Ten Vanderbilt University faculty members named to endowed chairs were honored Tuesday during a celebration at the Student Life Center. Their academic achievements range from imaginative scholarship on economics and development to groundbreaking discoveries about the role of DNA in memory formation.
“They are path-breakers,” Susan Wente, Ph.D., provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, noted in her opening remarks. “They are really the fabric of our University’s discovery mission. And as recipients of these endowed chairs, we are acknowledging that they are receiving the highest honor bestowed by the University.”
Wente also thanked the donors, several of whom were in attendance, for their generosity, support and vision in establishing the endowed chairs. She recognized two who attended the event — H. Rodes Hart and Mildred Stahlman, M.D., professor of Pediatrics.
This was the 20th celebration to honor faculty members who have been named to endowed chairs. A total of 198 chair holders have been honored since the initiative to recruit and retain outstanding scholars and teachers was announced in August 2010 by Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos.
Lauren Benton, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Science, described the accomplishments of her college’s two chair holders, while achievements of chair holders from the School of Medicine were highlighted by Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Dean of the School of Medicine.
Faculty members honored Tuesday were:
• Ronald David Alvarez, M.D., MBA, Betty and Lonnie S. Burnett Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology and chair and clinical service chief of the department;
• Leslie Crofford, M.D., Wilson Family Chair in Medicine and director of the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology;
• Edward Fischer, Ph.D., Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair, professor of Anthropology and of American Studies and director of the Center for Latin American Studies;
• David Gailani, M.D., Ernest W. Goodpasture Chair in Experimental Pathology for Translational Research and professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology and of Medicine;
• Barbara Hahn, Ph.D., Habilitation, Max Kade Foundation Chair in German Studies and Distinguished Professor of German.
• Carolyn Heinrich, Ph.D., Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair, professor of Public Policy and Education, Peabody College, and professor of Economics, College of Arts and Science;
• Addison May, M.D., Ingram Chair in Surgical Sciences, professor of Surgery and Anesthesiology and director of Surgical Critical Care;
• Sachin Patel, M.D., Ph.D., James G. Blakemore Chair in Psychiatry and director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry;
• Jeffrey Reese, M.D., Mildred Thornton Stahlman Chair in Perinatology, professor of Pediatrics, Cell and Developmental Biology and Biomedical Engineering; and
• J. David Sweatt, Ph.D., Allan D. Bass Chair in Pharmacology and chair of the department.