AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — An announcement from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center detailed that two of its professors were recently named by the TTU System Board of Regents as Grover E. Murray Professors for their excellence and achievements in their fields.

According to a news release, the Board of Regents approved the appointment of Billy U. Philips, Ph.D., MPH, executive vice president and director of TTUHSC F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health, and Thomas J. Abbruscato, Ph.D., TTUHSC Graduate School of Biomedical Science senior associate dean, as Grover E. Murray Professors. The professorship was named after the first president of TTUHSC.

“Dr. Philips and Dr. Abbruscato are both nationally and internationally recognized for their work, and we thank them for committing their careers to our great university,” Rice-Spearman said at the TTU System Board of Regents meeting last week.

The release noted that Philips is the endowed F. Marie Hall Chair in Rural Health as well as a full professor in the School of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine, and has been recognized for “his expertise in cancer control education.” Philips joined TTUHSC in 2009 and has since established multiple health programs in the system that went on to earn more than $30 million for Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine.

Phillips also received the TTU System Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Award in 2017 for his research contribution at TTUHSC. The release read that he is currently the acting dean for the newly established TTUHSC Julia Jones Matthews School of Population and Public Health.

Abbruscato began his career at TTUHSC in 2000 as an assistant professor, according to the release, and went on to become a full professor in 2012. He was then named a TTUHSC University Distinguished Professor in 2015.

Abbruscato continues to focus on his clinical and research interests, including the neurovascular effects of nicotine and tobacco chemicals among other health-related research. Further, he has won more than 30 awards including the TTUHSC President’s Young Investigator Award in 2013 and two TTU System Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Awards.

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