NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD, to Deliver UMass Worcester Commencement Address

Fauci to receive honorary degree for his contributions to basic and clinical research

January 3, 2008

WORCESTER, Mass.—Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), will address graduates of the University of Massachusetts Worcester School of Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Graduate School of Nursing during the institution’s 35th Commencement exercises.

Internationally renowned for his contributions to immunology and infectious disease research, Fauci pioneered the field of human “immunoregulation” by defining the precise mechanisms by which immunosuppressive agents modulate the immune response. He has made seminal contributions to the understanding of how the AIDS virus destroys the body's defenses, helping pave the way for treatment and prevention strategies. From 1983 to 2002, Fauci was the 13th most-cited scientist in the world; he was the world's 10th most-cited HIV/AIDS researcher in the period from 1996 to 2006.

Fauci oversees a $4.4 billion research portfolio at NIAID, and serves as a key advisor to the White House and Department of Health and Human Services on global AIDS issues and on projects to increase medical and public health preparedness against emerging infectious diseases.

“It is a great pleasure to announce Dr. Fauci as this year’s Commencement speaker,” said Interim Chancellor Michael F. Collins. “For nearly 40 years at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Fauci has made important contributions to basic and clinical research that have shaped our understanding of how to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious and immune-mediated diseases.”

Throughout his early education and undergraduate studies, Dr. Fauci attended Jesuit schools, which instilled in him the philosophy of “To be men for others.” Upon receiving his diploma from Regis High School in Brooklyn, Fauci attended the College of the Holy Cross, where he enrolled in philosophy and pre-med courses. He received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in New York City, graduating first in his class in 1966.

Following his graduation, Fauci did his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center after which he joined the National Institutes of Health as a clinical associate in the program of Sheldon M. Wolff, MD, the chief of the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation and clinical director of the NIAID.  Following his Infectious Diseases and Clinical Immunology fellowship at the NIH, he served a year as chief resident at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, then returned to the NIH as a senior investigator in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation. 

Today, Fauci serves as the director of the NIAID and chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation. As director, he oversees the extensive NIAID research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, influenza and illnesses caused by potential bioterrorism agents.

Throughout his 40 years of service to the NIH, Fauci has received prestigious awards for his scientific achievements, including the National Medal of Science, the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service and the George M. Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine. He is the author, coauthor or editor of more than 1,100 scientific publications.

Fauci will address the UMass Worcester graduates on Sunday, June 1, 2008, when the institution will bestow upon him an honorary degree for his numerous significant contributions to basic and clinical research. The institution will also award honorary degrees to the Honorable Margaret H. Marshall and Leonard J. Morse, MD.

UMass Worcester will recognize the Honorable Margaret H. Marshall for her dedication to public service throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States. The first woman to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Marshall has displayed extraordinary leadership and public service throughout her career. Born and raised in South Africa, Marshall came to the United States to pursue her master's degree at Harvard University and was unable to return to South Africa because of her activities opposing apartheid. She completed her JD at Yale Law School in 1976 and received her United States citizenship in 1978.

First appointed as an associate justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in 1996, Marshall was named chief justice nearly three years later by Governor A. Paul Cellucci, and she began her term on October 14, 1999, following her confirmation by the Governor's Council. Marshall is only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court in its over-300 year history. Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court, Marshall served as president of the Boston Bar Association and was a member of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, both in Massachusetts and nationally.  Elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she was a trustee of The Africa Fund and a member of the board of Africa News, and she currently serves as a trustee of Southern Africa Legal Services Foundation.

UMass Worcester will also honor Leonard J. Morse, MD, for his lasting contributions to the practice of medicine and to medical education.  An esteemed professional, highly regarded for his medical skills and compassionate manner, Dr. Morse is widely known as a successful practitioner beloved by his patients, an accomplished epidemiologist, and a respected teacher and mentor.  Throughout his distinguished career, the needs of his patients always came first.  In his own words, his primary professional concern was “caring for patients in a relationship of trust that hopefully found both patient and doctor growing older together in good health.”
Morse has served as president of both the Worcester District Medical Society and the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) and as chair of the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs and the MMS Committee on Ethics and Discipline. A distinguished public servant, Morse was the chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine and the health commissioner for the City of Worcester.


About the University of Massachusetts Worcester
UMass Worcester was created in l962 by an act of the Massachusetts legislature to enable state residents to study medicine at an affordable cost, and to increase the number of primary care physicians practicing in underserved areas of the state.  The School of Medicine accepted its first class of 16 students in 1970 and now accepts 100 students per class. Today, the 67-acre campus is comprised of the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (opened in 1979), and the Graduate School of Nursing (opened in 1986). The Medical School has consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the country for primary care, and this year was ranked in the top 10 percent of the 125 medical schools nationwide. One of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, UMass Worcester attracts more than $176 million in research funding annually and is on the leading edge of medical research into human disease and treatment.


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