U Pathology Department Names Janis Weis as Recipient of Watkins Endowed Chair

U Pathology Department Names Janis Weis as Recipient of Watkins Endowed Chair

Jun 21, 2005 6:00 PM

Janis Weis, Ph.D., professor of pathology in the University of Utah School of Medicine and expert in microbial pathogenesis and immunology, has been named the third recipient of the C. Scott and Dorothy E. Watkins Endowed Chair honoring U pathologist Ernst J. Eichwald, M.D.

This recognizes the outstanding contributions made in the areas of research, teaching, and administration by Dr. Weis, said Peter E. Jensen M.D., professor and chair of the Pathology Department. She is very deserving of this prestigious award.

Weiss recent research, funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), focuses on the immunobiology and molecular pathogenesis of Borrelia burgdorferi infections, the bacterium that causes human Lyme disease. She is an internationally recognized leader in this field and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals concerning the genetic basis for susceptibility to the arthritic condition commonly observed in individuals infected with B.burgdorferi. She also collaborates extensively with other researchers inside and outside the University, serves on numerous university committees, and directs both the Medical Student Summer Research Program and the NIH-funded Training Program in Microbial Pathogenesis.

A native of Kansas City, Kans., Weis received her doctorate in microbiology at the University of Minnesota in 1982 and postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. Weis was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School when she was recruited to the U of U in 1988.

The endowed chair recognizes the contributions of Ernst J. Eichwald, M.D., professor of anatomic pathology, who is internationally known for his pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation. Eichwald served as chairman of the Department of Pathology between 1968 and 1979. C. Scott Watkins established the chair in 1999 by donating funds in honor of his first wife, Dorothy, who died of cancer in 1996. He and his wife, Berniel Thayne Watkins, are members of the University of Utah Health Sciences Council.

Weis will be honored at a reception on Friday, June 24, from 11 a.m.1 p.m. in the Ernst J. Eichwald Conference Room on the fifth floor of the School of Medicine, and at a private dinner that evening.

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