Foundation helps endow four professorships
By Bill Sublette
a $3 million gift from the Charlottesville-based Ivy Foundation
and matching support from other sources, the University will establish
four new endowed professorships for its emerging programs in morphogenesis
and regenerative medicine.
gift was announced May 19 at the opening of an international symposium
hosted by the Universitys new Morphogenesis and Regenerative
Medicine Institute. The institutes work holds tremendous
promise for remedying birth defects, controlling cancers and healing
wounds. It may even lead to
the ability to produce replacement tissues and organs for transplantation.
The $3 million gift from the Ivy Foundation will create two professorships
in the Department of Pediatrics to attract faculty whose research
focuses on morphogenesis and regenerative medicine.
a matching $3 million from its own resources, the University will
create two more professorships to recruit outstanding researchers
in this field. One professorship will be assigned to the Department
of Cell Biology in the School
of Medicine. The other will be in the Department
of Biology in the College
of Arts & Sciences. All four chairs will be named the
Ivy Foundation Distinguished Professorships, pending approval
by the Board of Visitors.
professorships will help us build a critical mass of superb investigators
whose research sheds light on the basic processes of tissue and
organ formation and how we can use these discoveries to develop
new therapies, said R. Ariel Gomez, interim vice president
for research and graduate studies and a leading researcher in
this field. The Ivy Foundation chairs will enable us to
recruit eminent faculty who in turn will attract outstanding graduate
students and junior faculty. They will be magnets for excellence.
based in different departments, all four faculty members holding
Ivy Foundation chairs will be members of the new Morphogenesis
and Regenerative Medicine Institute.
this scale of scientific challenge successfully will require a
highly multidisciplinary approach, said Barry M. Gumbiner,
chairman of the Department of Cell Biology and director of the
new institute. The institute promotes continuous interactions
and collaborations among scientists in areas such as cell biology,
genetics, developmental biology, computational biology, medicine,
chemistry and materials engineering. By bringing these forces
together, we can make extraordinary progress in solving the major
problems in morphogenesis and regenerative medicine.
is among the clinical disciplines that will benefit most immediately
from these advances. By bridging the clinical and basic sciences,
the physician-researchers holding the Ivy Foundation chairs will
play a key role in translating the institutes discoveries
into new therapies that benefit infants and children.
world-class faculty will also be vital to our educational mission,
said Dr. Robert L. Chevalier, chair of the Department of Pediatrics.
There is currently a crisis in the supply of pediatric physician-scientists.
The new chair-holders will serve as role models for students,
residents and fellows who intend to pursue careers in high-quality
by William C. Battle, a U.Va. alumnus and former chairman and
chief executive officer of Fieldcrest Mills, the Ivy Foundation
was created in 2000.
The purpose of the Ivy Foundation is to support basic research
that will lead to real and significant outcomes in medicine,
information on the Morphogenesis and Regenerative Medicine Institute
may be found on the Web at http://www.morphogenesis.virginia.edu.