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2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Award for Achievement

Rama K. Mallampalli, portraitRama K. Mallampalli

91F-pulmonary and critical care

Rama K. Mallampalli is an internationally recognized authority on acute lung injury. His educational, clinical, and research prowess has earned him membership to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and as a permanent member of several National Institutes of Health committees. His entrepreneurial activities as cofounder of Koutif Therapeutics have led his team to receive FDA investigational new drug approval for a new class of oral ubiquitin-based anti-inflammatories. He served as past chief of pulmonary, allergy, and critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He currently serves as the chair for the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and as physician-in-chief for medicine at the OSU Wexner Medical Center.

Daret St. Clair, portraitDaret St. Clair

84PhD-radiation biology

Daret St. Clair has made significant contributions to the fields of free radical biology, redox, and cancer research and therapy. Her research findings include a novel strategy that could be exploited for either developing redox-active, antioxidant-based cancer prevention or sensitizing cancer cells to radiation- or chemotherapy-based treatments. St. Clair is a professor of toxicology and cancer biology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where she holds the James Graham Brown Foundation Endowed Chair in Neuroscience and serves as the associate director for basic research at the Markey Cancer Center and co-director of the University of Kentucky Center for Cancer and Metabolism.

Award for Service

John Dagle, portraitJohn Dagle

91MD, 91PhD-biochemistry, 95R-pediatrics, 97F-neonatology

John Dagle epitomizes the role of a caring pediatrician, trusted colleague, and respected teacher and mentor. After completing a pediatric residency and neonatology fellowship at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Dagle joined the faculty of the UI Carver College of Medicine in 1998. In addition to his role as a professor in the neonatology division of the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics, Dagle serves as co-director of the Iowa Statewide Perinatal Care Program. He also holds academic appointments in the Carver College of Medicine Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Epidemiology in the UI College of Public Health. Dagle has published over 70 peer-reviewed research articles and three book chapters, and he has received awards for excellence in both research and teaching. 

 Shawna Willey, portraitShawna Willey


Shawna Willey has made great contributions in the field of breast surgery, most notably by pioneering a nipple-sparing technique for mastectomy that she has presented at meetings and conferences around the globe. Since graduating from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in 1982, Shawna Willey has spent her entire career in the Washington, D.C., area. She completed medical residency training in surgery at George Washington University Medical Center, and she currently serves as the Peterson Chair of Breast Cancer Research at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute in Fairfax, Virginia. Before that, she spent 17 years at Georgetown University. She served as president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons in 2008-2009 and is currently the chair of the society’s board. 

Award for Early Career Achievement

Robyn Domsic, portraitRobyn Domsic

96BS, 01MD

Robyn Domsic’s reputation in the study and treatment of scleroderma is well-deserved. Having published over 70 articles on the topic, with 12 articles since 2018, the Iowa City native has established herself as a prolific and respected expert in scleroderma. As a recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Career Development Award, she developed and validated a clinical prediction for all-cause mortality for patients with early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis. She has garnered numerous competitive grants from the NIH and the U.S. Department of Defense as well as research support from medical foundations and pharmaceutical companies. Domsic serves as an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the clinical director of the university’s scleroderma center, a position she’s held since 2015. 

Brian R. Wolf, portraitBrian R. Wolf

02R-orthopedic surgery, 06MS

Brian R. Wolf has earned international recognition for his expertise in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, particularly disorders of the shoulder, elbow, and knee. He serves as professor and vice chair of finance and academic affairs in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. He also is director of UI Sports Medicine and the head team physician for the UI football, women’s basketball, baseball, and swimming teams. He is a longtime member of the National Institutes of Health-funded Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network research group, which studies predictors of outcomes following ACL, shoulder, and rotator cuff surgeries. Wolf, who holds the John and Kim Callaghan Endowed Chair, has twice won the prestigious Charles A. Neer Award from the American Shoulder and Elbow Society.


Recognition of the 2020 UI Carver College of Medicine award recipients has been postponed to fall 2021. For more information, please contact UI Health Care Outreach and Engagement at 1-319-335-8886 or email medicine-alumni@uiowa.edu.

Two honorees affiliated with the UI Carver College of Medicine have been selected as recipients of the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Awards.

  • Mark Stinski, PhD received the Faculty/Staff award
  • Joseph A. Walder, MD, PhD received the Friend Award

Read more about all the 2020 University of Iowa recipients