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A Creighton University School of Medicine alumnus and a current faculty member were inducted in the University’s chapter of Phil Beta Kappa Society, Beta of Nebraska on April 18, 2013. Creighton alumnus Floyd J. Malveaux, BS’61, M.D., Ph.D., was inducted as the chapter’s first alumni member. Henry Lynch, M. D., director of Creighton University’s Hereditary Cancer Center and holder of the Charles F. and Mary C. Heider Endowed Chair in Cancer Research was inducted as the chapter’s first honorary member. Fifty-three junior and senior students also were inducted into the chapter.

Malveaux is a nationally recognized expert on asthma and allergic diseases.  He is executive vice president and executive director of the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN) and emeritus dean of the College of Medicine and professor of microbiology and medicine at Howard University. He has led Howard’s participation in several multi-million dollar research initiatives, from basic bench research to health services research in asthma and allergic diseases.

A native of Louisiana, Malveaux received his B.S. from Creighton and a M.S. from Loyola University New Orleans. He earned a Ph.D. in microbiology and public health from Michigan State University and his M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine. He received specialty training in internal medicine at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., and subspecialty training in allergy and clinical immunology at The Johns Hopkins University. In 1978, as chief of the Allergy/Immunology Division he established the Conjoint Training Program in Allergy and Immunology at Howard University. Malveaux joined the faculty of The Johns Hopkins University in 1984.

He returned to Howard University in 1989 as chairman of Department of Microbiology and became dean of the College of Medicine in 1995. From July 1996 until 2001, he served as vice president for health affairs and dean; from 2001 to 2003, he served as vice provost for health affairs and dean. He remained dean of the College of Medicine and professor of microbiology and medicine until his retirement in July 2005. As dean of the college, he oversaw development and implementation of an integrated medical curriculum, funding for endowed chairs, a state-of-the-art health sciences library, a telemedicine consultative service with the U.S. Virgin Islands, the M.D./Ph.D. training program and many other initiatives.  

In addition to being a member of Creighton’s Board of Trustees, Malveaux serves on the boards of Loyola University New Orleans and the Horizon Foundation. He assumed his current position with MCAN in 2005, directing a portfolio that supports translational research and implementation of science-based asthma initiatives in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico.

 Malveaux has received numerous awards, including the National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health; the Vivian B. Allen Foundation Fellowship; the Clemens von Pirquet Research Award from Georgetown School of Medicine; the Soar High Leaders Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural and Minority Medicine; and the Howard University Alumni Award for Distinguished Post Graduate Achievement in the Fields of Medical Education, Research and International Health, among others.  

Lynch has been aptly referred to as the “Father of Hereditary Cancer Research.” A review of his research reveals a remarkable and significant social science and cancer genetics contribution on family interactions in the face of cancer diagnoses. Over the past 40 years, he has co-authored more than 800 publications on the diagnosis, prevention, counseling and treatment of hereditary disorders, primarily cancer.

In the early 1960s, while he was an internal medicine resident, Lynch proposed the then-radical hypothesis that cancers of the same type occurring within families may have hereditary causes; conventional wisdom at the time posited that family histories of families more prone to the development of cancer were largely due to environmental factors.

As the director of Creighton’s Hereditary Cancer Center, he leads a team in evaluating an individual’s genetic risk and management options for certain types of cancers.  Lynch’s many recognitions include the Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Clinical Research from the American Association of Cancer Research; the National Consortium of Breast Centers IMPACT award; and the American Cancer Society’s Medal, among others.

Lynch graduated in 1951 from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, and he earned his master’s degree in clinical psychology at the University of Denver the following year. He studied medicine at the University of Texas, Galveston, earning his M.D. in 1960. His professional appointments include an internship at St. Mary’s Hospital, Evansville, Ind.; a residency in internal medicine at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine; and training in clinical oncology at the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases. In 1967 he joined the faculty of the Creighton University School of Medicine, where he remains today.  

The Beta of Nebraska Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was installed at Creighton in November 2012. Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society for the liberal arts and sciences. Only ten percent of colleges and universities have earned the privilege of hosting a chapter on their campuses. Among its distinguished alumni are 17 United States Presidents, 38 Supreme Court Justices and 36 Nobel Laureates.