North Shore-LIJ Creates Three Endowed Professorships

MANHASSET, NY — The North Shore-LIJ Health System today announced the creation of three new endowed professorships that support the clinical, education and research missions of the health system, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the new Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.

The new professorships, announced at the Annual Convocation Ceremony of the health system’s Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine on May 26, were:

  • Randi and Mark Jacobson Professor of Metabolism, awarded to Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and chief executive officer of the Feinstein Institute
  • Peter F.R. Walker, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology, awarded to John DiCapua, MD, the health system’s vice president of anesthesiology, and chair of anesthesiology at North Shore University Hospital and LIJ Medical Center
  • The Merinoff Endowed Directorship was also awarded to Dr. Tracey.

The professorships and directorship each has a substantial endowment – funded by trustees of the North Shore-LIJ Health System and other philanthropic donors – that support the research, education and patient-care programs carried out by the recipients. In addition to the new professorships and directorship, three new recipients of existing endowed professorships were announced at the Elmezzi commencement ceremony:

  • North Shore-LIJ Chief Academic Officer David Battinelli, MD, is now the new Betsy Cushing Whitney Professor of Medicine;
  • North Shore-LIJ Chief Medical Officer Jeremy Boal, MD, is the new Lawrence Scherr, MD, Professor of Medicine; and
  • Thomas McGinn, MD, chairman of medicine at North Shore University Hospital and LIJ Medical Center, is now the David J. Greene Professor of Medicine.

Also during its commencement exercises, the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine, a highly selective PhD program that trains physicians for careers in medical research at the Feinstein Institute, bestowed PhDs to two physician/scientists who completed their course of research and study: David Walter Rosenthal, DO and Emil Pablo Nashi, MD.

Dr. Rosenthal studied the immune responses to human papillomavirus (HPV) in the Feinstein laboratory of Vincent Bonagura, MD. Human papillomavirus causes cervical cancer and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a condition where benign growths form in patient’s airway. Dr. Rosenthal’s thesis helps explain how HPV evades the normal immune response, and thereby lays the groundwork for developing a treatment for active HPV disease. Dr. Rosenthal graduated as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences – College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, MO. He completed an internship and residency at St. Michael’s Medical Center, Seton Hall University in Newark, NJ in internal medicine, and a fellowship in allergy/immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Long Island Campus at LIJ Medical Center. He plans to pursue a career in academic medicine as a physician scientist, studying the human immune responses to viruses and other diseases affecting the immune system, such as primary immune deficiencies and HIV. He is the clinical director of the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Center for Young Adult, Adolescent and Pediatric HIV in Great Neck, seeing patients with allergies, eczema, asthma, primary immune deficiencies and HIV.

Dr. Nashi graduated from the University of Alberta in 1998 and became interested in lupus research during his residency. After a fellowship in immunology, he completed a master’s degree at the university and studied genetic susceptibility in lupus. He worked in the Feinstein Institute’s Center for Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Diseases. His research focuses on how signaling through a particular pathway (the B cell receptor [BCR] pathway) can contribute to autoimmunity. Dr. Nashi is now working as a physician at the McGill University Health Center, where he is continuing his research on lupus.

In addition to Dr. Rosenthal and Dr. Nashi, the Elmezzi Graduate School conferred an honorary degree to Daniel L. Kastner, MD, PhD, deputy director for intramural clinical research at the National Institutes of Health, and scientific director in the Division of Intramural Research at the National Human Genome Research Institute.

The Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine currently has 12 students enrolled. Unlike the typical graduate program at universities or medical schools, the Elmezzi Graduate School offers an individually tailored program with a strong emphasis on translational research.