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Release: Immediate

Naides named director of new Levitt Center for Viral Pathogenesis and Disease

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dr. Stanley J. Naides, associate professor of internal medicine in the University of Iowa College of Medicine, has been named director of the new Helen C. Levitt Center for Viral Pathogenesis and Disease. The goal of the center, which has been established by an endowment of $1 million through the UI Foundation, is to promote and support interdisciplinary research activities directed at understanding the role of viruses in human disease.

Included in the center's research activities will be efforts to reveal mechanisms of viral pathogenesis (how viruses cause disease), to develop new approaches to the prevention, diagnoses and treatment of viral diseases, and to educate professionals and the public about the nature and impact of viral diseases.

Half of the endowment has been designated for the development of space in the planned Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility to accommodate the research programs of the center's core group of investigators. The new building is scheduled to open in 2001.

The other half of the endowment will support research and educational development projects, postdoctoral fellow stipends, outside speakers and annual scientific retreats.

Naides' appointment as director is for three years and can be renewed. A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Naides has been a UI faculty member since 1986. He is internationally known for his research into human parvovirus infection, viral arthritis, and autoimmune disease. He holds a medical degree from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia.

Helen C. Levitt was born in Sioux City in 1910. She received a degree in dramatic arts from the UI in 1932 and went into the family financial business, which she expanded from a single office to 81 offices in 11 states. She sold the business in 1975 and started a second career in painting and sculpture, donating all the proceeds from her work to charity. She died in November 1996 in Minneapolis.

Before her death, Levitt was a contributor to a number of fundraising campaigns conducted by the UI Foundation, the preferred channel of giving to the university.