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Release: Immediate

UI College of Medicine department heads appointed to chairs

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two department heads in the University of Iowa College of Medicine have been appointed to the first endowed chairs in their departments. The appointments were effective Dec. 3.

Dr. Bruce Gantz, UI professor and head of the department of otolaryngology in the college, was named to the Brian F. McCabe Distinguished Chair in Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery. The chair honors Dr. Brian McCabe, UI professor emeritus, who served as department head from 1964 to 1993. The chair was funded by private gifts made through the UI Foundation by former residents and faculty of the department.

Gantz served as interim head of the department from 1993 to 1995, when he was officially named to the position. He has pioneered work on the use of cochlear implants to restore hearing to profoundly deaf children and adults. A native of New York City, Gantz received his bachelor of science degree in 1968, his M.D. degree in 1974 and a master's degree in otolaryngology in 1980, all from the UI. He also completed a research fellowship and residency in otolaryngology at Iowa.

Dr. Richard Sontheimer, UI professor and head of the department of dermatology, has been named to the John S. Strauss Endowed Chair in Dermatology. The chair recognizes the commitment of Strauss, who served as department head from 1978 to 1998. Strauss retired as head in June. He continues to teach in the UI College of Medicine and see patients at the UI Hospitals and Clinics. Like the McCabe Chair, the Strauss Chair was endowed by private gifts made through the UI Foundation.

In July Sontheimer came to Iowa from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. A noted immunodermatology expert, he studies lupus and serves on the editorial board of the international journal Lupus. Sontheimer is a graduate of Southwestern Medical School, where he completed his dermatology residency and a fellowship. He also completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Utah.

Dr. Susan Johnson, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and associate dean for faculty affairs at the UI College of Medicine, said the chairs allow the college to "appropriately recognize our talented faculty and provide them opportunities to further advance medical research and educational programs."