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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 16:42 EDT

Mayo Clinic Trustees Honor New Named Professors

November 29, 2010

The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees recently honored four new Mayo Clinic named professors.

Claude Deschamps, M.D., is recognized as the Joseph I. and Barbara Ashkins Professor of Surgery. Dr. Deschamps serves as chair and a consultant in the Department of Surgery at Mayo Clinic. The professorship was established in 1986 by Dr. and Mrs. Ashkins, of Dunedin, Fla. Dr. Ashkins was a prominent surgeon at Milford Hospital in Massachusetts. After the couple retired to Florida, friends introduced them to Mayo Clinic, and they developed a lasting patient and benefactor relationship at Mayo Clinic’s campuses in Rochester and Florida. For more than 25 years, the Ashkins have provided support for cancer research as well as programs and facilities, medical care, education and research at Mayo Clinic. When Dr. Ashkins passed away, the couple’s tradition of philanthropy continued through a generous planned gift from his estate.

Dr. Deschamps has served in journal review and editorial activities for publications including Cancer, Annals of Thoracic Surgery and Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. He is the former surgical editor in chief of Diseases of the Esophagus. He has authored multiple articles, book chapters, editorials, multimedia presentations, abstracts and letters. Twice, he has received the Excellence in Teaching recognition at Mayo Medical School. Dr. Deschamps’s clinical interest is general thoracic surgery, and his research interests are lung and esophageal physiology and pathophysiology. He has served as a principal investigator, co-investigator and consultant for research funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Cancer Institute, and other organizations.

Gregory Cascino, M.D., is recognized as the Whitney MacMillan Jr., Professor of Neuroscience. Dr. Cascino is chair of the Division of Epilepsy in the Department of Neurology at Mayo Clinic. Whitney MacMillan Jr., is a long-standing patient and friend of Mayo Clinic. He became a Mayo Principal Benefactor through the establishment of the Whitney MacMillan Jr., Professorship in Neuroscience.

Through this professorship, his generosity extends across future generations of patients and families. His support helps sustain the ideals of Drs. William J. Mayo and Charles H. Mayo and ensure that Mayo always will provide the best in care, which focuses on the needs of the patient.

Dr. Cascino’s work and research with epilepsy emphasizes the care and management of patients with intractable epilepsy, with the goal of rendering them seizure-free without treatment-induced adverse effects. He is the principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health-funded study entitled “Epilepsy Phenome Genome Project.” This large-scale, multi-institutional, collaborative research project is aimed at advancing the understanding of the genetic basis of the most common forms of idiopathic and cryptogenic epilepsies. He has written and published extensively about his research findings. Dr. Cascino is currently associate editor of the journal Neurology and has served on the editorial board for Epilepsy Research, Mayo Clinic Proceedings and Neurosurgical Review. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association and the American Epilepsy Society, among others.

Robert D. Brown Jr., M.D., M.P.H., is recognized as the John T. and Lillian Mathews Professor of Neuroscience. Dr. Brown serves as chair and a consultant in the Department of Neurology at Mayo Clinic. The Mathews are loyal patients and generous benefactors, whose Mayo Clinic relationship dates back more than 40 years. In 1992, the couple endowed this professorship in Neuroscience to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of strokes and neurological diseases. The Mathews have had a significant philanthropic impact on the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester. Their gifts enhance the architecture of the campus and communicate the values of the institution. They are the founding benefactors of Mayo Clinic Heritage Hall and their generosity supports museums at Mayo Clinic locations in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Scottsdale and Phoenix, Ariz. Additionally, the Mathews funded renovation of the Mayo Building lobby “” which now bears their name.

Dr. Brown’s clinical and research interests include cerebrovascular disorders, such as ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack evaluation and management, vascular malformations, intracranial aneurysms, acute stroke management, and stroke prevention. Among his awards at Mayo Clinic are the Distinguished Clinician Award, Individual Award for Excellence, Karis Award, Outstanding Faculty Award from the Mayo School of Continuing Medical Education and the Recognition for Excellence in Inpatient Teaching. The American Heart Association gave him its Stroke Leadership Award. He is a fellow in the American Stroke Association and the American Academy of Neurology and has been elected to membership in the American Neurological Association. He has served as a principal investigator and member of the steering committee of numerous research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Robert Smallridge, M.D., is recognized with the Alfred D. and Audrey M. Petersen Professorship in Cancer Research. Dr. Smallridge is chair of the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, deputy director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, at Mayo Clinic in Florida. The Petersens are longtime friends, patients and benefactors of Mayo Clinic. They established the Alfred D. and Audrey M. Petersen Professorship in Cancer Research at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, which honors their close relationship with William J. Maples, M.D., and E. Eugene Page Jr., M.D. Through the Morean Petersen Foundation, the Petersen family also has provided support for the hospital at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida and for cardiovascular, colon cancer and musculoskeletal research. The Petersen family’s personal experiences with cancer and the care they have received at Mayo Clinic resulted in this newly endowed professorship.

Dr. Smallridge has held positions with organizations including the American Thyroid Association, The Endocrine Society and the National Institutes of Health, and, at Mayo Clinic, has been a member of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center committees, the Board of Governors Administrative Committee and the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Executive Board. He has participated in journal review and editorial activities for publications including the American Journal of Physiology, Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Dr. Smallridge has authored more than 150 articles. His clinical interests include biomarkers of thyroid cancer, pregnancy and thyroid disease, as well as pituitary tumors. His research focuses on thyroid cancer clinical trials and mechanisms of thyroid cancer pathogenesis.

Named professorships represent the highest academic distinction for a Mayo Clinic faculty member. Faculty are appointed to a named professorship through nomination and endorsement of their peers and then confirmed by Mayo Clinic senior leadership. Appointed individuals are recognized for distinguished achievement in their specialty areas and service to the institution. These professorships are named in honor of the benefactors. The gift funds, which may be unrestricted or focused on a specific medical area, are held in endowment. All income from the endowed professorships supports Mayo Clinic programs in medical education and research.

The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, a group of public representatives and Mayo physicians and administrators, is responsible for patient care, medical education and research activities at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.; Rochester, Minn.; and Scottsdale and Phoenix, Ariz.

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