Friday, August 12, 2011
ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees welcomed two new members, acknowledged an emeritus trustee and recognized six recipients of Mayo Clinic named professorships at its quarterly meeting today.
Michael Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Wyatt Decker, M.D., Mayo Clinic vice president and chief executive officer in Arizona, were welcomed as new members of the Board of Trustees. Victor Trastek, M.D., former vice president and CEO at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, was recognized as an emeritus trustee. Hirohito Kita, M.D., a consultant in the Division of Allergic Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, with joint appointments in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology; Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonology; and the Department of Immunology, has been named the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor in Pulmonary Medicine. Mr. Annenberg was a distinguished editor, publisher and broadcast pioneer, and Mrs. Annenberg was former chief of protocol for the United States. This is one of four Annenberg professorships established at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Kita's research focuses on eosinophil biology and immunological mechanisms of chronic airway inflammation. Through his research, he hopes to gain better understanding of the mechanisms of allergic diseases, such as bronchial asthma, hay fever, atopic dermatitis and chronic rhinosinusitis, in order to find ways to prevent, treat and cure these diseases. Dr. Kita holds three U.S. patents, has given presentations around the world and has co-authored numerous articles, book chapters, editorials, abstracts and letters.
Walter Rocca, M.D., M.P.H., a consultant in the Division of Epidemiology, Department of Health Sciences Research, and in the Department of Neurology at Mayo Clinic, has been named the Ralph S. and Beverley E. Caulkins Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases Research. Mr. and Mrs. Caulkins were involved in the iron ore smelting and freighter business on the Great Lakes.
Dr. Rocca's principal research interest is studying the cause of common neurodegenerative diseases. He is currently researching genetic and environmental risk factors for Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and other dementing disorders, as well as the effects of surgical menopause and estrogen on brain aging in women. Dr. Rocca has received several awards and honors and holds professional memberships in a number of neurological and other professional associations and societies. He was awarded the Teacher of the Year Award from Mayo Graduate School in 2010 — one of many teaching distinctions he has received.
Daniel Sargent, Ph.D., has been named the Ralph S. and Beverley E. Caulkins Professorship in Cancer Research. Dr. Sargent is a consultant in the Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Department of Health Sciences Research, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
Dr. Sargent's primary research interest is in the conduct and methodology of clinical trials in cancer. His work has led to new standards for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of therapies for colon cancer to accelerate the approval process, and he is actively pursuing validation of new endpoints in multiple types of cancer. He is a well-respected speaker and researcher who has co-authored more than 200 articles in medical journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association and other medical publications.
Alan Fields, Ph.D., has been named the Monica Flynn Jacoby Professor in Cancer Research. Dr. Fields is a consultant at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center at Mayo Clinic in Florida, is co-director of the Cell Biology Program within the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and was the founding chair of the Department of Cancer Biology. Mr. Jacoby is retired chairman and CEO of an advertising firm, which was once the third-largest in the world. The Jacobys' gifts of time, talent and philanthropy continuously enhance education, research and patient care at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Fields is widely recognized for his expertise in cancer research. He has given many national and international presentations and has authored numerous articles, book chapters, editorials and abstracts throughout his career. His research focuses on the genetics, biochemistry and cell biology of lung, colon and ovarian cancers. Currently, his laboratory is studying the role members of the protein kinase C (PKC) family play in tumor formation, growth and metastasis. His work has led to the initiation of several clinical trials of a novel PKC inhibitor, assessing its efficacy in the treatment of lung and ovarian cancers.
Michael Yaszemski, M.D., Ph.D., has been named the John and Posy Krehbiel Professor of Orthopedics Honoring Bernard F. Morrey, M.D. This professorship honors Bernard F. Morrey, M.D., who is emeritus chair of the Department of Orthopedics at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The Krehbiels are Chicago-area natives, and Mr. Krehbiel serves as co-chair of Molex, one of the world's largest manufacturers of electronic, electrical and fiber optic interconnection products and systems.
Dr. Yaszemski is a leading authority in the emerging field of bone, cartilage and spinal cord regeneration. He has designed biodegradable scaffolds that have been implanted in laboratory animals and have fostered bone and nerve regeneration. His research may one day lead to progress in bone healing, cartilage regeneration and restoration of voluntary muscle function in individuals with paralyzing spinal cord injuries. Dr. Yaszemski serves as a brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, is associate editor of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research and has written more than 200 manuscripts based on his research.
John Miles, M.D., a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and Nutrition, Department of Internal Medicine, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, has been named the Earl and Annette R. McDonough Professor. Mr. McDonough had a 38-year career with Hilton Hotels Corp., serving in executive positions at several hotels around the United States before retiring as a senior vice president. The professorship was established through an estate gift by Annette McDonough to Mayo Clinic for diabetes research.
Dr. Miles' clinical practice focuses on diabetes, nutrition, obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and nutritional support. His research interests are free fatty acid metabolism and triglyceride-rich lipoprotein metabolism. He has given presentations around the world and authored more than 250 articles, book chapters, editorials and abstracts.
Named professorships at Mayo Clinic represent the highest academic distinction for a faculty member. Faculty are appointed to a professorship through nomination and endorsement of their peers and then confirmed by Mayo Clinic senior leadership. Appointed individuals are recognized for distinguished achievement in their specialty areas and service to the institution.
These professorships are named in honor of Mayo benefactors who recognize Mayo Clinic's role in pursuing answers in health and medicine. The gift funds, which may be unrestricted or focused on a specific medical area, are held in endowment. All income from the endowed professorships supports Mayo Clinic programs in medical education and research. These professorships bear the name of Mayo Clinic benefactors, or people important to the benefactor, and recognize outstanding physicians and scientists for their achievements in research, teaching and service.
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