Friday, October 23, 2009

Brown named to Zapol professorship

CELEBRATING a NEW PROFESSORSHIP: From left, Flier, Brown, Zapol, Wiener-Kronish and Slavin

The Warren M. Zapol Professorship in Anaesthesia, a new endowed chair at Harvard Medical School (HMS), has been established to honor the clinical and research accomplishments of Warren M. Zapol, MD, who served as anesthetist-in-chief in the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine from 1994 to 2008 and who is now the department's anesthetist-in-chief emeritus. The chair's first incumbent is Emery Brown, MD, PhD, an anesthesiologist in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine and the director of the Neuroscience Statistics Research Lab at the MGH. Brown and Zapol were recognized at an Oct. 8 ceremony at HMS.

Brown is internationally renowned for his work developing statistical methods and signal-processing algorithms to study brain function, as well as for his use of functional neuroimaging to study how the state of general anesthesia is created and maintained in humans. For his research on general anesthesia, he received a National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer Award in 2007. Brown is an Institute of Medicine (IOM) member.

Over the years, Zapol's research focused on acute respiratory failure in mammals. His pioneering studies eventually led to the use of inhaled nitric oxide for hypoxia -- a technique that now helps save thousands of lives each year. As part of his research, Zapol has led nine Antarctic expeditions to study the respiratory system of the Weddell seal. In 2008, he was appointed to the U.S. Arctic Research Committee by former president George W. Bush. He is also a member of the IOM.

Zapol and Brown both spoke at the Oct. 8 event. Offering additional remarks were: Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president; Jeffrey Flier, MD, dean of HMS; and Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD, current anesthetist-in-chief at the MGH.

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