Two UNT Health Science Center scientists named HealthCare Heroes

Rhonda Roby, PhD, and Joyce Hood, MPH, were both named 2009 HealthCare Heroes by the Fort Worth Business Press. The pair were honored at an event and featured in a special section released with the Feb. 23 issue of the Business Press.

Dr. Roby’s involvement in forensic DNA testing garnered her the honor. Her resume includes work with the U.S. Department of Defense Armed Forces DNA Registry to help identify missing service members in current and past wars. She also directed work to identify victims of the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001, and she leads an international team auditing the victims of Chile’s Pinochet regime. She is a project coordinator in the UNT Center for Human Identification’s DNA Lab on the Health Science Center campus, where she assists in active investigations and teaches.

Hood, a Health Science Center alumna and current doctoral candidate, has served as director of occupational health services at Cook Children’s Hospital for seven years. She and two colleagues at Cook Children’s were recognized for working to define and track a 2004 outbreak of whooping cough. The trio found that the disease could spread from an adult to a large number of infants, but both healthcare workers and babies could be protected with the TDP vaccine. The results were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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