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Villanova University Announces Gerald M. Lemole, M.D., Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology

New chair position honors accomplishments of Dr. Lemole, a Villanova alum, pioneer in cardiac thoracic medicine and member of surgical team that performed first successful heart transplant in U.S.

Aaron Bauer, Ph.D., Villanova director of graduate programs in biology and an expert on evolutionary patterns in reptiles and amphibians, named chair holder

November 12, 2008

VILLANOVA, Pa., Nov. 12, 2008 – Villanova University honors a high-profile alum and pioneer in cardiac thoracic medicine with the inauguration of the Gerald M. Lemole, M.D., Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology. Aaron M. Bauer, Ph.D., Villanova University director of graduate programs in biology and world-renowned expert on gecko lizards, has been named chair holder.

The inauguration of the Lemole Chair – which was created to support the career of a talented biology professor, advance the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and enhance the education of Villanova biology students – will take place on Monday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center on the University’s Main Campus.

Dr. Lemole, a 1958 Villanova graduate, is medical director of the Preventive Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute and its new Center for Integrative Health at the Christiana Cares Health System in Greenville, Del. A graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine, Dr. Lemole was a member of the surgical team that performed the first successful heart transplant in the United States in 1968. In 1986, he relocated his practice to develop the first open heart surgery program in Delaware. A past recipient of the American Medical Association Physician's Recognition Award, Dr. Lemole currently is on the medical staffs of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Episcopal Hospital, Graduate Hospital, Holy Redeemer Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, all in Philadelphia, and the A.I. du Pont Institute in Wilmington, Del.

“The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is deeply grateful to Dr. Lemole for his generosity in the establishment of this endowed chair in integrative biology,” said Fr. Kail C. Ellis, O.S.A., Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “This chair will serve not only to honor but also to advance the longstanding commitment of Villanova’s Arts and Sciences to scientific education, inquiry and discovery. I am very pleased that Dr. Bauer will be the first holder of the chair. An excellent teacher and researcher with an international reputation, Dr. Bauer is known for his dedication to students at Villanova.

The Lemole Endowed Chair is the first endowed chair to be awarded in the sciences in the University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The research and teaching components of the Endowed Chair’s activities will focus on the physiology of cells, tissues, organs and organisms, and their real-world application in the areas of health care, cardio-thoracic care, alternative medicine and nutrition.

Bauer, whose research interests include comparative anatomy, evolution and herpetology, is currently studying evolutionary patterns in reptiles and amphibians. A collaborative research project with the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum of Natural History in which Bauer was involved resulted in the discovery of a new family of gecko. Bauer relinquished the naming rights to the gecko in order to raise money for gecko conservation.

“I am very pleased to be named the Lemole endowed chair holder,” Bauer said. “The Lemole endowed chair reflects the recognition of the University community that the sciences, in general, and biology, in particular, have an important place in a Villanova liberal arts education and is fully consistent with the Augustinian tradition. I hope to be able to use the position to forge closer relationships between the sciences and liberal arts, and to foster more opportunities for students and faculty to explore the complex interfaces between biology and society.”

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.