Investiture of Benedek Erdos, MD, PhD as the Inaugural Early Career Professor in Cardiovascular Research. (Photo: Dave Seaver)
Benedek Erdos, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, was invested in a formal ceremony on July 31 as the inaugural Martin E. Bloomfield ’56 M.D.’60 and Judith S. Bloomfield ’59 Early Career Professor in Cardiovascular Research.
The endowed professorship was established by Dr. Marty Bloomfield, a dual-degree UVM alum and retired cardiologist, and his wife Judy, a fellow Catamount and retired psychologist. Dr. Erdos will receive funding for two years, with potential funding for a third year, to support his research project: “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, a Novel Hypothalamic Mediator in Hypertension.”
Designed to significantly increase our understanding of the mechanisms of blood pressure regulation, the proposed studies in the Erdos Lab may help to identify novel therapeutic targets to treat hypertension.
This faculty position is particularly significant because it marks the first time ever at the University of Vermont that an early-career professorship has been endowed. As federal funding for research becomes more competitive, private philanthropy can help launch promising young careers with the potential to benefit not only UVM, but society at large.
The Bloomfields’ decision to focus their philanthropic impact on an early-career professorship is based on personal experiences. At the time when Dr. Marty Bloomfield was beginning his own career, research funding was not readily available. Years later, the Bloomfields’ son Dan – also a cardiologist – benefited early in his career through research funding from an endowed assistant professorship that serves as the inspiration for their gift.
Following remarks from UVM Foundation President and CEO Shane Jacobson, UVM President Tom Sullivan and Larner College of Medicine Dean Rick Morin, Dr. Erdos was presented with a medallion in front of family, friends, colleagues and students in the Hoehl Gallery at the Larner College of Medicine on the UVM campus. After receiving his medallion, Dr. Erdos invited Dr. Bloomfield to the podium to present the donor with a matching medallion, which was followed by comments from Dr. Bloomfield.
Now a revered campus tradition, the formal investiture ceremony recognizes the importance of endowed positions and is one of the highest honors the University of Vermont can bestow on its faculty members and the generous donors who make it possible.
Since President Tom Sullivan began his tenure at UVM five years ago, the University of Vermont and the UVM Foundation have more than doubled the number of endowed faculty positions, a critical component of the Move Mountains campaign.
An exceptional scientist who is poised to make important contributions to the care of patients with cardiovascular disease, Dr. Erdos received his medical degree and Ph.D. from Semmelweis University in Budapest, the oldest medical school in Hungary. Following post-doctoral work at Wake Forest University, he held research positions at the University of Florida prior to arriving at UVM in 2014.
Dr. Erdos’ research supports the mission of the Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont, which leverages the world-class clinical capabilities as well as research facilities of the Larner College of Medicine and the UVM Medical Center to reduce the incidence, morbidity and mortality of heart and vascular diseases. Dr. Bloomfield recently joined the Cardiovascular Leadership Council, a group of community members who serve as ambassadors for the CVRI.
Dr. Erdos resides in South Burlington, Vermont, and the Bloomfields divide their time between Lenox, Massachusetts and Boca Raton, Florida.
About The University of Vermont Foundation
The University of Vermont Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established to secure and manage private support for the benefit of the University of Vermont. The UVM Foundation, in partnership with the University, is currently engaged in a comprehensive campaign with four strategic priorities: student access and scholarship; faculty research and support; student-centered programs; and long-term investments in the physical campus. Move Mountains: The Campaign for The University of Vermont seeks to raise $500 million in private support and assert UVM's position as one of the nation's best public research universities. For further information about giving to UVM, contact the University of Vermont Foundation, 411 Grasse Mount, Burlington VT 05401; 802-656-2010, www.uvmfoundation.org
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