On August 21, Sanjiv J. Shah, MD, was formally invested as the Neil J. Stone, MD Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In a formal ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton, Dr. Shah was joined by his family and colleagues, Northwestern Medicine leadership, and the generous donor who made the Stone Professorship possible—John Flanagan, ’58 MBA.
“The creation of named and endowed professorships is enormously important as Feinberg endeavors to double the research enterprise and rise in the competitive pantheon of research-intensive schools,” said Douglas E. Vaughan, MD, Irving S. Cutter Professor of Medicine and chair of Medicine, who served as emcee at the investiture celebration. “The Neil J. Stone, MD Professorship is particularly special because it honors two of our esteemed faculty – its namesake and its faculty recipient—while showcasing yet again Mr. Flanagan’s generous legacy at Northwestern.”
The Stone Professorship was established in honor of Neil J. Stone, MD, who serves as Robert Bonow, MD Professor and professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Northwestern, by his longtime patient and friend, Mr. Flanagan*. The position has had a tremendous impact on the division’s ability to recruit and retain the brightest minds in cardiology who will follow in the footsteps of Dr. Stone.
“It is wonderful that this professorship gift came out of the doctor-patient relationship. It is a special reminder of why we do what we do,” said Dr. Shah. “We all want to be like Neil. His greatest legacy is his compassionate care. A master clinician, investigator, and educator, he is truly there for his patients—always.”
“I am in awe of John’s sense of philanthropy and desire to make his community a better place,” said Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc, Magerstadt Professor of Medicine and chief of Cardiology. Dr. Yancy also serves as vice dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Feinberg. He continued, “Neil sets the bar for who and how we should be as doctors. It is difficult to conceive of someone more deserving of this award in Neil’s name than Sanjiv.”
In addition to his new professorship position, Dr. Shah serves as professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology, director of the T1 Center for Cardiovascular Therapeutics, and director of the Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF) Program at Feinberg. HFpEF, one of the most prevalent cardiovascular diseases and one for which there are few proven treatments, is the focus of his clinical expertise and research. His work, including the establishment of the first dedicated HFpEF program in the world at Northwestern, has led to greater recognition of the disease, standardized evaluation and care, and improved enrollment in clinical trials.
“This professorship is an incredible endorsement of Sanjiv’s career, which is still ascending and has not yet reached its pinnacle,” said Dr. Yancy. “He is an international thought leader, and the go-to doctor for the most compelling cardiovascular diseases. Rarely have I seen a clinician-scientist of Sanjiv’s ilk—it is a privilege to work with him.”
*To elevate the impact of Mr. Flanagan’s generosity, the Stone Professorship was supported in part by alumni Patrick G. Ryan ’59, ’09 H, and Shirley W. Ryan ’61 through the Ryan Family Chair Challenge, which matches gifts made by other Northwestern supporters to establish new endowed professorships, or chairs, across a wide range of disciplines.