August 13, 2004

Strange appointed to new anesthesiology chair

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Kevin Strange, Ph.D. Photo by Anne Rayner.

Strange appointed to new anesthesiology chair

Kevin Strange, Ph.D., has been named the John C. Parker Professor of Anesthesiology Research.

The new appointment recognizes the successful basic research program Strange founded in the department of Anesthesiology and his lab’s recent success with using C. elegans to study both systems physiology and how those systems are integrated.

“Our move into C. elegans as a model system in late 1998 was a big risk for us and was viewed by many of my physiology peers and colleagues as ‘career suicide.’  Fortunately, we’ve been extremely successful with C. elegans,” Strange said.

“It was a great honor for me to be able to name this new chair after John Parker,” said Strange, who is a professor of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and director of the research division in the department of Anesthesiology.

“John was an early mentor and colleague who had a contagious enthusiasm for science and new ideas. He was an outstanding and highly imaginative scientist, a superb scholar and one of the finest human beings I’ve known,” he said.

Strange graduated from the University of California at Davis and received his doctorate from the University of British Columbia. He did postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health, where he was a National Kidney Foundation fellow. Before coming to Vanderbilt, Strange was associate professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston, an American Heart Association Established Investigator, and a Milbury Scholar at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory.

“Dr. Strange has grown one of the largest and most successful basic research programs in anesthesiology in the U.S. This chair recognizes his accomplishments,” said Michael S. Higgins, M.D., interim chairman and associate professor in the department of Anesthesiology.

Strange’s research uses a wide variety of experimental tools including patch clamp electrophysiology, quantitative digital microscopy, molecular biology, large-scale functional genomics analyses, structural biology and genetics. He has lectured at the International Union of Biological Scientists, the Danish Biological Society, and the Foster Club at the University of Cambridge.

Most of the studies in Strange’s laboratory use the nematode worm C. elegans, a model organism providing numerous experimental advantages for the study of integrative and systems physiology.

Strange’s work on C. elegans is currently supported by six National Institutes of Health grants as well as funding from the American Heart Association, National Science Foundation and National Kidney Foundation.

Strange is grateful for the new research opportunities made possible to him through the Parker chair.

“The Parker chair represents an important new funding component of the lab because it allows us to take more risks and continually move into new and exciting research areas,” Strange said.