Congratultions to David A. Harris on being one of 5 recipients of the Edward Avedisian Professorships. 


The Edgar Minas Housepian, MD, Professorship went to David A. Harris, chair of biochemistry andcell biology since 2009. He studies molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying human neurodegenerative diseases. His work on infectious prion diseases like mad cow disease, where brain proteins fold and can result in neurodegenerative effects, has helped research into other neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s.

“What I want to highlight here is the incredible foresight to use that endowment ($25 million of the Avedisian endowment is dedicated to research and teaching) to support basic research, which is…always at the root of great medical discoveries,” said Harris. “I am honored to be associated with a legacy that values the pursuit of knowledge and scientific excellence.”

Housepian was a renowned neurosurgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and professor of neurology at Columbia University’s medical school, where he taught for 44 years.

“He was a very creative person with a long-range vision,” said his daughter, Jean Housepian. Even with a career that began in labs, then surgery, education remained his key concern, and in his retirement years, he remained an advocate for international educational affiliations for medical students.

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