We say goodbye to a dear friend and colleague

Sep 23, 2010

Gregory Giancarlo Shaskan, MD, MPH.

Dr. Shaskan passed away on September 2, 2010 while supporting the U.S. space program at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.

Dr. Shaskan served as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Community Health and Family Medicine, and as a Flight Surgeon supporting the bioastronautics contract with the Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group of Houston. He was a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine and held a certificate of added qualification in Sports Medicine.

Dr. Shaskan earned his MD from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, BWI. He completed a residency in Family Medicine/International Health Track at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in South Bend, IN, where he served as Chief Resident, and also spent a year as a fellow in Sports Medicine at the Resurrection Health Center in Chicago, IL. Dr. Shaskan completed the Aerospace Medicine residency at UTMB and earned a Master of Public Health in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. In 2009, he was awarded the William K. Douglas Scholarship from the UTMB Aerospace Medicine Residency, and was a member of the UTMB Team who won the 2009 and 2010 Residency in Aerospace Medicine (RAM) Bowl Championship during the Aerospace Medical Association Annual Scientific Meeting.

While at UTMB he served in many areas of medical service including work with the Houston and Chicago marathons and Wings Over Houston air show. He is survived by his wife, Sharon, daughter Franchesca, and his extended family. Services were held in Chicago and a tree dedication memorial was held in Houston by UTMB, Wyle and NASA friends and colleagues. Greg’s tree, planted in his honor, is in the Employee Grove across from the Astronaut Grove at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Friends and family gathered Friday, September 17 to say goodbye to a dear friend and colleague.


Contributions may be given in memory of Dr. Shaskan to the:

Gregory G. Shaskan Endowed Scholarship in Aerospace Medicine Education.

Contributions may be mailed to:
UTMB Office of Development
c/o Gregory G. Shaskan Endowed Scholarship in Aerospace Medicine Education
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77555-0148.

Congratulations to the 20th Annual Forum on Aging Poster Session winners!!

Student Poster Award Winners
Neuroscience – Kara Barber & Claudia Marino
Basic Science – Danelo Cortez
Rehabilitation – Kay Kulkarni
Health Disparities – Jaqueline Contrera Avila & Mary Margaret King
Medical Effectiveness – Keli Perino
Clinical Trials & Implementation – Leyla Akhverdiyeva

Congratulations to the 20th Annual Forum on Aging Poster Session winners!!





To view all the photos from the event, click here: http://scoa.dphoto.com/#/album/7c9ecw

Congratulations Naiomi Jamal!!

Jamal, Naiomi

Please join me in congratulating Naiomi Jamal on her 2016 President's Cabinet Award! She received this for her program focused on Parent Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention. This is a very prestigious award - Congratulations Naiomi!

Congratulations LJ Panas on your new job at Kansas Health Institute!!


Lawrence John Panas, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, joined KHI in 2016 after earning a doctorate degree in population health sciences and a master's degree in public Health from UTMB. His work at UTMB focused on community health improvement and also on public health systems and services. Prior to joining KHI, he was a graduate/research assistant at the UTMB. During that time, Lawrence was also involved in a wide range of work related to issues such as aging, disability, mortality, minority health and health disparities.

Congratulations to Zakkoyya Lewis on your new job at Beachbody, LLC.


Zakkoyya (Koyya) Lewis accepted a position at Beachbody, LLC as their Fitness Research Manager in their Fitness and Nutrition Results department. This position is the first of its kind. As the Fitness Research Manager, Koyya is responsible for standardizing the measurement protocols for test groups on new products sponsored by Beachbody. She is responsible for the collection and evaluation of all test group data. It is also her responsibility to ensure that claims on new fitness programs meet scientific standards. In addition to running test groups, Koyya works directly with UTMB alum Erin Glynn, PhD and Research & Development as well as Digital Productions. She works as a liaison between departments to identify ways to improve programs and motivate customers.  

Congratulations Dr. Arcari and Dr. Rudkin!! 

Christine M. Arcari, PhD, MPH

Rudkin, Laura

Please join me in congratulating SOM Year 2 student Lynda Chowdhury and Drs. Arcari and Rudkin on their 2016 President's Cabinet Award! They received this for their application titled Health Fair Kits To Go: Turning Service into Service Learning. This is another very prestigious award for our department - Congratulations Lynda, Dr. Arcari, and Dr. Rudkin!

Please join us in wishing Joseph Saenz, PhD a farewell as he embarks on a new adventure.


 Joseph Saenz Farwell Party_USC

 Joseph Saenz obtained his PhD and is going to be a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Southern California, Davis School of Gerontology, working with Dr. Eileen Crimmins and colleagues.

During his PhD stay at UTMB Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, and SCOA, he published several papers on aging among U.S. Hispanics and Mexicans. He consistently made presentations in local, national, and international professional meetings and conferences, winning several honors and awards.

At SCOA, he also coordinated the MHAS research work group.

We will miss him for his great scholarship, extraordinary citizenship, and personal disposition!

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