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Lockwood Charitable Foundation creates two proton therapy professorships with $2 million endowment
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 20, 2011 — Nancy P. Mendenhall, M.D., medical director of the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute and associate chair of the UF department of radiation oncology, is the recipient of a James E. Lockwood Professorship.
The newly created professorship is made possible by a $1 million endowment from the Lockwood Charitable Foundation and is the first of two $1 million professorships that will be announced by the Foundation for Proton Therapy.
Mendenhall formally accepted the professorship during a “Celebrating Distinction” ceremony at the UF Health Science Center campus in Gainesville.
A UF College of Medicine alumna from the Class of 1980 and faculty member since 1985, Mendenhall served as the chair of the department of radiation oncology from 1993-2006. She has more than 20 years of experience and specializes in the areas of breast cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, lymphomas and pediatric cancers. She also treats patients who have prostate cancer and other malignancies.
Mendenhall is a leader in research, has extensive experience in cooperative group trials (COG) and has produced more than 130 published works, including articles in such publications as the American Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. In addition, she has been named in several leading women's magazines as one of the nation’s top doctors for women with cancer. Currently, Mendenhall is responsible for the day-to-day clinical operations of the UF Proton Therapy Institute, the only proton therapy center in the Southeast. Out of 36 proton centers worldwide, UF Proton Therapy Institute ranks sixth in terms of the number of patients treated, moving ahead three places in just the last year.
“This award reinforces the importance of Dr. Mendenhall’s contributions to advancing treatment and research in the field of proton therapy,” said Stuart Klein, executive director of the UF Proton Therapy Institute. “We are grateful for the generous endowment from the Lockwood Charitable Foundation, enabling us to continue research that will benefit cancer patients for generations to come.”
The endowment is established in honor of James E. Lockwood, a pioneer and inventor in the fields of underwater breathing technology, underwater archaeology and underwater photography.
He co-created the first diving lungs used in deep sea diving in the 1930s. The submersible cameras he developed caught the underwater exploits of Tarzan in 12 Hollywood films and he developed some of the underwater props used in the 1954 Disney classic movie, “20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” He served in the Navy and the Coast Guard where he piloted the submarine Peto (the first submarine built in the Great Lakes) down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico on its way to Australia during World War II. In the late 1960s, Lockwood discovered the underwater remnants of an ancient Haitian temple, which pre-dated the Incan and Aztec civilizations. He died from cancer at the age of 92 in 2003.
Exemplified by world-class scholarship and instruction, endowed professorships and chairs are among the most significant awards conferred to faculty. Income from these funds provides salary, research support and resources for program development that enable educators to pursue projects at the forefront of their fields.
UF Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine and the UF Shands Cancer Center, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing the disease. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day. For more information about UF Proton Therapy Institute, please visit www.floridaproton.org, or call toll-free 877-686-6009.
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