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April 2011 Issue

Left to right: George Atweh, MD; Olivier Rixe, MD, PhD; John Tew, MD; Francie and Thomas Hiltz, Harold C. Schott Foundation; and Ronald Warnick, MD.
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Endowed Chairs Provide Critical Support

By Amanda Harper
Published April 2011

Financially endowed chairs are a vital resource of funding for the UC Academic Health Center and higher education in general.

"Endowed chairs are instrumental in our ability to attract world-class, nationally recognized experts to lead our programs. They provide a strong signal to prospective faculty candidates that our institution is strong and stable,” explains Andrew Filak, MD, interim dean of the College of Medicine.

"This funding also provides security during the ebbs and flows of NIH (National Institutes of Health) research funding so that progress is not hindered.”

Financially endowed chairs are created as a permanent source of funding for the person appointed to the position. The principal amount of the gift is not spent; only the income earned on the endowment—generally 5 percent of the chair’s market value annually.

This support is for use in developing research, teaching or patient care programs and is considered a sign of prestige in higher education.

Current endowed chairs span the College of Medicine’s departments of anesthesiology, cancer and cell biology, environmental health, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, molecular genetics, neurology, neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, pathology, pediatrics, pharmacology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physiology, psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience, radiation oncology, radiology and surgery, as well as the College of Medicine Dean’s Fund and Cincinnati Cancer Center.

The College of Nursing also holds two endowed chairs. The UC College of Medicine has 75 endowed chairs to date, including the most recent: Henry W. and Margaret C. Neale Endowed Chair of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, the Advancement of Academic Emergency Medicine Endowed Chair, the Harold C. Schott Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Molecular Therapeutics and the Ward E. Bullock Endowed Chair in Infectious Diseases.

Ward E. Bullock Endowed Chair in Infectious Diseases

The Ward E. Bullock Endowed Chair in Infectious Diseases was established in January 2011 due to gifts from Charlotte Brooks, who is Bullock’s late wife, friends of the family and colleagues as well as the department of internal medicine.

UC received a $1 million endowment from Bullock in 2007 with hopes of meeting the goal of the endowed chair. Bullock died that same year, following a 45-year career in medicine.

At UC, Bullock headed the infectious diseases division and was Arthur Russell Morgan professor of medicine from 1980 to 1994, was the associate chair for research in the department of internal medicine from 1988 to 1989 and then again from 1993 to 1994, was senior associate dean of the College of Medicine from 1989 to 1991 and was adjunct professor of molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology from 1980 to 1994.

George Smulian, MD, associate professor of medicine, has been appointed chief of the infectious diseases division and will be named the first recipient of the Bullock endowed chair, pending approval by the UC Board.

A celebration dinner for this chair is planned for late April. Bullock was involved in Smulian's recruitment to UC and his training. In addition, one of Smulian's research focuses is in histoplasmosis, a fungal infection that affects the lungs and is the same disease that Bullock studied throughout his career.

"I know how much [Ward] loved UC's College of Medicine, and it was important to him to make sure that basic science research in infectious diseases be supported,” Brooks says "It is important to me that he be remembered for his generous contribution to this cause, both professionally and financially.”

Harold C. Schott Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Molecular Therapeutics

UC has launched a comprehensive bench-to-bedside translational research and patient care initiative—the Brain Tumor Molecular Therapeutics Program—aimed at understanding the biological mechanisms of cancer’s spread to the brain and developing more effective ways to treat the condition.

A total of $6.5 million—a $2 million gift from the Harold C. Schott Foundation and $4.5 million in additional funds from the UC College of Medicine and its departments of cancer and cell biology, internal medicine (hematology oncology division), neurosurgery and radiation oncology—has been committed to build the interdisciplinary translational research and patient care program.

The Harold C. Schott Foundation gift was made to establish an endowed chair of molecular therapeutics in brain tumors, creating a permanent source of funding for the program.

The new molecular therapeutics program will allow UC to build a subspecialized research team that collaborates with existing multidisciplinary brain tumor clinicians and surgeons to address the problem of brain metastases through translational research and original clinical trials.

The College of Medicine is currently recruiting for three new faculty positions to conduct laboratory and pre-clinical research studies aimed at understanding the biology of brain metastases.

In addition, the molecular therapeutics program also includes a new patient support program that pairs patients recently treated for brain metastases with a mentor who has a similar diagnosis and age. For more, click here.

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