SEC Faculty Achievement Award Recognizes Jones’ Accomplishments

Chair of emergency medicine also heads Medical Center's clinical response to pandemic

Dr. Alan Jones has been recognized for his excellence and achievements as chair and professor of emergency medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center with a 2020 SEC Faculty Achievement Award. Photo courtesy UMMC

JACKSON, Miss. – Dr. Alan Jones, chair and professor of emergency medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, is the 2020 SEC Faculty Achievement Award winner for the University of Mississippi.

Those eligible for the honor must hold the rank of full professor at a Southeastern Conference university, have an exceptional teaching record and be a nationally and/or internationally-recognized researcher. Each of the conference’s university award winners is also the campus nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award, which will be announced later this month.

“There are a great number of very qualified faculty members who could have been chosen,” said Jones, who is also the Medical Center’s clinical response leader for the COVID-19 pandemic. “So I was both surprised and overwhelmed to be the nominee of the University of Mississippi.

“Obviously, I’m honored.”

Jones, who earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology at Millsaps College, is a 1999 graduate of the UM School of Medicine.

“I have known him well since those medical school days and have watched his career trajectory with great admiration,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine she graduated from in 1991.

“As a student, he won numerous awards for research and academic excellence and finished at the top of his class. In addition to his innate intellect and talents, he is one of the most hard-working individuals I have known. He strives for excellence in everything he does.”

Jones also has held leadership roles in national professional organizations and is highly regarded across the country, she said.

“The year he was a senior medical student, I tried hard to recruit him into my residency program, but he chose to match elsewhere,” said Woodward, who directed the emergency medicine residency program at the time. “We waited 11 years to get him back to UMMC.”

After medical school, Jones completed a residency in emergency medicine, followed by a clinical trials research fellowship, at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. He also holds a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Jones, whose research interests include sepsis, life-threatening infections and critical care, joined the UMMC emergency medicine faculty in 2011 and has served as chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine since 2013.

“UMMC is a great working environment,” Jones said. “You’re surrounded by so many great people, so many really high-quality faculty members here, that you push yourself to achieve more.

“I appreciate being part of the only academic medical center in the state and being able to work around people who are so focused on the mission of providing patient care; this is what drives me to want to continue contributing to this institution.”

Jones is the fourth UMMC faculty member to be named an SEC Faculty Achievement Award winner; each is selected by a committee of SEC provosts from the 14 member universities of the Southeastern Conference, and each receives a $5,000 honorarium. The SEC Professor of the Year receives an additional $15,000 honorarium and recognition at the SEC Awards Dinner.

The other winners who have represented UMMC are Dr. Jane Reckelhoff, Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor and chair of cell and molecular biology, in 2018; Dr. Joey Granger, professor of physiology and biophysics and dean of the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences, in 2016; and Dr. John Hall, Arthur C. Guyton Professor and Chair of Physiology and Biophysics, in 2014. Hall was later named SEC Professor of the Year.

“I am thrilled with the selection of Dr. Jones for this year’s University of Mississippi SEC Faculty Achievement Award,” Woodward said. “We are most fortunate to have him at UMMC as a member of our leadership team.”