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Release: Dec. 18, 2000

Hunninghake is appointed to Sterba Professorship

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Gary Hunninghake, M.D., University of Iowa professor of internal medicine and director of the UI Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Occupational Medicine, has been appointed to the Sterba Professorship to help promote lung disease research.

The endowed professorship was established through gifts made to the UI Foundation by the George F. Sterba estate and is named in memory of Sterba, who died in 1987. A linotype operator at the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Sterba attended the UI but never graduated.

Hunninghake, who is also a staff physician and researcher at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City, completed his medical degree and a medical residency at Kansas University. Prior to joining the UI faculty in 1981, he was a researcher at the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a senior investigator in the Pulmonary Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Hunninghake is internationally recognized for his basic research and clinical studies related to asthma, acute lung injury(ARDS), sarcoidosis and pulmonary fibrosis. He directs two UI Specialized Centers for Research, which are funded by the National Institutes of Health.

One study published by Hunninghake found that repeated exposure to molds often found in damp hay and grain can irritate the lungs, causing a disease known as farmer's lung or hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

An endowed professorship recognizes distinguished faculty and provides an annual stipend to partially support the faculty member's salary or teaching, research or scholarship expenses. Sterba left more than half of his estate to the UI Foundation to support eye disease and deafness research, the College of Engineering and student financial aid in addition to lung disease research.

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