The below is a message from Bradley Dixon, MD, Chief of Medicine, Iowa City VA Health Care System (ICVA).
It is with enormous pleasure that I announce that the Awards Committee has selected Jack T. Stapleton, MD, staff physician at the ICVA and professor of internal medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, as the recipient of the inaugural DiBona Academics in Service of ICVA Veterans Award. Dr. Stapleton truly embodies the tenets upon which this award was predicated, a physician primarily working at the ICVA holding a joint academic appointment with the University of Iowa and demonstrating a sustained, outstanding commitment to clinical care, education, and research in the service of veterans at the ICVA.
Dr. Stapleton grew up in Kansas and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa, his MD from the University of Kansas, and completed both his Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in ID from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, before returning to the Department of Internal Medicine and ID Division at the University of Iowa, where he has remained since 1986. He joined the ICVA in 1987, serving at least a 5/8ths appointment there for all his career.
Dr. Stapleton is the Director of the Helen C Levitt Center for Viral Pathogenesis and served for many years as the Director of the ID Division at both the University and the ICVA. Early on in his career, he established the HIV/AIDS clinics at both the ICVA and UIHC. Dr. Stapleton is internationally recognized and has been consistently funded from the NIH and VA for his research into the basic virology and pathogenesis of a range of medically important viruses. He is perhaps best known for his work understanding how GB virus type C (GBV-C) modulates the immune system and the discovery, published in the NEJM, that survival is prolonged in HIV patients co-infected with this virus. In 2011, Dr. Stapleton led a team of scientists in getting GBV-C reclassified as a fourth genus in the family Flaviviridae named Pegavirus (i.e. human pegivirus, HPgV). He is currently applying the knowledge he has gained from work with HIV, HCV, and HPgV to study how SARS-CoV-2 modulates the immune system. His CV lists more than 275 peer reviewed manuscripts, chapters and editorials as well as multiple patents during his career.
Dr. Stapleton serves on numerous NIH and VA Review Boards and is in constant demand nationally and internationally as a lecturer and consultant. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and elected as a member of the prestigious American Clinical and Climatological Association and the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Stapleton is a consummate clinician and educator and regularly attends both on the ID consult service and the inpatient General Medicine Teaching service at the VA. He has been recognized for his teaching by four separate nominations as Faculty Teacher of the Year by fourth-year medical students. On a personal note, Dr. Stapleton regularly and passionately reminds me (correctly) of the enormous contributions of the ID Division to the ICVA.
In short, Dr. Stapleton is an outstanding and exemplary awardee of the Inaugural DiBona award. Dr. Stapleton’s career truly embodies the highest standards exemplified by Dr. DiBona and sets a very high bar for this award.
We wish to also recognize the many nominations of very distinguished and deserving candidates and we look forward to recognizing the many contributions of other deserving VA-based academic physicians with the DiBona Award in the future.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Stapleton on this well-deserved award!