Robert J. Joynt, M.D., Ph.D., the founding chair of the School of Medicine and Dentistry's Department of Neurology, former dean of the medical school, and former vice president and vice provost for health affairs, has been named Distinguished University Professor.
The title is conferred only on those individuals who have made substantial and varied contributions to their own scholarly field and to the University over the course of many years. Joynt is only one of three professors to hold the title currently. (The other two are Provost Emeritus Brian Thompson and political scientist Richard F. Fenno, Jr.)
"Dr. Robert Joynt has established himself as a major intellectual force in neurology and neural sciences for decades, in Rochester, the United States, and around the world," said Provost Charles E. Phelps. "He has also been an unfailingly loyal citizen of the University, and to top it off, one of the world's most delightful people.
"The title of 'university professor' implies the capability to engage oneself intellectually with every area of the University--much like the proverbial 'Renaissance man.' Nobody fits this description better than Dr. Joynt."
Joynt has remained on the neurology faculty since his retirement from his administrative posts.
After earning a bachelor's degree from Westmar College in Iowa, he earned M.S., M.D., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Iowa, where he then joined the faculty. Internationally recognized for his leadership in neurological teaching, practice, and research, he joined the Rochester faculty as professor and chair of neurology in 1966 and built the new department into one of the most highly regarded in the nation.
He was named dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1985, and then assumed the post of vice president for health affairs in 1989. He finished his term in 1994.
In 1989, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. His many other awards in medicine include the Gold Headed Cane Award presented by the University of California at San Francisco and the Ellen Browning Scripps Society Medal sponsored by the Scripps Memorial Hospitals of La Jolla, California, both presented annually to a leader in the field of medicine, and, more recently, his election as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He is editor of the multi-volume Clinical Neurology, the preeminent modern text in that field, and is author or co-author of over 200 publications. He serves as editor of the prestigious medical journal Archives of Neurology, and he has served as president of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Neurological Association.