Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology, has committed $1 million over five years to fund an endowed professorship at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
The new “Medtronic Professor of Biomedical Discovery and Innovation” will be used to recruit new faculty or retain faculty who have achieved significant success by at least their mid-career.
Medtronic’s pledge was matched by an anonymous commitment by a third party to meet the university’s $2 million requirement to establish a named professorship.
The Medtronic gift reflects the ongoing impact of a $20 million challenge grant announced in fall 2018 from two anonymous donors to establish 20 endowed professorships in engineering and medicine.
“We are delighted to receive this level of support from one of our corporate friends, Medtronic,” said Pam Davis, dean and senior vice president for medical affairs at the School of Medicine. “We have long had a positive relationship, with our students and trainees taking internships and permanent positions at the corporation, and our faculty collaborating with Medtronic on research projects. This gift is a wonderful flowering of an excellent partnership.”
The inaugural Medtronic Professor will lead the development of the World Medicine Pathway, a newly created program focusing on preparing medical students for excellence in global health care. The program will focus on research, clinical, cultural and collaborative study with diverse populations and health systems.
“Through this endowed professorship, we are thrilled to support innovation in biomedical discovery and the World Medicine Pathway program being developed at Case Western Reserve,” said Richard Kuntz, Medtronic’s senior vice president, chief medical and scientific officer and a 1983 CWRU School of Medicine alumnus. “The program will provide a strong foundation for global public health research as well as mentorship for medical students and post-graduate physicians seeking advanced training and careers that address global-health challenges.”
Named professorships are recommended to the university board of trustees by the university president, in consultation with a selection committee of School of Medicine leaders and faculty.
Subject to board approval, the School of Medicine has recommended Chris Longenecker, associate professor of medicine at the School of Medicine and director of the Research & Innovation Center at the University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, as the inaugural holder of the Medtronic Professorship.
Longenecker is a clinical researcher whose work, conducted in Cleveland and Uganda, focuses on mechanisms and prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults living with HIV. He has an additional interest in endemic cardiovascular diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, especially rheumatic heart disease. His clinical area of expertise is non-invasive cardiovascular imaging and cardiovascular disease prevention.
Medtronic plc, based in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Minneapolis, is a global leader in medical technology, services and solutions, operating in more than 150 countries.