The Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Professorship in Depression and Neuroscience was inaugurated in June 2017. The couple hopes that this endowment will further change the paradigm for how depression and bipolar disorder are understood and treated. The first Eisenberg Professor is Srijan Sen (M.D. and Ph.D. 2004), associate professor and chair for research in the Department of Psychiatry, research associate professor at the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute, and associate director of the U-M Depression Center.
David R. Lucas, M.D., director of the Division of Anatomic Pathology and of the surgical pathology fellowship program, became the first A. James French Professor of Anatomic Pathology in June 2017. This is the second professorship to honor French, an innovative Michigan pathologist whose colleagues, former students, and residents banded together to form the A. James French Society of Pathologists after his death in 1985.
The Marylou Kennedy Research Professorship in Thoracic Oncology was inaugurated in July 2017. Funded by generous gifts from the Kennedy family, friends, and the U-M Department of Radiation Oncology, the professorship honors Kennedy, a patient at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC) who died in April 2007. Shirish M. Gadgeel, M.D., professor of internal medicine and co-leader of the thoracic oncology team at the UMCCC, will serve as the first Kennedy Professor.
In August 2017, the Ivan Duff, M.D., Collegiate Professorship in Geriatric and Palliative Medicine was celebrated. Duff was chief of the U-M Arthritis Division and helped lay the groundwork for the Turner Geriatric Clinic. Neil B. Alexander, M.D. (Fellowship 1989), director of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System's Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, professor of internal medicine, and research professor at the Institute of Gerontology, is the first Duff Professor.
David L. Brown, M.D. (Fellowship 2000), professor in the Section of Plastic Surgery, became the first William C. Grabb, M.D., Collegiate Professor at an August 2017 ceremony. Grabb, an innovative leader and prolific writer, served as head of the Section of Plastic Surgery from 1977 until his death in 1982. The William C. Grabb Lectureship was created in the mid-1980s by the Reed O. Dingman Society and a generous grant from Cozette "Cozy" Grabb, in memory of her husband. In 2017, Ray and Sonia Persia provided a gift that, along with additional support from Grabb's family, colleagues, and friends, led to the establishment of the William C. Grabb, M.D., Collegiate Professorship.
Lori L. Isom, Ph.D., was installed as the Maurice H. Seevers Collegiate Professor of Pharmacology in August 2017. Isom, who has held the title since 2015, is a professor of pharmacology, of molecular and integrative physiology, and of neurology, and she chairs the U-M Department of Pharmacology. Established in 1988 by alumni, friends, and departmental sources, the professorship celebrates Seevers, a former chair of pharmacology who emerged as one of America's foremost authorities on drugs and drug addiction in the 1960s. His toxicological expertise helped expose the hazards of tobacco and cigarette smoke.
The William H. Howell Collegiate Professorship in Physiology was inaugurated in an August 2017 ceremony. The professorship honors Howell, who, in 1889, succeeded Henry Sewall, Ph.D., as chair of the Department of Physiology. Howell's best-known achievements were the isolation of thrombin in 1910, the discovery and naming of the anticoagulant heparin in 1918, and, during the last years of his life, the isolation of thromboplastin. Scott D. Pletcher, Ph.D., associate director of the U-M Paul F. Glenn Center for Aging Research, and professor of molecular and integrative physiology, will serve as the first Howell Professor.
Santiago Schnell, D.Phil., interim chair of the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and professor of computational medicine and bioinformatics, became the first John A. Jacquez Professor of Physiology in August 2017. Jacquez came to U-M in 1962 and held a joint appointment as a professor of biostatistics in the School of Public Health and as a professor of physiology in the Medical School, later serving as chair of the Department of Physiology from 1985 to 1987. Jacquez's work on the spread of HIV in the first two months of infection earned him and two colleagues the 1995 Howard Temin Award in Epidemiology for scientific excellence in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The Richard N. and Marilyn K. Witham Professorship in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences was inaugurated at an August 2017 ceremony. Made possible through a generous gift from Richard N. and Marilyn K. Witham, the endowment will support ocular oncology research. Hakan Demirci, M.D., who treated Marilyn's radiation retinopathy — a common occurrence after plaque radiation therapy — will serve as the first Witham Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.