UW News

October 4, 2007

New department chairs in the School of Medicine

Three new department chairs have been appointed in the UW School of Medicine. James Champoux, UW professor of microbiology, became chair of the Department of Microbiology on Oct. 1. Peter Esselman, UW professor and acting chair of rehabilitation medicine, began serving as chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine on Oct. 2. Russell Van Gelder, Bernard Becker Professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, will become chair of the Department of Ophthalmology on Jan. 1, 2008.

Champoux succeeds Peter Greenberg, who will continue his outstanding research work in the department. Champoux joined the UW faculty in 1972, and was promoted to professor of microbiology and immunology in 1982. He has received a UW Distinguished Teaching Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology. Champoux completed his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the UW, before earning his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Stanford University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute in San Diego.

Esselman has been serving as acting chair of rehabilitation medicine following the appointment of Larry Robinson as the vice dean for clinical affairs in the UW School of Medicine. Esselman is also chief of rehabilitation medicine at Harborview Medical Center. He earned his medical degree and completed residency training in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the UW.

Van Gelder succeeds Philip Chen, who has been serving as acting chair. Van Gelder earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Stanford University, and completed his internal medicine internship at Stanford University Hospital. He then completed his residency training in ophthalmology and a fellowship in uveitis at Washington University. Van Gelder focuses his research on uveitis, the inflammation of a layer of the eye called the uvea. He is the Bernard Becker Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University.