Regents' Outstanding
Teaching Awards

Joan E. Nichols, Ph.D.


Department of Internal Medicine

School of Medicine

UT Medical Branch at Galveston

You cannot help but be inspired yourself if your goal as a teacher is to inspire and motivate people. Teaching has made me smarter, able to face difficult challenges with grace and calm, and motivates me to be a better scientist.

Joan E. Nichols Ph.D. is a Professor of Internal Medicine, and Microbiology and Immunology and the Associate Director of the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She has been involved in research projects looking at the alterations in the human immune response to microbial pathogens since 1985.  Her work highlights response of the lung after exposure to pollutants and/or respiratory pathogens and she has expertise in the areas of general immunology, inflammation, disease pathogenesis, stem cell characterization/differentiation and stem cell treatments, healing following traumatic injury to the brain or lungs and lung immune defense.  Dr. Nichols has been using adult and embryonic stem cells as well as tissue engineering techniques to produce human ex-vivo organoids/tissue constructs to use as human model systems to study disease pathogenesis and the human response to respiratory pathogens such as avian-influenza and other biosafety level 2 and 3 and 4 pathogens. A recent publication highlights the use of acellular whole lung scaffolds to produce lung tissue and to bioengineer human lungs.

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