• By Karl Oestreich

Mayo Clinic Trustees Honor New Named Professors

August 10, 2012

ROCHESTER, Minn. — August 10, 2012.  The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees recognized three recipients of Mayo Clinic named professorships at a meeting today. Named professorships represent the highest academic distinction for faculty members at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic Building

David Ahlquist, M.D., a physician in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the
Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, is recognized as the Carol M. Gatton Professor of Digestive Diseases Research Honoring Peter Carryer, M.D. Dr. Carryer served as a physician in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and was board and operations chair of Mayo Health System. He retired in 2010. Mr. Gatton is an entrepreneur and philanthropist and worked in the banking business before embarking on a career in automobile dealerships, Bill Gatton Motors, which included one of the first Volkswagen dealerships in Kentucky in 1959. Today, Bill Gatton Chevy-Cadillac comprises a chain of successful car dealerships. Mr. Gatton's business interests include a Honda dealership, banks and real estate.

Dr. Ahlquist is internationally recognized for his research in the early detection of colorectal and other gastrointestinal masses. His research has focused particularly on the development and clinical validation of accurate and user-friendly screening tools. He has published extensively and holds many patents related to his research. Throughout his training and career, Dr. Ahlquist has received numerous honors and awards and has held many professional leadership positions.

Stephen Hammill, M.D., a physician in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, is recognized as the William S. and Ann Atherton Professor of Cardiology Honoring Robert Frye, M.D. Dr. Frye is a consultant in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at Mayo Clinic. He previously served as president of the Mayo Clinic Staff and chaired the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and the Department of Medicine. Mr. Atherton is a partner of Atherton & Murphy Investment Co., an investment partnership, and chairman of Atherton Restaurant Systems, Inc. of Tulsa, Okla. In 1964, he co-founded A&M Food Service Inc. and was company chair and CEO until 1986 when the company merged with PepsiCo Inc.

Dr. Hammill's clinical and research interests focus on treatments for atrial fibrillation, cardiac arrhythmias, tachycardias and syncope, including electrocardiography, the implantable cardioverter defibrillator and radiofrequency catheter ablation. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Heart Rhythm Society and recognition as the Henry Plummer Distinguished Physician and Distinguished Clinician at Mayo Clinic. He serves on many professional societies, such as the American Board of Internal Medicine, American College of Physicians and the Heart Rhythm Society, serving as the society's president from 2004 to 2005.

Vanda Lennon, M.D., Ph.D, director of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and director of the Autoimmune Neurology Fellowship Program in the Department of Neurology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, is recognized as the Dorothy A. Adair Professor. Mrs. Adair and her husband, Robert Adair, were owners of Robert L. Adair Oil Properties and R.L. Adair Corp. Mrs. Adair researched land records in rural county courthouses, and the couple bought affordable parcels, retaining the mineral rights and selling the land to pay off the loans. Throughout the 1950s-1970s oil boom, exploration companies leased the mineral rights.

Dr. Lennon has mentored 52 postdoctoral fellows, published 255 peer reviewed papers, received RO1 grant funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1974 and holds two U.S. patents. The focus of her research and clinical translational activities has been plasma membrane channel proteins and their pertinence to autoimmunity and cancer. Her research has reflected that early recognition of cancer is a significant initiator of neurological autoimmunity. In 2005, she established at Mayo Clinic the world's first Autoimmune Neurology Fellowship Training Program to formally bridge clinical immunology and neurology.

Consultants are appointed to named professorships 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.

The professorships are named in honor of Mayo Clinic benefactors who recognize Mayo's role in pursuing answers in health and medicine. The gifts may be unrestricted or focused on a specific medical area and are held in endowment. All income from the endowed professorships supports Mayo Clinic medical education and research.

The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, a 31-member group of public representatives and Mayo Clinic physicians and administrators, is responsible for patient care, medical education and research at Mayo Clinic's sites in Jacksonville, Fla.; Rochester, Minn.; and Phoenix and Scottsdale, Ariz.


About Mayo Clinic:

Recognizing 150 years of serving humanity in 2014, Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit 150years.mayoclinic.orgwww.mayoclinic.org and newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

Media Contact: Karl Oestreich, 507-284-5005 (days), newsbureau@mayo.edu

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