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Golenbock, Lee appointed to endowed chairs

Pillar Chair in Biomedical Research, Stoddard Chair in Pediatrics approved by board

By Mark Shelton

UMass Medical School Communications

June 16, 2015
  Mary M. Lee, MD
  Mary M. Lee, MD

UMass Medical School will invest two faculty members into newly endowed chairs this fall, Chancellor Michael F. Collins has announced.  The chairs were approved by the University of Massachusetts Board at its June meeting.

Mary M. Lee, MD, professor and chair of pediatrics, professor of cell & developmental biology and physician-in-chief of the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, has been appointed the inaugural recipient of The Stoddard Chair of Pediatrics

The Stoddard Charitable Trust, created in 1939 by businessman and entrepreneur Harry Stoddard, is a Worcester-based philanthropic foundation.  Its interest in supporting an endowed position for the chair of pediatrics at UMass Medical School stemmed from the strong desire of its trustees to ensure the long-term health and well-being of children in central Massachusetts, according to Chancellor Collins.

“Dr. Lee is among the most accomplished physician-scientists in the nation,” said Dr. Collins. “In addition to overseeing the Department of Pediatrics and maintaining a pediatric endocrine practice, Dr. Lee researches environmental health and the mechanisms contributing to juvenile diabetes and other pediatric endocrine disorders. Her tireless work and scholarly contributions include authoring or co-authoring more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and 45 editorials, reviews and book chapters, and have earned her key roles in leading professional organizations.”

  Douglas T. Golenbock, MD
  Douglas T. Golenbock, MD

Douglas T. Golenbock, MD, professor of medicine and microbiology & physiological systems and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, has been appointed to the second newly endowed chair, the Pillar Chair in Biomedical Research. The Pillar Group is an investment firm committed to partnering with world-class researchers and clinicians to support pioneering biomedical research in the fields of innate immunity and gene therapy.  

“An internationally recognized authority in the field of innate immunity, Dr. Golenbock studies microbial products in innate immune activation, and his laboratory was one of the first in the world to study Toll-like receptors,” said Collins. “He has authored or co-authored nearly 250 peer-reviewed articles, holds one patent and has five additional pending. Since joining the UMMS faculty in 2001, Dr. Golenbock has transformed the division to one of the strongest in the nation, which includes nearly fifty clinicians and researchers.

“Please join me in expressing our gratitude to the generous philanthropists who support important biomedical research in such a meaningful way, and in recognizing the stellar academic research accomplishments of these two distinguished faculty members,” said Collins.

These are the third and fourth newly endowed chairs at UMMS this year. Earlier, Silvia Corvera, MD, was invested as the Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research and Vivian Budnik, PhD, as the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Chair.  This brings the total number of endowed chairs and professorships at UMMS to 41.