The Distinguished Alumnus Award was launched in 2015 and honors a graduate of our residency or fellowship program. The purpose of the award is to recognize alumni who illustrate the many facets of professional and personal success in our specialty and who will inspire our trainees in their career journeys and inspire our faculty in their educational roles.

Shahriar Salamat's photo

Dr. Salamat completed his residency in anatomic pathology at UC Davis in 1988, and his fellowship in neuropathology in 1992. He has since spent almost 30 years of his career at the University of Wisconsin (UW) School of Medicine and Public Health where he serves as Professor of Pathology, Director of the Autopsy Service, and Director of the Brain Bank. Dr. Salamat’s research interests include development of the central nervous system, tumors, and neurodegenerative diseases. Known as a dedicated educator, Dr. Salamat has been honored with teaching awards from many different specialties, including eurology, neurosurgery, and neuro-oncology. In 2019-20, Dr. Salamat received a Fulbright Specialist Scholarship to provide instruction to residents in Kampala, Uganda. Since then, he regularly includes Ugandan residents in his neuropathology lectures within the department. Dr. Salamat served as a mentor to our most recent neuropathology faculty member, Dr. Vihar Patel, while Dr. Patel was a medical student at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Patel noted that Dr. Salamat is a “…very well-rounded knowledgeable individual but remains curious of the cultures of his colleagues and trainees, often learning more about peoples’ lives and experiences outside of medicine.”

Steven Campman, M.D.

Dr. Steven Campman is the Chief Medical Examiner of San Diego County and a retired Air Force colonel who served more than 20 years in the US Air Force and Air Force Reserve. He has performed more than 5000 autopsies and testified in hundreds of court proceedings. A 1998 graduate of our residency program and former chief resident who then completed the combined UC Davis-Sacramento County Coroner’s Office Forensic Pathology Fellowship Program, Dr Campman served in the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in Washington, D.C. He also served as a Range Officer in the AFIP Ballistic Trauma Laboratory where he collaborated on research related to body armor, helmets, and the biomechanics of trauma. Honored with multiple awards from by the AFIP, Dr. Campman is the recipient of the Joint Unit Meritorious Service Award, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and National Defense Meritorious Service Medal. For the past two decades, Dr. Campman has served the people of San Diego County in the Medical Examiner’s Office where he has addressed the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as societal challenges such as the rise in deaths from abuse of drugs like fentanyl, methamphetamines, and opioids, as well as the escalation of suicides, child fatalities and deaths from homelessness. A 2021 article in The Times of San Diego announcing Dr. Campman’s appointment as Chief Medical Examiner highlighted his dedication to public service: “Every single investigation is valuable, whether to the decedent’s family, or to attorneys or an insurance company. But what we can learn from all deaths together is valuable to understanding what going on in our community.” San Diego County Hires Dr. Steven Campman As Chief Medical Examiner - Times of San Diego.

Regina Gandour-Edwards, M.D.

An alumna of our medical school and residency program, Dr. Gandour-Edwards is nationally recognized as a master educator and curricular leader in undergraduate medical education (UME). She is a recipient of the Association of Pathology Chairs (APC) Michelle Raible Award in Undergraduate Medical Education, a multi-year recipient of the school’s Kaiser Award for Teaching, and has been honored with our medical school’s prestigious Tupper Prize and Distinguished Alumna Award. Dr. Gandour-Edwards served the department as Vice Chair of Education for almost two decades, in addition to many years as instructor of record of the pre-clinical pathology course for medical students. An early adopter of new educational approaches, she introduced digital microscopy, longitudinal integration of pathology content across the curriculum, and interactive team-based modules to replace lectures, and chaired the school’s Student Progress Committee and the curricular Block Council. Nationally, Dr. Gandour-Edwards chaired the APC’s undergraduate medical education section (UMEDS) and initiated many collaborative projects, including development of national pathology competencies for medical students, educational modules for genomic pathology, and membership outreach to new medical schools. As a member of the UC Davis faculty for almost 30 years, Dr. Gandour-Edwards has created better physicians for our region and the nation through her educational contributions and leadership.

Kristen Vandewalker, M.D.

Kristen Vandewalker, M.D. is a practicing pathologist with Diagnostic Pathology Medical Group in Sacramento where she serves as Chief of Laboratory Medicine at Sutter Medical Center as well as Medical Director for Sutter Valley Area Medical Foundation’s Microbiology Laboratory. In addition to her success as an institutional leader and practitioner, Dr. Vandewalker has achieved acclaim as a medical/scientific technical consultant for many popular television dramas, including ABC's Body of Proof, CBS’s CSI, NBC’s Chicago Med, Fox Broadcasting’s The Following, and others. A 2001 graduate of the UC Davis School of Medicine, Dr. Vandewalker completed her residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at UC Davis Medical Center in 2006 where she received the Housestaff Professionalism Award in 2003.

Jose Juan Gálvez, M.D.

A pioneer in the field of biomedical informatics, Dr. Gálvez is the Chief of the Office of Biomedical Translational Research Informatics System at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center. He oversees acquisition, curation, and management of high quality clinical and research data collected from across the NIH’s many institutes and centers, supporting investigators in their discovery of new knowledge and clinical care of patients. In recognition of his work, Dr. Gálvez received the 2014 NIH Award of Merit for Clinical Trial Repository Collaboration with FDA, the 2012 NCI Director’s Award: Marker Nomenclature and Database Committee for the Clinical Trials Reporting Project, and the 2010 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Star Award. A graduate of the UC Davis School of Medicine and UC Davis Health’s residency program in pathology and laboratory medicine, he also served as the department’s first informatics fellow and was honored by the medical school’s alumni society with their Transformational Leadership Award in 2017. Before joining the NIH, Dr. Galvez served as a UC Davis faculty member and Director of Bioinformatics and supported many national efforts in these roles, including the National Cancer Institute-sponsored Mouse Models of Human Cancer Consortium.

Guillermo Martinez-Torres

Dr. Martinez-Torres completed his residency at UC Davis Medical Center in 1993, followed by a forensic pathology fellowship at the Sacramento Coroner’s Office. He is Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Ascension/Columbia-St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee where he is recognized as dedicated breast health expert and serves as a member of the Columbia St. Mary's Multidisciplinary Clinic for breast cancer. He is also the President of North Shore Pathologists, SC which serves 27 hospitals throughout the state of Wisconsin. Active as a volunteer and leader in professional societies and community organizations, Dr. Martinez-Torres is Vice President of the College of American Pathologists Foundation, and serves as the board president for the Susan G. Komen affiliate in Wisconsin, as well as on boards for Columbia-St. Mary’s Hospital, the Wisconsin Society of Pathologists, and the Milwaukee Area Pathology Society. In 2017, the Wisconsin Society of Pathologists (WSP) awarded Dr. Guillermo Martinez-Torres their first Raymond C. Zastrow Award for leadership, service and advocacy efforts to the society and profession.

Steven Hinrichs

Dr. Hinrichs is the Chair of Pathology and Microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and serves as Director of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory. He completed his residency at UC Davis Medical Center in 1984, followed by a two year fellowship at the National institute of Health in Laboratory of Molecular Virology, and served on UC Davis faculty before joining the University of Nebraska in 1991. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Dr. Hinrichs’ was appointed the director of the University of Nebraska’s new Center for Biosecurity, the largest in the country and designed to provide first line treatment for people affected by bioterrorism or extremely infectious natural diseases. During the Ebola outbreak of 2015, UNMC served as a destination center and treated four patients. A working leader and role model, Dr. Hinrichs personally performed the autopsy on the Ebola patient who died. Thanks to his leadership, UNMC was recognized as a national asset and referred to as the "gold standard" for treatment and development of safety protocols to handle Ebola and highly infectious diseases. Dr. Hinrichs received the Association of Public Health Laboratories’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. His research interests are in the molecular biology of cancer and infectious diseases, including how infectious diseases, including viruses, are involved in the development of the neoplastic process or complicate its treatment. He has published over 140 articles.

Mark Fajardo

Dr. Fajardo is the Chief Forensic Pathologist for Riverside County and also served as Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner for Los Angeles County, one of the busiest coroner’s offices in the world with almost 5700 autopsies annually. A highly ethical and compassionate pathologist, he made news in 2016 when he chose to quit the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office after only two years and return to his former job in Riverside County due to insufficient resources leading to case delays impacting the families of the deceased. Dr. Fajardo has performed autopsies on many high-profile cases, and co-authored a 2017 position paper as a member of an ad hoc committee for the National Association of Medical Examiners which provides recommendations for the investigation, examination, and reporting of deaths in custody.

Christian Hansen

Dr. Hansen completed his residency at UC Davis Medical Center in 1999, as well as a fellowship in hematopathology in 2000, and leads the Monterey Pathologists Medical Group in Monterey, CA. A strong supporter of our training programs as a volunteer clinical faculty member, he is a frequent departmental visitor and shares cases and advice, and generously hosts residents for community rotations. Dr. Hansen is also an inspirational volunteer in global health projects in Africa to improve the quality of pathology practice and education in this underserved region. He has shared his experiences in Africa during his visits to the department, and has hosted rotations for Rwandan pathology residents at his own hospital and at UC Davis Medical Center. Dr. Hansen was one of the volunteers featured in a 2018 article in Clinics of Laboratory Medicine “Voices from the field: interviews with global health volunteers”.