Endowed Professorships


Integra Endowed Professorship in Neurotrauma

Purpose/Intent: To enhance the University’s ability to attract and retain distinguished faculty in neurological surgery for trauma to the brain and/or spine, and neurotrauma research at Harborview Medical Center.  Candidates for this professorship shall have demonstrated, through professional activities, expertise in neuro- trauma surgery and research.

Founding Donor: The Integra Foundation

The Integra Foundation is dedicated to advancing innovative medical and healthcare research and education, primarily in the areas of neurological surgery and reconstructive and general surgery that lead to improved outcome and quality of life for patients and their communities.  This endowed professorship will help further neurotrauma research, knowledge and patient care.

Inaugural/Current HolderRandall M. Chesnut, MD, FCCM, FACS 

Funds from this endowment support Dr. Chesnut’s efforts, along with the UW Neurotrauma Research Group, to develop guidelines for managing severe traumatic brain injury without ICP monitoring in concert with clinicians in Latin America who practice in austere environments in low-to-middle income countries.

Roy and Maxine Johnson Endowed Professorship in Epilepsy

Purpose/Intent: The Roy and Maxine Johnson Endowed Professorship in Epilepsy was established in 2009 — having originally been established as a general endowment for the department of neurological surgery program support.

Millions of people in the United States alone suffer from epilepsy — chronic recurrent seizures. By making provisions in their estate plans for the creation of this endowment, the Johnsons hoped to provide a constant source of income to be used for innovative research, in-depth training and education, and new technology to meet future needs in epilepsy research and treatment at UW Medicine.

Candidates for this Professorship shall have demonstrated, through professional activities and research, expertise in the problems inherent in this disorder of the central nervous system.

Founding Donors: Roy and Maxine Johnson

Maxine Johnson’s son, Joseph Gary Chamberlin, suffered from epilepsy and had frequent grand mal seizures, which were relieved upon treatment at University of Washington Hospital by Department of Neurological Surgery members.  In appreciation, the Johnsons established an endowed teaching and research fund in the hopes of benefitting epilepsy sufferers for years to come.

Inaugural HolderRaimondo D'Ambrosio, PhD 

Funds from this endowment supported Dr. D’Ambrosio’s work on the development of therapies for epilepsy.  Such work has resulted in the patenting of passive prosthetic devices for focally cooling a brain. Focal cooling as low as 1.2° C has been found effective at inhibiting seizures.

Current Holder:  Andrew L. Ko, MD 

William Joseph Leedom and Bennett, Bigelow & Leedom Endowed Professorship in Neurological Surgery

Purpose/Intent: The William Joseph Leedom and Bennett, Bigelow & Leedom Endowed Professorship was created by the owners of Bennett, Bigelow & Leedom to honor the memory of William J. Leedom.

William J. Leedom died in 1993 of lung cancer caused by tobacco products. His gallant battle with cancer inspired all those who knew him. After his death, Bennett Bigelow & Leedom (“BB & L”), the firm with which his son William J. Leedom and daughter-in-law Elizabeth A. Leedom practice law, was appointed to assist the Washington State Attorney General in a lawsuit by the State of Washington against the tobacco industry (“Tobacco Litigation”). That lawsuit, together with suits by other states, ultimately resulted in the largest litigation settlement in the history of the United States.

In 2004, the owners of BB & L and their families decided to help establish and fund an endowed professorship to honor William Joseph Leedom and to contribute to efforts to combat tobacco-related diseases. The purpose of this endowment is to provide funds for an endowed professorship in stroke research — specifically for smoking-related cerebral vascular disease — within the Department of Neurological Surgery in the School of Medicine based at Harborview Medical Center. The research should have clinical applications.

Founding Donors: Owners of Bennett, Bigelow & Leedom and their families.

Current HolderLaligam N. Sekhar, MD, FACS, FAANS 

Raisbeck Endowed Professorship in Neurological Surgery

Purpose/Intent: To enhance the University’s ability to recruit and retain faculty in the School of Medicine’s Department of Neurological Surgery. It is the Donor’s preference that, whenever possible, the holder be an active physician-scientist focused on spine surgery who has distinguished themselves through research and clinical training.

Founding Donor: James D. and Sherry Raisbeck Foundation

Inaugural/Current Holder: Christoph P. Hofstetter, MD, PhD

Wallace T. Staatz Endowed Professorship in Neurological Surgery

Purpose/Intent: To enhance the University's ability to attract and retain distinguished faculty in neurological surgery. Distributions from this professorship may be used for research funding and other activities that contribute to the productivity of the holder of the professorship.

Founding Donor: Wallace T. Staatz

Wallace T. Staatz studied agriculture at Oregon State University, and served in the military. He was also an orchardist, managed Crystal Mountain Ski Resort (in its early days), was involved in an oyster farm inherited from his father, and owned a golf course. In addition, Mr. Staatz enjoyed motorcycling, traveling, and fishing.

When Mr. Staatz developed a brain tumor, he was treated at the Department of Neurological Surgery at UW Medicine. In gratitude, he established a charitable gift annuity, and directed that part of his estate be used to benefit the department and its research mission. He passed away on November 17, 2003.

Past Holder: Richard S. Morrison, PhD

Dr. Richard S. Morrison was appointed the first holder of the Staatz Professorship on December 1, 2008.  At the time, he was serving as Director of the Center for Neuroproteomics and Director of Research in the Department of Neurological Surgery.  Funds from the endowment supported Dr. Morrison’s laboratory, which focused on the molecular biology of neuronal cell death, proteomics and mitochondrial biology in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s. His research helped identify new targets for treating mitochondrial damage in neurological diseases.  Sadly, Dr. Morrison passed away on October 25, 2019.

Current HolderLouis J. Kim, MD, MBA 

Arthur A. Ward Endowed Professorship in Neurological Surgery

Purpose/Intent: To enhance the University's ability to attract and retain distinguished faculty in neurological surgery. Candidates for this Professorship shall have demonstrated, through professional activities, expertise in neurological surgery.

Background: The Regional Excellence campaign was conducted jointly by the School of Medicine and University Hospital to raise funds sufficient to endow several professorships and chairs at the University. Included among these was the Arthur A. Ward Professorship in Neurological Surgery, established in 1987 and named in honor of the first chair of the Neurosurgery Department and director of the Epilepsy Center in Seattle.

Arthur A. Ward, Jr., born in Manipay, Ceylon, received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from Yale University. After serving an internship at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, New York and a residency at Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada, he became an instructor of neurosurgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. In 1948, Dr. Ward joined the University of Washington faculty as assistant professor of surgery, and was subsequently promoted to associate professor and then to professor. In 1965, he was appointed the first chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and served in this capacity until 1981. He retired in 1986 and sadly, passed away in 1997.

Dr. Ward, an internationally acclaimed expert in epilepsy, was instrumental in establishing the Regional Epilepsy Center at Harborview Medical Center. He served as president of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons and held offices and memberships in many other professional organizations and societies. He also served on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals related to the field of neurological science.

Current HolderDaniel L. Silbergeld, MD