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Endowed chairs named at Health Center

by Kristina Goodnough - October 23, 2006

Drs. Andrew Winokur and Daniel Connor in the psychiatry department and Audrey Chapman in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care have been appointed to new endowed chairs at the Health Center.

Winokur is the first holder of the Dr. Manfred J. Sakel Distinguished Chair in Psychiatry, established last year with a gift from the late Marianne Hartly.

Her bequest, which with the state's match totaled more than $3 million, is in memory of Sakel, a close friend of hers in Vienna in the 1920s and later in New York City, where she assisted him in his research.

"Sakel was ahead of his time, trying to develop therapies that relied on an understanding of biology and the workings of the brain. I view him as a pioneer," says Winokur, who is director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Treatment, Research, and Training Center at the Health Center.

Besides teaching psychopharmacology in the psychiatry residency program, Winokur does research on established and investigational drugs for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

The endowed chair will provide financial support for training and professional development of students.

Both Hartly and her husband Roy Cohen, who was closely involved in planning for the gift, wanted to support promising young people in the field.

"Their goal was to seed the future with people who would follow the Sakel tradition," says Winokur.

"The gift that established this chair is an important resource for getting our program off the ground."

Connor is the first holder of the Lockean Distinguished Chair in Mental Health Education, Research, and Clinical Improvement, which was established earlier this year with an anonymous gift of $2 million.

He joined the Health Center last year from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded and directed the Department of Pediatric Psychopharmacology and was director of ambulatory child and adolescent psychiatry and co-director of research in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Connor has formed a new Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Health Center, teaches medical students and psychiatry residents, and is working to create an accredited residency program in child and adolescent psychiatry.

From left, Drs. Winokur, Chapman, and Connor. Each has been named to a new endowed chair at the Health Center.
Photo by Frank Barton

His research focuses on the effectiveness and tolerability of existing and new pharmacological treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder in children and adults.

Chapman is the first holder of the UConn Health Center Auxiliary's Joseph M. Healey Jr. Chair in Medical Humanities and Bioethics.

The chair was established last year with a gift of more than $1 million from the Health Center Auxiliary, which raised the money through gifts from medical school alumni and faculty, as well as bake sales and book sales, golf tournaments, the gift shop, holiday bazaars, and garden parties.

An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Chapman joined the Health Center in July from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., where she was director of the Science and Human Rights Program and the Science and Intellectual Property in the Public Interest Program, which focused on intellectual property implications for scientific research and access to the benefits of science.

Her areas of research are ethical and justice issues related to genetics and stem cells, improving access and availability of health services, intellectual property regimes affecting health and genetics research, and human rights monitoring methodologies.

The appointments were approved by the board of directors during the summer. The Health Center now has 33 endowed chairs.  

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