Robert W. Haley and relativesDr. Robert Ware Haley, whose research has helped improve hospital care and define the symptoms of Gulf War syndrome, was honored as the 2008 Dedman College Distinguished Graduate during the Dedman College Celebration May 7.

The ceremony also honored Anthropology Professor Caroline Brettell for her service as Dedman College interim dean from 2006 to 2008.

Dennis Foster, D.D. Frensley Professor of English, was named the Dedman Family Distinguished Professor. English and history major Jessica Erwin was honored as the Robert and Nancy Dedman Outstanding Senior Student.

Right, Robert W. Haley (second row center) gathers with SMU President R. Gerald Turner (fourth from right) and a few of the 21 Haley family members who have graduated from the University.

Haley: SMU faculty among “formative influences”

Haley is director and founder of the Division of Epidemiology in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas’ Department of Internal Medicine, as well as its U.S. Armed Forces Veterans Distinguished Chair for Medical Research Honoring America’s Gulf War Veterans.

“The formative influences in my career have been my family, SMU faculty who nurtured me and a liberal arts education,” Haley said at the awards celebration, which was attended by some of his 21 family members who are SMU alumni or current students. Haley earned B.A. degrees in philosophy and social sciences from SMU and his M.D. degree from UT Southwestern.

Dedman Executive Board member Robert Mayer, who nominated Haley for the honor, says, “Dr. Haley has had an outstanding medical and research career with a clear record of leadership. He also has maintained strong ties to SMU.”

Haley currently is investigating the nature and causes of Gulf War syndrome in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. SMU Statistical Science faculty members Richard Gunst, William Schucany and Wayne Woodward are collaborating in developing novel methods of analyzing the brain imaging data of veterans.

A fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and of the American College of Physicians, Haley has served as a commissioned officer of the U.S. Public Health Service at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also was senior editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology and president of the Dallas County Medical Society. Among his numerous honors, he is listed in The Best Doctors in America.