Jere H. Mitchell

Jere H. Mitchell

Jere H. Mitchell, a physician-scientist, was born in Longview, Texas on Oct. 17, 1928. There were no doctors in the family and, in fact, no one had finished college. Jere knew two local doctors who became his role models and from an early age his goal was to emulate them and be a primary care physician in his home town. He attended Longview High School and had two important science teachers (Physics and Biology). He performed well in these courses but saw no connection between them and medicine. After graduation, he matriculated to the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA. There he studied PreMed for 4 years (1946-1950). The head of the Biology Department was a great mentor and teacher. There he became much more interested in Chemistry, Physics, and Biology for there own sake but still did not understand that they are the founding blocks of medicine. Next he was accepted to medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (now known as UT Southwestern). His favorite course the freshmen year was Physiology and he became a Student Instructor during his junior year. During his sophomore year Dr. Donald Seldin was recruited to UT Southwestern from Yale University to be in Medicine. None of the Texas boys had ever seen such a brilliant man who was such an awesome lecturer. He was a true Pied Piper and everybody wanted to follow in his footsteps. He so clearly showed how the building blocks of medicine were the Basic Sciences. After two years he became the Chairman of Medicine (33 y/o).Also during his junior year Dr. Carleton Chapman was recruited from the Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene at the University of Minnesota to be the first Head of Cardiology in Seldin’s Department of Medicine. These two men served as his mentors and both had a tremendous influence on his career and his changing the plan of being a primary care physician to being an academic physician-scientist.

After graduation Dr. Mitchell spent 2 years in Internal Medicine at Parkland Hospital (1954-1656) and 2 years as a Cardiology Fellow at UT Southwestern  (1956-1958). During this latter time, he performed studies in the physiology of exercise in humans and dogs.  During this same time, he met Dr. Stanley Sarnoff and was invited to come work in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Physiology at the National Heart Institute in Bethesda. He spent 4 years (1958-1962) working in this laboratory. After that time, he returned to Dallas as a faculty member in Cardiology again working with Dr. Chapman.

In 1966 he became the Head of Cardiology after Chapman left for Dartmouth Medical School and in 1977 was appointed the Director of the Harry S. Moss Heart Center (1976-2000). He is still a member of the Faculty at UT Southwestern. During his tenure in Dallas, he has spent a semi-sabbatcal in Oxford (University Laboratory of Physiology) and in Copenhagen (August Krogh Institute and Copenhagen Muscle Research Center).

Dr. Mitchell has been fortunate to have had a generous funding from the American Heart Association and the NIH. The Cardiology Division had a Program Project Grant from 1961-2008     and Dr. Mitchell was Director from 1966-2000. This is one of the longest funded grants of this type.

Dr. Mitchell Scientific Societies include the American Federation of Clinical Research (Emeritus), the American Society for Clinical Investigation (Emeritus), the Association of American Physicians, the Association of University Cardiologist (Emeritus), the American Physiological Society (Cardiovascular, EEP, and NCAR Sections), and The Physiological Society (Honorary Member).

Dr. Michell has received numerous awards. From the American Physiological Society he won the Carl J. Wiggers Award of the Cardiovascular Section in 1992, the Edward F. Adolph Distinguished Lectureship in 2003 and the Honor Award in 2007 from EEP Section, and the Carl Ludwig Distinguished Lectureship in 2015 from the NCAR Section. From the American College of Cardiology, he received the first Young Investigators Award in 1961 and the Distringuished Scientist Award in 1999. From the American College of Sports Medicine a Citation Award in 1983, the Honor Award in 1988, and the Joseph B. Wolffe Memorial Lecturer in 1989. From The Physiological Society he gave the Paton Prize Lecture in 2012 and was made an Honorary Member in 2015. From the University of Copenhagen, he received a Doctores Medicinae Honoris Causa in 2000.