San Antonio — Two former military healthcare researchers in San Antonio will receive awards for their work from a life sciences group that promotes the local industry.
Alan Peterson, who is developing methods of preventing, detecting, and treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is receiving the BioMed SA Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience. BioMed SA has given out the award since 2006. The nonprofit organization awarded it to Miami-based researcher and entrepreneur Leonard Pinchuk last year and, in 2016, presented it to George Peoples, a military surgeon and oncology drug developer.
Meanwhile, BioMed SA decided to give a lifetime achievement award this year to Basil Pruitt, an expert in trauma and burn medicine who is the former commander and director of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research. Pruitt is now a clinical professor in the department of surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The lifetime achievement award is not given annually like the innovation award.
Peterson spent 21 years in the Air Force as a clinical psychologist, and was deployed three times to combat zones to treat members of the military with PTSD. He used prolonged exposure therapy—a method of approaching trauma-related memories—on patients. Peterson left the military in 2005 and is now the chief of the division of behavioral medicine at UT Health San Antonio.
Peterson also leads two consortia that study combat-related PTSD and have conducted large psychological randomized clinical trials, according to BioMed SA. The groups have more than 50 research projects and have received more than $150 million in research funding, according to BioMed.
The awards will be given to the researchers on Sept. 13.