Charles H. Evans, Jr., MD ’66, PhD ’69, Res ’71
September 24, 2020 — The UVA Medical Alumni Association is pleased to announce the recipient of the inaugural Distinguished Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences: Charles H. Evans, Jr., MD ’66, PhD ’69, Res ’71.
After completing his training at the University of Virginia in 1971, Evans was appointed a research scientist in the National Cancer Institute as a career medical officer in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service to identify and characterize immunologic mechanisms preventing the development of cancer. In that role, he advanced to chief of the Tumor Biology Section leading international cancer research and authoring or coauthoring 122 biomedical research articles and books, organizing 10 international medical research conferences, and training 16 postdoctoral fellows. As a pioneer in the cytokine field, he discovered leukoregulin, which was awarded three U.S. patents.
Retiring after 30 years as captain in the United States Public Health Service, Evans was appointed head of the Health Sciences Section in the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., as a scholar in residence in public health and health sciences policy development. Internationally recognized in that position for initiating and expanding the relationship of the Institute of Medicine with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, he secured $1.5 million in grant support from NASA and directed two committee studies in space medicine: the seminal study identifying medical needs for long-term human space travel, Safe Passage: Astronaut Care for Exploration Missions, and Small Clinical Trials: Issues and Challenges.
In 2002, Evans was appointed professor of health science at Georgetown University and charged with the creation, planning, development and administration of a new department of Human Science focused on training students for careers in health education, research and clinical practice. Evans oversaw the planning and construction of a $2 million integrated shared student/faculty teaching and biomedical research laboratory known as the Discovery Center, creation of an annual undergraduate student research conference, establishment of a student-run, online health sciences journal and as the principal investigator directed a National Institutes of Health Science Education Program Award grant, which supported a summer residential program for talented high school students from underserved rural communities.
Evans retired in 2009 as the founding professor of the Department of Human Science, and the department has flourished with more than 900 projects presented at the department hosted annual undergraduate student research conference.
Congratulations to Dr. Evans on his distinguished career and on this well-deserved recognition.