graduate programs, directs the medical schoolâ??s Renal System I course, and teaches an advanced graduate course on myocardial metabolism.

Dr. Mallet has served on 12 institutional faculty committees and is a current member of the Faculty Bylaws Committee and the Dual Degree Program Admissions Committee.

Dr. Mallet is an active member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Heart Association, the American Physiological Society, the International Society for Heart Research, Sigma Xi, and the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.

He also represents the health science center on the American Heart Association Texas Affiliateâ??s Research Allocations Advisory Committee, serves on the editorial board of the journal Filtration, and reviews manuscripts for the American Journal of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research, Circulation, Experimental Biology and Medicine, and the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Dr. Mallet received a bachelorâ??s degree in biology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and earned a doctorate in physiology from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiac energetics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.

Dr. Mallet and wife Dr. Maryrita Mallet have two children, Sarah and Robert. They reside in Aledo.

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Contact: Kay Colley, 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail kacolley@hsc.unt.edu.

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