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The University of Alabama

Immunology Researcher to Address McCollough Medical Scholars Forum at UA

Dr. Richard deShazo

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Richard deShazo, a distinguished researcher in the field of immunology and leading advocate for improving Mississippi’s health care, will be the featured speaker for the ninth annual Susan and Gaylon McCollough Medical Scholars Forum Feb. 11-12 in the Shelby Hall rotunda on The University of Alabama campus. 

The forum, sponsored by UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, was established by UA alumni Dr. Gaylon McCollough and his wife, Susan. It begins at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 11 and continues at 9 a.m. Feb. 12. The event is free and open to the public.  

DeShazo is the former chair of the School of Medicine at the University of Mississippi and at the College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama.  

He serves on a national committee to determine how medical schools train their students in an evolving practice environment, and he hosts a national award-winning weekly medical program on Mississippi Public Radio and live television health programs for Mississippi Public Television.  

He will conduct two separate lectures for the McCollough forum. The first, titled “Physician Education, Alabama Politics, Federal Health Policies, and Other Strange Bedfellows,” is Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. The second, “Pathways to Medical Practice: Options, Opportunities and Pitfalls,” is Feb. 12 at 10:30 a.m.  

In 1967, deShazo received his undergraduate degree from Birmingham-Southern College and went on to study the National Health System in the United Kingdom while completing requirements for a medical degree at The University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham.  

He completed his residency in internal medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and subsequently completed fellowships in adult and pediatric clinical immunology at Walter Reed General Hospital.  

In 1980, he took his first post with the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans as the co-investigator and director of immunology for the Tulane-LSU AIDs Clinical Trials Center, one of the first centers funded to study HIV infection. While there, he published a series of original investigations dealing with the immunologic abnormalities associated with HIV infection in homosexual and hemophiliac populations.  

During his last four years at Tulane, he served as vice chair for clinical affairs of the Department of Medicine and ACOS for Education at the New Orleans VA Medical Center.  

DeShazo returned to Alabama to become the second chair and director of the residency program in internal medicine of the College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama in 1989.  The faculty numbers, research productivity and clinical programs tripled, and he was recognized by the medical students for excellence in teaching.  

DeShazo joined the faculty of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1998 as chair of the department of medicine. Faculty numbers, research productivity and clinical programs have tripled, and the department has been named “Best Clinical Department” by UMC medical students for 11 of his 12 years as chair. He now has 170 publications in the peer reviewed medical literature and 58 book chapters.  

He also serves as an associate editor of the American Journal of Medicine and the Southern Medical Journal and on the editorial boards of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Journal of Medical Sciences.  

Among other professional and service activities, he serves on the Council of Academic Societies of the American Association of Medical Colleges. He was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the American College of Allergy and Immunology and has received Special Service awards from both the American College and American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology.  

He is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in American Medicine and Who’s Who in the World and has been listed in Best Doctors for the last 12 years.  

The McCollough Medical Scholars Forum’s purpose is to give students an understanding of the importance of the scientific and humanistic aspects of healthcare. High school students, UA pre-health professions students, and past forum participants will join UA faculty representing diverse disciplines for the event.  

Gaylon McCollough is an Alabaman physician, the president of the McCollough Plastic Surgery Clinic and the founder of the McCollough Institute for Appearance and Health in Gulf Shores.  

A 1965 honors graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, he served as an offensive center for the Crimson Tide football team and was named to the All-American Football Team in 1964. Since entering practice, he has obtained recognition as a surgeon and teacher through his affiliation with the largest association of specialty plastic surgeons in the world.  

Susan McCollough is a native of Dothan, and she is a 1966 graduate of The University of Alabama’s College of Arts and Sciences. While at UA, she received a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse Theatre and was a top five finalist for the Miss U.S.A. International Pageant in 1964. She has held leadership positions in numerous community and civic organizations and on advisory boards.  

For more information on the forum, contact Chris Hutt, director of health professions advising, in the College of Arts and Sciences at 205/348-5902.  

UA’s College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Kelli Wright, College of Arts & Sciences, communications specialist,, 205-348-8539
  • SOURCE: Chris Hutt, director of health professions advising, College of Arts and Sciences,, 205-348-5902