|Drs. Mark Sobsey and Gerardo Heiss named Kenan professors|
|April 02, 2007|
"Dr. Heiss and Dr. Sobsey each have made significant contributions to science, service and training of our students. They are outstanding teachers and mentors," said Dr. Barbara K. Rimer, dean of the School of Public Health. "We are proud and appreciative that the University has recognized these remarkable professors. They are a credit to our School and to UNC-Chapel Hill."
Heiss is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology, director of graduate studies for the School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology and faculty for the Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center in the Department of Biostatistics. He studies the burden of cardiovascular diseases in populations, their risk factors, and the roles of genetic and environmental determinants. His research has drawn on long-term cohort studies of risk factors as well as well as on registry systems that monitor the level and trends of disease in communities. Recent work by Heiss has focused on understanding chronic diseases of women and on the social origins of clinical and sub-clinical cardiovascular disease over the life course.
"Dr. Heiss has been one of the leaders in explaining risk factors for heart disease and stroke and populations that are especially at risk," Rimer said.
Sobsey is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering and director of the School of Public Health's Environmental Virology and Microbiology Laboratory. His research focuses on sampling, detection, quantification, and monitoring of microbial pathogens in food and in every environmental medium, including water, wastewater and its solid residuals, soil, sediment, animal waste and air. Sobsey has studied the impacts of waste management practices on water quality, evaluated the effects of water quality impairment on contamination of shellfish and produce, developed approaches for microbial risk assessment, and contributed to the development and performance evaluation of technology for water and waste treatment. Recently, he has developed technologies to remove pathogenic microbes from drinking water in developing countries and has tested the efficacy of these technologies in reducing waterborne disease.
Sobsey also serves as a critical resource for North Carolina. Under his direction, the School's Environmental Virology and Microbiology Laboratory plays a key role in researching the microbiological quality of drinking water, bathing water, irrigation water, soil, coastal waters and shellfish in North Carolina in their efforts to protect the public against gastrointestinal and other diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and other microbes. Sobsey and other researchers affiliated with the lab collaborate with the State of North Carolina's Laboratory for Shellfish Sanitation (a Division of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and with UNC-CH Institute of Marine Sciences, both in Morehead City, N.C.
"Dr. Sobsey is one of the world's great problem solvers when it comes to getting safe water to people who need it," Rimer said.
The Kenan professorships were created through a 1917 bequest from Mary Lily Kenan Flagler Bingham to honor her father and uncle, Thomas S. Kenan and James Graham Kenan. Her bequest was one of the largest gifts made to a state university at the time.
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|Last updated September 08, 2009|