The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama named four faculty members at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to endowed chairs or professorships at the April meeting of the Board.
- Herbert Chen, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Surgery, was named the fifth holder of the Fay Fletcher Kerner Chair of Surgery in the School of Medicine.
- Ursula Isolde Wesselmann, M.D., professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, was named the second holder of the William A. Lell, M.D. – Paul N. Samuelson, M.D., Endowed Professorship in Anesthesiology in the School of Medicine.
- Nicolaas C. Geurs, DDS, M.S., professor and chair of the Department of Periodontology, was named the inaugural holder of the Dr. Tommy Weatherford/Dr. Kent Palcanis Endowed Professorship in Dentistry in the Department of Periodontology in the School of Dentistry.
- Stephanie R. Yates, Ph.D., associate professor of finance and director of the Regions Institute for Financial Education, is the inaugural holder of the Regions Institute for Financial Education Endowed Professorship in the Collat School of Business.
Chen joined UAB as chair of surgery in 2015 from the University of Wisconsin. A graduate of Stanford University, he earned his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and conducted residency and fellowship training at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Chen has written 354 journal articles and 12 book chapters, contributing significantly to the scientific literature in multiple areas, including endocrinology and oncology. He is a member of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, the American Board of Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Clinical Investigation Association for Academic Surgery and the International Association of Endocrine Surgeons.
Wesselmann was appointed a professor of anesthesiology at UAB in 2008.She earned her medical degree and Ph.D. equivalent from the Christian-Albrechts-Universitat zu Kiel in West Germany and a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in London. She did postgraduate training at the Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Wesselmann has an international reputation as an outstanding clinician-scientist in gynecological and urological chronic pain treatment. Her research focus is to determine the biological, psychological and socio-cultural variables contributing to pain and pain-related disability in women treated for breast cancer, and racial and ethnic health disparities in cancer survivorship.
She has served as a member of the editorial boards of the journals Clinical Journal of Pain, Current Pain and Headache Reports, Encyclopedia of Pain, European Journal of Pain, Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, Pain, and The Pain Medicine Journal Club Journal. She has served as a committee member and/or external adviser for a broad array of national and international institutions, including the NIH, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Geurs, who joined UAB in 1995, received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Academisch Centrum Tandheelkunde Amsterdam in 1992, followed by his Master of Science in Clinical Dentistry degree from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry in 1995, and his certificate in periodontics from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry in 1995. He was named chair of the Department of Periodontology in 2012.
Geurs’ research is nationally and internationally well-known in the areas of periodontology and dental implantology with funded research from various corporate sponsors, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. He has contributed to over 130 publications and abstracts in professional journals; and he won the Best Article Published in The International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants.
He currently serves on the American Academy of Periodontology Education Committee, is a consultant to the Commission on Dental Accreditation for Periodontology, and is a fellow in the American Dental Education Association Leadership Institute Fellows Program, as well as in the American College of Dentists.
Yates came to UAB in 2007 following appointments at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Siena College and Fulbright Specialist Program at the University of Cape Town. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and earned her doctorate from Louisiana State University. In 2015, she was named director of the Regions Institute for Financial Education.
She is a member of numerous professional organizations and advisory boards, including the American Real Estate Society, the Financial Management Association, Financial Education Outreach, TruFund Financial Services and Alabama Saves. She was recently awarded the 2016 President’s Award for Diversity, an annual award given to outstanding faculty, staff and students for their achievements toward a more inclusive, diverse and competent university community whereby the criteria include significance, implementation and impact of community service.