The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

July 12, 2005

Latenser Appointed To Clara L. Smith Professorship

Barbara Latenser, M.D., associate professor (clinical) of surgery in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and medical director of the Burn Treatment Center at UI Hospitals and Clinics, has been named the Clara L. Smith Associate Professor of Burn Treatment.

The professorship is only the second endowed position in burn treatment in the country, and Latenser is the first woman to be appointed to such a position. The appointment is effective immediately. Latenser will hold the endowed professorship for the duration of her tenure as medical director of the UI Burn Treatment Center.

Clara Smith of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was a lifelong resident of the state. She died in 2002 and made an estate gift to the UI Foundation to establish a fund to be used for the greatest needs of the UI Burn Treatment Center. Clara Smith made the gift in thanks to the Burn Treatment Unit and the hospital, which had saved her husband's life when he was a burn patient.

Donna Katen-Bahensky, director and CEO of UI Hospitals and Clinics, in discussion with leadership at the UI Carver College of Medicine, determined that the best use of the gift would be to establish an endowed professorship to support the work, including outreach efforts, of the medical director of the Burn Treatment Center.

"The state of Iowa and all Iowans benefit from the presence and services of the UI Hospitals and Clinics and a first-class verified burn treatment center. This burn center was started in 1968 and Dr. Latenser is the fourth medical director of the UIHC burn treatment center. She is a highly motivated, very well trained and expert burn surgeon. She will exemplify and foster the standards of excellence that have always been the hallmark of the UIHC burn treatment center. We are fortunate to have her on staff here at the Carver College of Medicine," said G. Patrick Kealey, M.D., professor and interim head of surgery.

Latenser, who joined the UI faculty in 2004, has a national and international reputation as a leader in research and care of trauma and burn patients. She also has widely shared her clinical expertise on managing burn and trauma patients with physicians both at home and abroad.

Through her involvement with the American Burn Association, Latenser also has worked to extend burn care to patients in the Third World. She has been active in organizing the American Burn Association's international outreach, educational and clinical efforts and has been instrumental in developing outreach clinics in India and, most recently, in Africa.

Latenser's research focuses on issues related to treatment of burns and trauma. Her interests include the acute management of burn and trauma patients, the physiologic alterations that occur in the single or multiple trauma patient, abdominal compartment syndrome, necrotizing acute soft tissue infections, and burn prevention.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, (319) 335-9917

PHOTOS: A photo of Dr. Latenser is available from Jennifer Brown at