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Named positions celebrate the work of Rochester’s faculty

February 8, 2021

Eleven faculty members have recently been appointed to named professorships.

The University of Rochester’s Board of Trustees has appointed faculty members to named professorships. An honor designed to recognize the national stature of a professor’s work, the named positions are part of a long-standing tradition to celebrate the work of Rochester’s faculty as researchers, scholars, and teachers.

Recent appointments include the following:

Andrew Ainslie, former dean of the Simon Business School, has been appointed as the Benjamin Forman Professor in Marketing. Ainslie’s primary research interest is economic and statistical models of heterogeneity in consumer behavior and segmentation.

The professorship was established by an anonymous donor.


Hani Awad, a professor of orthopaedics in the Center for Musculoskeletal Research, has been jointly appointed as the Donald and Mary Clark Distinguished Professor in Orthopaedics. The research of Awad, a member of the School of Medicine and Dentistry faculty since 2004, focuses on musculoskeletal tissue engineering.

The position is named for the late Donald Clark and his late wife Mary Clark, who were longtime friends and supporters of the University.


Laura Calvi, a professor of medicine, has been appointed as the SKAWA Foundation Professor in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Calvi retains her joint appointments as professor of neurosurgery, of oncology, of pathology and laboratory medicine, and of pharmacology and physiology. Her lab examines the cellular and molecular mechanisms of microenvironmental regulation of hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow.

Established by the Board of Trustees in 2020, the SKAWA Foundation Professorship in Endocrinology and Metabolism is intended to support an endowed professorship in endocrinology and metabolism in the School of Medicine and Dentistry.


Christopher Cook, a professor of orthopaedics, has been jointly appointed as the Dr. C. McCollister Evarts Professor in Orthopaedics. Cook, chief of the Orthopaedic Pediatric Division, specializes in pediatric orthopaedics, hip dysplasia in children and young adults, and complex hips.

The position was established by Mac Evarts ’57M (MD), ’64M (Res), a former Medical Center CEO.


Kathi Heffner, an associate professor of nursing, of medicine, and of psychiatry, has been jointly appointed as the Marie C. Wilson and Joseph C. Wilson Professor in the School of Nursing. Heffner’s research centers on how social, psychological, and behavioral factors promote or impair physiological stress adaptation and immune/inflammatory regulation.

The Marie Curran Wilson and Joseph Chamberlain Wilson Professorship Fund has supported professorships that have historically included disciplines ranging from biology, economics, history, political science, medicine, and optical physics. Heffner and Feng (Vankee) Lin, included below, are the first Wilson Professors in the School of Nursing. The fund, directed by the University’s Board of Trustees, is named for Joe Wilson ’31, founder of Xerox, and his wife, Marie (Peggy) Wilson, a former member of the board.


Benzi Kluger, a professor of neurology, has been jointly appointed as the Julius, Helen, and Robert Fine Distinguished Professor in Neurology. Kluger retains his joint appointments as professor of medicine and as professor in the Center for Health and Technology. Kluger’s research interests focus on how palliative care approaches can improve the lives of patients and families affected by neurologic illnesses. He is founding director of the of the Medical Center’s Palliative Care Research Center and Neuropalliative Care Division.

The professorship, established in 2019 by the Board of Trustees, was created at the suggestion of Paul Fine ’57, ’61M (MD), ’66M (Res) by his nephew, Robert Fine, in his and his parents’ names.


Feng (Vankee) Lin, an associate professor of nursing, has been appointed as Marie C. Wilson and Joseph C. Wilson Professor in the School of Nursing. She retains her joint appointments as an assistant professor of neuroscience, of brain and cognitive sciences, and of psychiatry. Lin is a nationally recognized leader in research on cognitive aging and dementia among older adults.

The Marie Curran Wilson and Joseph Chamberlain Wilson Professorship Fund has supported professorships that have historically included disciplines ranging from biology, economics, history, political science, medicine, and optical physics. The fund, directed by the University’s Board of Trustees, is named for Joe Wilson ’31, founder of Xerox, and his wife, Marie (Peggy) Wilson, a former member of the board.


David Mathews ’94, ’02 (PhD), ’03M (MD), a professor of biochemistry and biophysics, has been jointly appointed as the Lynne E. Maquat Distinguished Professor. The Mathews Lab is interested in predicting RNA structure and developing computational tools for targeting RNA with pharmaceuticals and for using RNA as a pharmaceutical.

This new professorship, established in 2020, was made possible by the support of anonymous donors in honor of Lynne Maquat, the J. Lowell Orbison Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics in the School of Medicine and Dentistry.


Honey Meconi, a professor of music, has been jointly appointed as the inaugural Arthur Satz Professor for the Department of Music. Meconi, who is also a professor of musicology at the Eastman School of Music, is an expert on Renaissance music as well as the music of Hildegard of Bingen.

The professorship is named for the late Arthur Satz ’51—a music major and the late president emeritus at the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID). The Department of Music in the School of Arts & Sciences is also named for Satz.


Huaxia Rui, an associate professor of business administration at the Simon Business School, has been appointed as Xerox Professor of Computers and Information Systems. Rui’s research interests include social media, health IT, and optimal contract design.

The Xerox Foundation supports endowed professorships in manufacturing management and information systems management for both senior and junior faculty at the Simon Business School.


Giovanni Schifitto, a professor of neurology, has been jointly appointed as the Esther Aresty Granite Professor in Neurology. Schifitto retains his joint appointment as a professor of imaging sciences. Schifitto’s major research interests are in the development and implementation of novel neuroimaging biomarkers applied in the investigation and treatment of neuroinflammatory, neurodegenerative, and cerebrovascular disorders.

Established in 2018, this professorship was made possible with a gift from Joseph Aresty, and the Catherine and Joseph Aresty Foundation, in honor of Joseph Aresty’s sister Esther.

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Category: University News