Two University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford researchers received named professorships at a formal investiture ceremony on March 28, 2018, at the college’s campus at 1601 Parkview Ave.
Mathew Thoppil-Mathew, Ph.D., received the Cedric W. Blazer Endowed Professorship in Biomedical Sciences and Xue-Jun Li, Ph.D., was the recipient of the Michael A. Werckle, MD, Endowed Professorship in Biomedical Sciences. Both are researchers in the college’s Regenerative Medicine and Disability Research Laboratory who joined the faculty in 2016.
Thoppil-Mathew is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the College of Medicine Rockford. His research focuses on the degradation mechanisms of dental and orthopedic implants to try to provide solutions to prevent them from failing. He has a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK, which was followed by postdoctoral training at the University of Minho in Portugal.
Li is also an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding neurodegenerative diseases and developing ways to treat them. She has a doctorate in neurobiology from Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University.
“Drs. Thoppil-Mathew and Li have created a dynamic lab with post-docs, research students, medical students and international collaborators who are leaders in their field,” explains Alex Stagnaro-Green, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine Rockford. “They are very deserving of this prestigious honor of receiving a named professorship.”
These professorships were made possible by a gift from The Blazer Foundation. The Cedric W. Blazer Endowed Professorship in Biomedical Sciences is named for the founder of The Blazer Foundation who led Zenith Cutter Company in Rockford, a leading manufacturer of industrial knives. The Michael A. Werckle, MD, Endowed Professorship in Biomedical Sciences is named in honor of a long-time faculty member of the College of Medicine Rockford.