Faculty

Professorships

Winter 2017
Share Email Print
Text: A

On Sept. 30, 2016, the Edward F. Domino, M.D., Research Professorship in Pharmacology was inaugurated. Domino focused on the broad field of neuropsychopharmacology as well as anesthesiology, gerontology, neurology, psychiatry and toxicology. In addition, he participated in funded studies of the mechanisms of tobacco and marijuana dependence, using brain imaging methodologies such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Domino was also part of the team that developed ketamine at Michigan in the early 1960s. This endowment is the result of an extraordinary gift from Robert Z. Gussin (Ph.D. 1965), and Patricia E. Gussin, M.D., whose philanthropic goal is to support education and research. John Traynor, Ph.D., associate chair for research in the Department of Pharmacology, was inaugurated as the first Domino professor.

 

The Bertram Pitt, M.D., Collegiate Professorship in Cardiovascular Medicine was formally inaugurated during an Oct. 28, 2016, ceremony. In 1977, Pitt was recruited to the U-M as chief of the Division of Cardiology, earning national and international renown for his indefatigable clinical research. He has been the principal or co-principal investigator of many of the field’s most important randomized clinical pharmacologic trials, resulting in the approval and manufacture of many lifesaving drugs. Additionally, he played key roles in designing and leading international trials in myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure, demonstrating protection through the use of aldosterone inhibitors. Pitt's former cardiology fellow, Ka-Shui Lo, M.D. (Residency 1977, Fellowship 1979), was a lead donor to the endowment. Keith D. Aaronson, M.D. (Residency 1987), medical director of the Heart Transplant Program and Center for Circulatory Support, and co-director of both the Section of Heart Failure and Transplantation and of the Heart Failure and Transplantation Inpatient Service, will serve as the first Pitt professor.

 

Kenneth M. Langa, M.D. (Residency 1997), Ph.D., was installed as the first Cyrus Sturgis Research Professor of Internal Medicine on Nov. 7, 2016, funded through a gift from the Genzyme Corporation in 2015. The professorship honors Sturgis, who first came to the University of Michigan in 1927 after being name a professor of internal medicine and the first director of the Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research. Sturgis, working closely with researchers at Parke-Davis, developed ventriculin — a substance derived from dried, defatted hog stomach — to treat pernicious anemia, essentially curing the disease. The next year, Sturgis was named chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, a position he held for the next 30 years, overseeing the department’s great growth. Langa is an associate director of the Institute of Gerontology and a co-director of the IHPI-ISR Health Economics and Public Policy Program. He is also the associate director of the Health and Retirement Study, or HRS, a large-scalelongitudinal study of 20,000 adults across the U.S. funded by the National Institute on Aging. The HRS, based at the Institute for Social Research, is currently the largest extramural grant at U-M.

 

When Eliza Maria Mosher (M.D. 1875) traveled from New York in 1871 to begin her medical studies in Ann Arbor, she was one of just a small handful of women enrolled. Mosher fully embraced her time at U-M, staying a full four years, and developing a relationship with the institution that lasted her lifetime. In 1896, Mosher accepted a position as dean of women at the U-M; her responsibilities included serving as the physician for female students as well as providing discipline, academic counseling and social activities. She lectured to medical students on hygiene, public health and the effects of childhood trauma on development — in fact, her lectures were so popular that they had waiting lists. Mosher's relationship with the university has been transformed into a permanent legacy with the inauguration of the Eliza Maria Mosher Collegiate Professorship in Internal Medicine on Nov. 8, 2016. Daniel R. Goldstein, M.B.B.S., recognized as one of the leading investigators studying the interplay between aging and inflammation, was named the first Mosher professor.

 

On Nov. 28, 2016, Gary B. Huffnagle, Ph.D., was inaugurated as the first Nina and Jerry D. Luptak Research Professor in the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center. For the past two decades, Huffnagle's interests have focused on interactions among opportunistic fungal pathogens, the fungal/bacterial microbiome, and the immune system during allergies and respiratory disease. His research coalesces with the intent of the professorship to support innovative research in food allergy and to better understand this devastating condition. It also serves as an enduring legacy of Mr. and Mrs. Luptak, whose connection to this institution has spanned many years, and whose experiences with food allergy were personal: Their daughter Paola’s son, Paul, was 2 years old when an exposure to peanut butter resulted in an anaphylactic reaction. Since then, the Luptaks and their extended family have helped increase awareness and access to support for those with food allergies.

 

The Henry Sewall Research Professorship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine was inaugurated during a Dec. 13, 2016, ceremony. The Sewall Professorship in Medicine was established in 1995 with a commitment from the Academic Enhancement Fund of the vice provost for health affairs to honor Sewall, an extraordinary pioneer in the basic sciences. A second professorship, the Henry Sewall Collegiate Professorship in Physiology, was established in 2012 through endowment funds in the Medical School. The third, the Henry Sewall Research Professorship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, was established in 2016. Vibha N. Lama, M.B.B.S. (Fellowship 2002), professor of medicine and associate chief of basic and translational research in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, was installed as the inaugural holder of the Sewall Research Professorship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Theodore J. Standiford, M.D. (Residency 1990, Fellowship 1991), professor of internal medicine and chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, was named the fourth holder of the Sewall Professorship in Medicine.

 

Sung Won Choi, M.D. (Fellowship 2005), associate professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, was inaugurated in a Jan. 9, 2017, ceremony as the first Edith S. Briskin and Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation Research Professor of Pediatrics. Choi's installment represents a history of philanthropy from the Schlafer and Briskin families, who have been giving back to their community for more than 30 years. Shirley Schlafer, whose husband Nathan owned the Detroit-based Schlafer Iron and Steel, Inc., created a foundation in Nathan's name after his death in 1984. Shirley passed away in 2000, but Edith Briskin, their daughter, has continued to advance the foundation's reach. She joined the advisory board of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, helping create the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute Emerging Scholars Program. For Briskin, establishing the professorship serves as the next step in advocating for and supporting children in need.