Medical center people

John Cooke

Renee Reijo Pera

John Cooke, MD, PhD, professor of cardiovascular medicine, was awarded the designation of Master of the Society for Vascular Medicine "in recognition of extraordinary service, selfless dedication and enlightened leadership to the SVM and the field of vascular medicine." His research is directed toward the development of novel therapies for vascular disease, including drugs directed against pathological angiogenesis. Cooke has held several leadership roles at the SVM—as a founder, trustee, associate editor of the journal Vascular Medicine, and as director of the American Board of Vascular Medicine. He is one of only eight physician-leaders in the country that hold this designation.

Bikul Das, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Medicine, is the recipient of a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations initiative to explore bold and largely unproven ways to improve health in developing countries. The projects focus on novel approaches to prevent and treat infectious diseases, such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia and diarrheal diseases. Das will use the grant to explore the potential role of stem cells in latent TB infection.

Renee Reijo Pera, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Education, received an honorary degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, her alma mater. She was recognized for her accomplishments involving the study of human development and reproduction, and her pursuit of knowledge that could make fertility treatments safer for women and prevent birth defects.