highest honors - banquet hall with peopleMore than 300 guests came to the Hyatt at The Bellevue for Penn Medicine’s December Endowed Professorships dinner, celebrating the extraordinary achievements that endowed professorships can make possible. Chairholders were presented with their endowed chair medals and certificates, and all guests received a copy of the Endowed Professorships book, a handsome blue and gold volume that includes profiles of each endowed chair and lists its chairholders.

The centerpiece of the evening was a conversation with Penn President Amy Gutmann, PhD, and panelists Michael Parmacek, MD; E. John Wherry, PhD; Donita Brady, PhD; Shelley Berger, PhD; and Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD—all endowed chairholders. The panelists provided compelling testimony on the power of academic medicine and how endowed professorships have shaped their lives and deepened the impact of their careers.

“Endowed professorships hold a special place in academic medicine,” explained Perelman School Dean J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD. “We are proud to offer this evening as tribute to our donors, the individuals after whom these endowed chairs are named, and the distinguished faculty members who hold them.”


two people smilingCaryn Lerman, PhD, the vice dean for Strategic Initiatives for the Perelman School of Medicine, celebrated her appointment as the John H. Glick, MD Professor in Cancer Research in October 2016. The Glick Professorship in Cancer Research was made possible through the generosity of numerous philanthropic partners, and honors John Glick, MD, the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Professor of Clinical Oncology and former director of the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC).
three people smilingE. John Wherry, PhD, was named the inaugural Richard and Barbara Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professor. He serves as co-director of the recently-launched Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Penn and has led Penn Medicine’s Institute for Immunology since 2012. The chair was established through the generous support of Richard and Barbara Schiffrin, who are powerful advocates for disease research at Penn Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center. They are also members of the ACC Director’s Leadership Council.
man at podium with another man to his side with a medal onRobert L. Mauck, PhD, is the inaugural Mary Black Ralston Professor for Education and Research in Orthopaedic Surgery. He is also director of the McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory and co-director of the Translational Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. The Ralston Chair was made possible through a bequest by Edgar Ralston, MD―chair of the department of Orthopaedic Surgery from 1960 to 1977―to honor his wife, Mary, a longtime volunteer at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
two men in suits smilingJames Wilson, MD, PhD, director of the Gene Therapy Program at Penn Medicine, is the inaugural Rose H. Weiss Orphan Disease Center Director’s Professor. The Weiss chair was made possible by George Weiss, a Wharton graduate of the Class of 1965, in honor of his late mother, Rose. Weiss helped found the Orphan Disease Center at Penn in 2011. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of those afflicted with rare diseases—defined as a single disease affecting 200,000 or fewer people in the U.S.—and ensure that patients worldwide have access to the latest novel therapies.

Legendary Names Live On Through Endowed Professorships

As this issue of Penn Medicine marks the passing of Peter Nowell, MD’52, we celebrate some endowed professorships created to honor Perelman School of Medicine luminaries. The Penn community mourned the loss of Nowell on Dec. 26, 2016, and held a memorial service on March 1, 2017.

group of men with one sitting in the middle

Drs. Mark Greene, Kojo Elenitoba-Johnson, David Roth, and Dean Jameson with the late Dr. Peter Nowell

Established in 2015 by faculty and many long-time supporters of the Abramson Cancer Center and department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Peter C. Nowell, MD Professorship honors this groundbreaking physician-scientist and first director of the Abramson Cancer Center. Nowell was named the Gaylord P. and Mary Louise Harnwell Professor in 1990, a position he held until his retirement in 2006.

In addition to holding the Nowell Professorship, Kojo S.J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD, is director of Penn Medicine’s Center for Personalized Diagnostics and director of Precision and Computational Diagnostics in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. His research focuses on the pathogenesis of malignant lymphomas and biomarker discovery using genomics and proteomics.

younger man in one corner and older in anotherThe Jonathan E. Rhoads Professorship of Surgery was established in 1978 through the contributions of colleagues, friends, and grateful patients of Rhoads, honoring his more than 50 years of distinguished contributions as physician, scientist, educator, scholar, and chair of Surgery at Penn Medicine. Rhoads is credited with numerous medical advances, including early exploration into the use of antibiotics and the development of intravenous hyperalimentation.

Current Rhoads chairholder Douglas Fraker, MD, vice chair of research and chief of Endocrine and Oncologic Surgery, has pioneered isolated liver perfusion and intraperitoneal photodynamic therapy, and is one of the most accomplished clinical endocrine surgeons in the U.S.

man from long ago in one corner and more current man in the otherThe Benjamin Rush Professorship of Biochemistry honors a signer of the Declaration of Independence, treasurer of the National Mint, president of both the American Society for the Abolition of Slavery and the Philadelphia Medical Society, and a founder of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. In 1769, Rush was named professor of Chemistry, and 20 years later he succeeded Perelman School founder John Morgan, MD, as chairman of Theory and Practice of Medicine. The professorship was created in 1910 through an anonymous bequest.

Current Rush chairholder A. Joshua Wand, PhD, studies applications of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to fundamental problems in biophysics and biochemistry and develops novel approaches to drug design and discovery.

old shots of a man and a woman, with a more current shot of a man in the other cornerThe Edward Rose, MD and Elizabeth Kirk Rose, MD Professorship celebrates two of the Perelman School’s most distinguished alumni and physicians. Edward Rose, MD’21, became known worldwide for the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the thyroid gland; prior to joining the Perelman School faculty, Elizabeth Kirk Rose, MD’26, headed the division of Maternal and Child Health at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Current Rose chairholder Jason H. Moore, PhD, the senior associate dean for Informatics, leads an active NIH-funded research program focused on the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms for the analysis of complex biomedical data. 

old shots of a man and a woman, with a slightly more current shot of a man in the other cornerThe Stuart and Emily Mudd Professorship of Human Behavior & Reproduction was established in 1975 through a bequest from longtime Penn Microbiology Department Chair Stuart Mudd, MD, as a tribute to his wife, Emily, who was the first woman to be named a full professor at the Perelman School of Medicine and a pioneer in the fields of marriage counseling and family studies.

Current Mudd chairholder Karl Rickels, MD, founded both the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Section in Psychiatry and in the division of Human Behavior and Reproduction in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn. 

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