Dr. Powell is currently the Director of the UTMB Institute for Translational Sciences-Clinical Research Center and Director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Department of Internal Medicine at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, where he is the Bassel and Frances Blanton Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine and Professor, Neuroscience and Cell biology. He directs the NASA Flight Analog Research unit as part of his Clinical Research Center responsibilities. Dr. Powell stepped down from the Chair of Internal Medicine at UTMB in 2002, a position he held for 11 years and he served as Associate Dean for Research from 2002-2006.
Dr. Powell earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Alabama, Birmingham. He completed his residency training at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston and at Yale-New Haven Community Hospital and completed a Special National Institutes of Health Fellowship in Physiology at Yale University School of Medicine. He was a member of the faculty at University of North Carolina for 20 years, where he was Professor of Medicine and the Chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition and Director the NIH-funded Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease.
He has been funded by the NIH for research in gastrointestinal science for over 40 years. He has served on Study Sections, Councils and Advisory Committees at the NIH, and the editorial boards of numerous medical and scientific journals. He was an Associate Editor of the Cecil Textbook of Medicine, the Yamada Textbook of Gastroenterology, now in its 5th edition, and a new 1st edition text: Principles of Clinical Gastroenterology. He has authored and co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, textbooks and chapters, teaching aids, reviews, and editorials. He has been named in numerous issues of Who's Who and named to Best Doctors in America, America's Top Doctors, etc. many times from 1979 to 2011.
Dr. Powell served on the Boards of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) from 1996 to 2000 and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical Society for 1999 to present. In 1993-1994 he served as President of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). In 2001, he was given the AGA Friedenwald Medal in recognition of lifetime achievement in gastroenterology and he received the AGA Mentors Research Scholar Award in 2005. He was honored as a Master of the American College of Physicians in 1999 and was named the Texas Chapter Laureate in 2009. In 2002, he received the John P. McGovern, M.D. Award in Oslerian Medicine from UTMB, and was elected as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2003. A scholarship in the UTMB Nursing School and a named lecture has been established by grateful patients to honor Dr. Powell and in 2009 the annual Don W. Powell Lecture was established by the AGA Institute.
University of Alabama School of Medicine - Birmingham, AL, MD, 1963
Internal Medicine, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital - Boston, MA, 1964
Internal Medicine, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital - Boston, MA, 1965
Internal Medicine, Yale - New Haven Hospital - New Haven, CT, 1969
American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine
American Board of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology