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Meharvan ‘Sonny’ Singh

🕐 3 min read

Research in Medicine Award UNT Health Science Center

Meharvan “Sonny” Singh is currently professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology & Neuroscience and interim director for the Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Research (IAADR) at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He is also director of research for the Center FOR HER, a women’s health center at UNTHSC and serves as vice president of the North Central Texas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Board of Directors. All these activities are part of a lifelong interest for Singh. “For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in the science, particularly the biological sciences,” he says. Throughout his career, he has maintained an active program of research focusing on how hormones, like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, affect the brain, particularly within the context of brain aging and such degenerative diseases as Alzheimer’s disease. At the end of 2012, he and his team were awarded a $5.8 million grant from the National Institute of Aging. The funded programs of research within Singh’s laboratory also have enabled him to successfully train students and postdoctoral fellows, who will make up the next generation of professionals to tackle current and future public health problems. For Singh, collaboration is key. “Together, we will make fundamental new discoveries that in turn, can lead to new or improved evidence-based practices in the delivery of high quality health care to our citizens.”     What drew you to the health care field? While I could have pursued different career paths within the arena of health care, an introduction into biomedical research at the University of Florida crystalized a career path that has been professionally satisfying and a good “fit” for me. More than 20 years later, I still find conducting biomedical research an exciting and rewarding career that has the potential to help make a difference in the health of our citizens. Who is your biggest inspiration? There are many that have inspired me throughout my training and career, including my parents, my wife and daughter and the numerous talented members of the health care community with whom I’ve had the good fortune to interact. However, if I have to pick one person that has been my biggest inspiration as it relates to my professional career, it would be my colleague, friend and mentor, Dr. James W. Simkins. He is renowned researcher in the field of brain aging, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, formerly employed here at UNT Health Science Center and now, the director of the Center for Basic and Translational Stroke Research at West Virginia University. He is an extraordinary scientist and leader who led by example, always put others before himself and espoused the value of honesty, integrity and loyalty in every aspect of life. I learned many things from him and can honestly say that I am a better person and scientist because of him. What is your advice for people getting into the health care field? I would encourage them to go into the field with the highest level of commitment and seriousness, and motivate them to recognize the important role they have to play in contributing towards better health care for the global community.  Whether they are on the “front lines,” (i.e. a physician, a PA, pharmacist, nurse practitioner, etc.) or “behind the scenes”, like being a part of an innovative team of researchers, they should not only work hard and be passionate about what they do, but in the process, should be ever mindful of who we aim to serve – our community. – Robert Francis

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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