Honoring a lifetime of scientific contributions

By Alex Branch

Dr Peter Raven
Peter Raven, PhD

Peter Raven, PhD, a UNT Health Science Center professor for almost 40 years, will receive a prestigious national award recognizing his lifetime of outstanding scientific and scholarly contributions to sports medicine and exercise science.

Dr. Raven, who recently retired as Professor of Integrative Physiology in the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, will be presented the American College of Sports Medicine’s Honor Award at its annual meeting in May 2017.

The Honor Award is the College’s highest honor and is given to one individual every year.

“I very much appreciate the American College of Sports Medicine for selecting me for this honor,” Dr. Raven said. “I joined the ACSM in 1971 because it offered me the opportunity to collegially interact with like-minded basic scientists, physicians, health fitness professionals and students in investigating and identifying the health benefits of exercise and sports.”

Dr. Raven, a native of England, was a college rugby player before he became interested in medicine and the physiology of exercise and aging. He earned his PhD in the scientific basis of physical education at the University of Oregon and joined the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1977, before the school expanded into the Health Science Center.

At UNTHSC, Dr. Raven was mentor to 18 doctoral and 22 master’s degree students. He also served many roles for the American College of Sports Medicine. He was the organization’s president in 1987-88 and editor-in-chief of its Journal Medicine in Science and Sports and Exercise from 1989-2000.

In addition, Dr. Raven was a founding charter member of the Texas Chapter of ACSM in 1979. It has since grown to more than 3,000 members and is recognized by ACSM as the regional chapter that provides the most yearly graduate student research money.

He is a visiting professor at the Danish Academy of Cardiovascular Research in Copenhagen, Denmark, and was instrumental in supporting 10 of his PhD students in collaborating with exercise physiology research investigations at the world-renowned Copenhagen Muscle Research Center.

“Dr. Raven’s work has played a major role in shaping our current understanding of blood pressure regulation in humans under normal conditions, during exercise and in various cardiovascular diseases,” said Steve Mifflin, Executive Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases. “He has won numerous awards for his research, his teaching and his service to the scientific community. For many of us, our recognition of UNTHSC was as the place ‘where Peter Raven worked.’”

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