Public Release: 

10 Einstein faculty to receive honors at special academic convocation

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

BRONX, NY - Ten faculty members at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will be honored at a special academic convocation on Tuesday, October 9, at the medical school. They will be invested in newly endowed named professorships made possible by major philanthropic contributions to the College of Medicine.

Richard M. Joel, president of Yeshiva University, and Dr. Allen M. Spiegel, The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein, will preside over the convocation ceremony. The faculty to be invested at the special ceremony are:

  • Nir Barzilai, M.D., professor of medicine and of molecular genetics, and director of Einstein's Institute for Aging Research, will be invested as the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair in Aging Research. Dr. Barzilai has been instrumental in establishing the role of genetics in longevity and discovered the first longevity gene in humans. The National Institutes of Health recently awarded him a grant of $9.25 million to further his study of the genetics of aging.

  • Eric E. Bouhassira, Ph.D., professor of medicine and of cell biology, will be invested as the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Bouhassira began studying human embryonic stem cells in 2001 and was the organizing force behind the three-year, $3 million center grant for human embryonic stem cell research that Einstein received from the Federal government in 2005.

  • Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology & immunology, and professor of medicine, will be invested as the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Chair in Microbiology & Immunology. Dr. Casadevall has developed an innovative approach to treating melanoma that is currently in clinical trials.

  • Robert W. Marion, M.D., professor of pediatrics and of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health, and director of Einstein's Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, will be invested as the Ruth L. Gottesman Chair in Developmental Pediatrics. An Einstein graduate, class of 1979, Dr. Marion is widely renowned as pediatrician to the Aguirre twins, Clarence and Carl, who were co-joined at birth and separated in series of successful, landmark operations at Montefiore Medical Center.

  • Irwin R. Merkatz, M.D., professor and chair of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health, will be invested as the Chella and Moise Safra Chair in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health. Since his appointment as chair of obstetrics and gynecology in 1981, Dr. Merkatz has been the architect of a marked expansion of the Department's mission, which now more fully addresses the healthcare needs and issues of women throughout their lifespan. He is renowned for his pioneering work in treating preterm labor and has championed efforts to eliminate disparities in health outcomes, many of which continue to exist among women and newborn infants in the Bronx.

  • Robert E. Michler M.D., professor and chair of cardiothoracic surgery, will be invested as the Samuel Belkin Professorial Chair. Dr. Michler is co-director of the Montefiore-Einstein Heart Center. The Center was recently named one of just seven cardiothoracic research facilities in the U.S. and Canada to take part in a collaborative network conducting studies to improve technologies used in treating cardiovascular disease.

  • Bernice E. Morrow, Ph.D., professor of molecular genetics and of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health, and director of the division of translational genetics, will be invested as the Sidney L. and Miriam K. Olson Chair in Cardiology. Dr. Morrow's research focuses on genetic defects, including one that leads to malformations of the heart, pharyngeal apparatus, palate, and thymus gland.

  • Jeffrey E. Pessin, Ph.D., professor of medicine and director of the Diabetes Research Center at Einstein, will be invested as the Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg Professorial Chair in Diabetes Research. Dr. Pessin recently joined the Einstein faculty as Director of the Diabetes Research Center. He is widely renowned for his investigations of insulin regulation of the glucose transport system and mechanisms contributing to the onset of diabetes.

  • Liise-Anne Pirofski, M.D., professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology, and chief of the division of infectious diseases, will be invested as the Selma & Dr. Jacque Mitrani Chair in Biomedical Research. Dr. Pirofski's research has led to new insights into the immune response to microbes that cause meningitis and pneumonia. Dr. Pirofski is an Einstein graduate, class of 1982, and has been a member of the medical school's faculty since 1988.

  • Pamela Stanley, Ph.D., professor of cell biology, will be invested as the Horace W. Goldsmith Chair. Renowned for her pioneering research in the glycosciences, Dr. Stanley's studies have played an important role in advancing this promising new scientific discipline, the study of sugar polymers, which has become known as the "sweet science." This work has the potential for developing new treatments for a wide variety of diseases including cancer and heart disease. Dr. Stanley also serves as Associate Director for Laboratory Research of the Albert Einstein Cancer Center.


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