Biographies of the 2005 Laureate Award Honorees

The Texas Chapter presented its highest award to four distinguished members Nov. 5 in the Woodlands. Kenneth Nugent, MD, FACP, Lubbock; Rody P. Cox, MD, FACP, Dallas; and Temple W. Williams, Jr., MD, FACP, Houston, were named Laureates of the Texas Chapter of the ACP.

The Laureate Award honors Fellows and Masters of the ACP who have demonstrated by their example and conduct an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research, and in service to their community, the Chapter, and the ACP.


Kenneth Nugent, MD, FACP

Kenneth Nugent was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1946 and grew up in Sugar Land. He received his undergraduate degree in Zoology from The University of Texas in Austin in 1967 and his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. Dr. Nugent completed Internal Medicine residency training and a Pulmonary Fellowship at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He worked for two years as a Research Associate in the Laboratory of Streptococcal Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. He then joined the faculty at the University of Iowa in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division. In 1984 he moved to Tyler, Texas, and The University of Texas Health Center in Tyler. In 1986 he moved to Lubbock, and became Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Between 1989 and 2005 he was Associate Chairman in the Department of Internal Medicine, and since 1987 has been Program Director for the Internal Medicine residency program.

While at Washington University, Dr. Nugent developed an interest in laboratory studies in microbiology. This interest was reinforced during his training at the NIH. During his pulmonary fellowship he developed a murine model for studying the effect of influenza infection on pulmonary host defenses. His time at the University of Iowa also provided opportunity for clinical projects in interstitial lung diseases. These research activities have resulted in 60 publications, including one in French, and one book chapter.

After moving to the Department of Internal Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Dr. Nugent has taken on long-term responsibilities for resident training, student education, and management of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at University Medical Center. For his work as a clinician-teacher he has been honored twice as the Outstanding Teacher in the Department of Internal Medicine and twice as a Physician Mentor of the Year by all residents at University Medical Center. In 1997 he was selected as one of the two initial recipients of the University Medical Center Endowed Chair program. Dr. Nugent is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and is a member of the American Thoracic Society and the Southern Society of Clinical Investigation. He is on the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association of Texas and has served as a consultant to the State Department of Health¹s Tuberculosis program.

Dr. Nugent currently serves a member of the TAIM Board of Directors. He has served as advisor and mentor to medical students and residents of the Northwest Region of the Texas Chapter for their successful involvement in the regional and statewide competitions. Dr. Nugent provides distinguished leadership and organization of the Northwest Regional Associates meetings each year, which includes the Texas Tech University campuses of Lubbock, Amarillo, and Odessa.

Dr. Nugent is in the third generation of a family of university teachers. His grandfather taught classics at and was later the Dean of the University of Western Ontario in Canada, and his mother taught English at the University of Houston. His wife, Connie, is a middle school English teacher in the Lubbock Independent School District and has sponsored numerous teams and individuals in the state and international levels of the Future Problem Solving competition. His daughter, Rebecca, is finishing her doctorate work in statistics at the University of Washington. This has provided the unexpected benefit and pleasure of working with family members on clinical projects. His son, Michael, is on hiatus from graduate studies in quantum mechanics at the University of Arizona.

The Texas Chapter is pleased to confer the honor of this Laureate Award upon Kenneth Nugent, MD, FACP.


Rody P. Cox, MD, FACP

Rody Cox was born in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, in 1926. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College and completed his medical school training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Cox finished his internship and first year of residency at the University of Michigan, and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was selected to be the chief medical resident.

Following his training, Dr. Cox first pursued his academic career at the University of Pennsylvania. He then relocated to New York University School of Medicine where he became Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD), and Director of the Division of Human Genetics. In 1979, Dr. Cox relocated to Case Western Reserve University where he was Vice-Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine and Chief of the Medical Services at Cleveland VA Medical Center. In 1989, he moved to Dallas where he was the Dean of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. Dr. Cox is now Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Cox truly manifests the physician as a clinician, researcher, and educator. He has been on study sections for metabolic biology for the National Science Foundation and a member of the Metabolism Study section, Chairman of the Genetics Studies section, and Chairman of the Mammalian Genetics Studies section for the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the panel on clinical sciences of the National Research Council, was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha in 1951, and was counselor for the NYU Chapter from 1970-1976.

Dr. Cox¹s fields of interest include mammalian cell regulatory mechanisms, somatic cell genetics, human genetics, and teaching internal medicine.

Dr. Cox has earned many teaching awards, receiving the Outstanding Teacher Award at Case Western Reserve Medical School, Outstanding Teacher Award for the Introduction to Clinical Medicine Course at UT Southwestern from the medical students, and Outstanding Teaching Award of the Internal Medicine House Officers at UT Southwestern-St. Paul Hospital. The medical students at UT Southwestern have selected him to be their graduation marshal approximately eight times.

Dr. Cox was a thesis supervisor for five PhD students studying in his laboratory, and for seven MD/PhD students at New York University. He has been a true resource for students and residents and continues to be an advisor for internship selection for those students selecting Internal Medicine. He is revered by his students, residents, and colleagues as he has a unique ability to relate basic science principles to clinical medicine.

Dr. Cox has been married to his loving wife, Bonnie, for 8 years. His first wife, Jane, died in 1995 after 43 years of marriage. He has three highly successful children. Shelley is a pediatric nurse specialist in Westminster, Colorado, His son, Rody, is a geologist for the Bureau of Land Management, and his other daughter, Sue Ellen, is a dermatologist on the faculty at University of North Carolina. He has several grandchildren. He is an avid reader especially of medical history and an avid football fan, probably the result of his growing up in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

Rody Cox, MD, is a superb physician, clinician, educator, mentor, researcher, and truly exemplary of the ideals of the American College of Physicians. The Texas Chapter is pleased to honor Dr. Rody Cox as a Laureate for 2005.


Temple W. Williams, Jr., MD, FACP

Temple Williams received the B.S. degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1955 and the M.D. degree from Baylor University College of Medicine, Houston, in 1959. He completed his internal medicine residency at Duke University and Baylor College of Medicine, and an infectious diseases fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. He then served as a Clinical Associate, Infectious Diseases Service, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, where he developed an interest in fungal infections. After finishing his tour at NIH, Dr. Williams returned to Houston as a faculty at Baylor College of Medicine and rose through the academic ranks from Instructor to full Professor of Medicine and was appointed Chief of Infectious Diseases at The Methodist Hospital in Houston in 1998. In 2002, he was appointed the John S. Dunn Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Williams has received nearly every award that Baylor College of Medicine offers its faculty. He was the recipient of the Spirit and Hustle Award by the residents at Baylor in 1970-1971 and received Excellence in Teaching Awards so many years by Baylor students that he was inducted into the Baylor College of Medicine Outstanding Faculty Hall of Fame in 1982, at which point he was no longer eligible for annual teaching awards. In reaching this level, the assumption was made that he would have received citations annually from his students and that other faculty needed recognition.

In 1984, Dr. Williams was recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus by Southern Methodist University. In 1998 he received the Outstanding Faculty Award by the Baylor Alumni Association and in 2000 the Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr., Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at Baylor.

Dr. Williams has been active in professional internal medicine and medical societies. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He has been active in the Houston Society of Internal Medicine and the Texas Club of Internists, where he served as President in 1999-2000. He was President of the Doctors' Club of Houston in 1997-1999. He has published broadly in the areas of fungal diseases and antimicrobial therapy, and has authored more than 100 publications.

While Dr. Williams has been a master teacher of students, residents, fellows and faculty at the Texas Medical Center for forty years, it is his dedication to clinical medicine and patient care that qualifies Dr. Williams as one of America¹s great physicians. He has worked closely with his patients and brought them the best medicine available. Dr. Williams has been included in publications listing the Best Doctors in the United States. When important dignitaries or physicians in Houston became ill with an infectious disease, more often than not, Dr. Williams was their doctor and he got them well. Temple Williams is a doctor¹s doctor.

Dr. Williams is a special person who has raised the level of medicine in our state by providing clinical care to many of its citizens, by teaching countless numbers of Baylor students and residents who practice in our state, and by mentoring a multitude of physicians in infectious diseases who occupy academic positions and practice throughout our state and country.

In 2004, Dr. Williams became Professor Emeritus at Baylor College of Medicine and turned his attention to non-medical challenges including fly fishing, hunting and travel, and like everything Dr. Williams has tried, he is successful at retirement.

The Texas Chapter is pleased to honor Temple Williams, MD, FACP, as a Laureate for 2005.