MEMPHIS, Tenn. (March 25, 2010) - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has partnered with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) to appoint six distinguished physicians to St. Jude Chairs in subspecialty areas that have been identified as key to continuing the advancement of treatment and research at St. Jude. The chairs will be administered by St. Jude executive management and UTHSC's College of Medicine. All six chair-holders have academic appointments on UTHSC's main campus in Memphis.
The selection process included a review of recommendations submitted by a joint clinical steering committee comprised of St. Jude, UTHSC and Le Bonheur Children's Hospital officials. A portion of the funds from each chair will be used to advance the academic program of the chair-holder.
"These appointments are to recognize the importance of each chair-holder to improving the health and well-being of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases, and their role in advancing St. Jude's position as a world leader in research and patient care," said Dr. William E. Evans, director and CEO of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "These chairs were created to recognize the important partnership between St. Jude and UTHSC, and to assist UT in recruiting and retaining outstanding pediatric sub-specialists."
"These chairs are not only a generous gift from St. Jude to our UT faculty but reflect the ongoing level of close cooperation between our institutions," said Steve Schwab, MD, interim chancellor for UTHSC.
Chair-holder appointees are:
Dennis C. Stokes, M.D., appointed the St. Jude Chair in Pediatric Pulmonology. Dr. Stokes is currently a Professor of Pediatrics with tenure at UTHSC. In addition, he serves as Director for the Program in Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine at Le Bonheur, St. Jude and the UTHSC Cystic Fibrosis Care and Research Center.
Max Langham, M.D., appointed the St. Jude Chair in General Pediatric Oncological Surgery. Dr. Langham was recruited by UTHSC as Chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery and Director of the Residency Program in Pediatric Surgery. He serves as co-PI on the Children's Oncology Group Hepatoblastoma trial (AHEPO731) and is a member of the Surgical Committee for the trial. Dr. Langham is Medical Director of Surgery at Le Bonheur and a consulting surgeon at St. Jude.
Thomas Chin, M.D., appointed the St. Jude Chair in Pediatric Cardiology. Dr. Chin serves as Associate Professor and Director of Pediatric Cardiology at UTHSC. Since being appointed Division Chief at Le Bonheur in 2001, Chin has supported St. Jude by providing leadership and expertise to different St. Jude programs. His division is a main supporter of the St. Jude long-term follow-up program and his faculty has been heavily involved in various St. Jude protocols.
Frederick Boop, M.D., appointed the St. Jude Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery. Dr. Boop is currently an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at UTHSC. He is Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Le Bonheur and St. Jude. Dr. Boop's involvement with St. Jude has been pivotal in developing the brain tumor program.
Matthew Wilson, M.D., appointed St. Jude Chair in Pediatric Ophthalmology. Dr. Wilson currently serves as a Professor of Ophthalmology at UTHSC and specializes in ophthalmic oncology, orbital disease, and oculoplastics. He has been a key investigator in the St. Jude retinoblastoma program.
Kanwaljeet (Sunny) Anand, M.B.B.S., D.Phil., appointed St. Jude Chair in Pediatric Critical Care. Dr. Anand is currently a Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology and Neurobiology at UTHSC and chief of Pediatric Critical Care at St. Jude and Le Bonheur. He is Founder- President of the Board of Directors for the Harmony Health Clinic, a clinic providing free medical and dental care to those without health insurance in Central Arkansas. Dr. Anand was recently recruited to Le Bonheur and UTHSC. He works closely with Pediatric Intensive Care Unit staff to expand faculty research and education. He recently lead a 12-person medical mission to earthquake stricken Haiti.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Ranked the No. 1 pediatric cancer hospital by Parents magazine, St. Jude is the first and only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world. St. Jude has developed research protocols that helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened to almost 80 percent today. St. Jude is the national coordinating center for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium and the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. In addition to pediatric cancer research, St. Jude is also a leader in sickle cell disease research and is a globally prominent research center for influenza.
Founded in 1962 by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world, publishing more research articles than any other pediatric cancer research center in the United States. St. Jude treats over 5,400 patients each year and is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. St. Jude is financially supported by thousands of individual donors, organizations and corporations without which the hospitals' work would not be possible.