2020 Distinguished Texas Scientist

Dr. George Perry
University of Texas at San Antonio

George Perry

     George Perry is Professor of Biology and Chemistry, Semmes Foundation Distinguished University Chair in Neurobiology, and former Dean of Sciences at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Perry has studied Alzheimer’s disease since 1982 and was the first to discover that oxidative stress is a key feature of this and related neurodegenerative diseases. His studies identified oxidative damage, its source from metabolic/mitochondria failure and catalysis by iron and copper. This work led to a novel interpretation of the role of amyloid—that instead of causing Alzheimer’s disease, it is a protective antioxidant response, and the reason all the amyloid-based therapies have failed.

     Perry received his Bachelor of Arts degree in zoology with high honors from University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduation, he headed to Scripps Institution of Oceanography and obtained his Ph.D. in marine biology under David Epel in 1979. He then received a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Cell Biology in the laboratories of Drs. Bill Brinkley, Anthony Means and Joseph Bryan at Baylor College of Medicine where he laid the foundation for his observations of abnormalities in cell structures.

     He is distinguished as one of the top Alzheimer’s disease researchers with over 1000 publications, one of the top 100 most-cited scientists in neuroscience and behavior and one of the top 25 scientists in free radical research. Perry has been cited over 92,000 times and is recognized as an ISI highly cited researcher (H=153). Perry is editor-in-chief for the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the most cited journal in the field. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Texas Academy of Sciences, and the Microscopy Society of America. He is past-president of the Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and past-president of the American
Association of Neuropathologists. He was awarded the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native American in the Sciences' (SACNAS) Distinguished Professional Mentor Award, the Senior Investigator Award of the International College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology (ICGP), Martin Goland Award of the Alamo Chapter of Sigma Xi, and Senior Fulbright Scholar. He was elected a Foreign Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon, Foreign Correspondent Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and Member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. For over a decade, Perry hosted the Texas Science and Engineering Fair. He has mentored over a hundred students and fellows in research.


Recent Distinguished Texas Scientists

Each year the Board of Directors of the Texas Academy of Science honors one of our colleagues as the Distinguished Texas Scientist. This honor reflects distinguished contributions to science through research and publication that has garnered recognition at the national and international level. Candidates must have spent a significant portion of their professional careers in Texas. 

A nomination package for the Award should consist of a nominating letter from any Scientist, member or non-member of the TAS, summarizing the candidate’s achievements and their impact on both Science and Texas, and also include two supporting letters from experts in the fields associated with the nominee.   All letters should be addressed to the Vice President of the TAS and arrive prior to January 1.  The vice president can be contacted direct via email.


2019 David Lambert, Isabel McCutcheon Harte Centennial Chair in Astronomy,  University of Texas at Austin

2018 Purnendu K. (Sandy) Dasgupta, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas at Arlington 

2017 Bert O'Malley, FACS, Baylor College of Medicine

2016 Gary Garrett, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin

2015 Francisco Gonzalez-Lima, Department of Psychology (Neuroscience), University of Texas at Austin

2014 Michelle Bushey, Department of Chemistry, Trinity University

2013 Camille Parmesan, Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin

2012 Larry Gilbert, Ecology and Evolution, University of Texas at Austin

2011 George Kattawar, Physics, Texas A&M University

2010 James R. Dixon, Herpetology, Texas A&M University

2009 Owen Lind, Limnology, Baylor University

2008 Ernest L. Lundelius, Jr., Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Texas at Austin

2007 Robert J. Baker - Mammalogy and Molecular Genetics, Texas Tech University

2006 Erik R. Pianka, Ecology, University of Texas at Austin

2005 Frank Judd, Biology, University of Texas-Pan American

2004 John C. Perez, Microbiology, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

2003 Jonathan A. Campbell, Biology, University of Texas at Arlington

2002 Alastair Ian Scott, Director, Center for Biological NMR, Texas A&M University

2001 Glenn Evans and Gene Mear

2000 Kathie Thomas-Keprta, Everett K. Gibson, Jr., David S. McKay, NASA Mars Meteorite Research Team

1999 Dr. Norman Hackerman, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Univ. of Texas at Austin

1998 Dr. Clark Hubbs Zoology University of Texas at Austin

1997 Dr. Robert F. Curl and Dr. Richard F. Smalley, Chemistry, Rice University

1996 Dr. Sammy M. Ray Oyster Biology Texas A&M University at Galveston

1995 Dr. John Reading Physics Texas A&M University

1994 Dr. Patrick L. Odell Mathematics Baylor University

1993 Dr. William R. Brinkley Medicine Baylor College of Medicine

1992 Dr. J. Knox Jones Mammalogy Texas Tech University

1991 Dr. Roger Unger Medicine Southwestern Medical Center

1990 Dr. Carolyn Huntoon Space Medicine NASA

1989 Dr. Carl B. Collins, Jr. Physics University of Texas at Dallas

1988 Dr. Virgil E. Barnes Geology University of Texas at Austin

1987 Dr. Richard C. Starr Botany University of Texas at Austin

1986 Dr. Grover E. Murray Geology Texas Tech Univ.

1985 Dr. Albert Zlatkis Chemistry University of Houston

1984 Dr. Francis S. Johnson Aerospace University of Texas at Dallas

1983 Dr. Michel Halbouty Geoscience Private Industry

1982 Dr. Perry Adkisson Entomology Texas A&M University

1981 None

1980 Dr. Ilya Prigogine Physics University of Texas at Austin

1979 Dr. Michael DeBakey Medicine Baylor College of Medicine