For Release: March 27, 2009
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First Elmer R. Pfefferkorn Professor at Dartmouth Medical School Named
Hanover, N.H.—William R. Green, Ph.D., dean of Dartmouth Medical School (DMS), has been named the inaugural Elmer R. Pfefferkorn, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. The appointment, approved by the Dartmouth Board of Trustees, recognizes Green's contributions and service as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and now as dean.
The professorship was established to honor Elmer Pfefferkorn, Ph.D., a professor emeritus and former chair of microbiology and immunology, for his commitment to DMS over more than 40 years. He is an internationally recognized parasitologist and award-winning teacher.
"Elmer Pfefferkorn is truly a legend at DMS and an icon in the teaching of medical students," said Green, also a professor of microbiology and immunology. "It is a privilege to hold this chair, initiated as a direct request of faculty, students and alumni that this honor be bestowed upon Elmer as an outstanding educator, scientist and friend of DMS. " He is beloved among medical students for his entertaining story-lectures on virology, and is known for his studies of the common human parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can be harmless or life threatening.
Elmer Pfefferkorn is truly a legend at DMS and an icon in the teaching of medical students. It is a privilege to hold this chair.
—Dr. William Green
"An exceptional scientist and educator, Bill Green is a leader who exemplifies Elmer's dedication to, and excellence in, research, teaching and administration," said Michael Fanger, Ph.D., professor and a former chair of microbiology and immunology. "He has a record of strong and innovative research, broad teaching activities, and outstanding accomplishments. His research has made major contributions in the areas of AIDS, leukemia/lymphoma and RNA tumor viruses (retroviruses), and may well create a paradigm shift in the way vaccines for viruses are developed."
Green's laboratory helped define the molecular signatures that determine how mice respond to retroviral-induced leukemia and lymphoma. Building on these studies to focus on AIDS using a mouse model, he identified immune facets that mediate protection from the virus and its associated cancers, as well as a protein essential for the development of mouse AIDS. The work is paving the way for new targets for the development of effective viral vaccines.
Green directs the medical school's NIH-funded Immunology Training Program, as well the COBRE (Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence) grant for the Center for Molecular, Cellular, and Translational Immunological Research. He headed the Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy Program at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center from 1992 to 2002, then chaired microbiology and immunology until becoming DMS dean in 2008. He is also chair of the Public Affairs Committee of the American Association of Immunologists and on the steering committee for the NIAID/NIH New England Regional Center of Excellence in Biodefense.
A member of DMS faculty since 1983, he received his B.S. degree from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, followed by post-doctoral research at Johns Hopkins, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington in Seattle.