Sarah H. Lisanby, MD, chair for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and James Blumenthal, PhD, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, have been named J.P. Gibbons Professors of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
Mr. John P. Gibbons, an 1898 graduate of Trinity College, now Duke University, was a very industrial man. Early in his career he became president of the Hamlet Coca-Cola Company, a prominent figure in North Carolina insurance and real estate, and later in banking. Throughout his life, he was an active member of his community and several organizations including the Kiwanis and Rotary service organizations.
Mr. Gibbons took a personal interest in the activities of Duke University Medical Center and visited campus on a number of occasions. In 1961, he and his daughter attended a lecture given by Dr. Ewald W. Busse on the relevant research of the normal aging process. Immediately after hearing the lecture, they approached Dr. Busse to discuss this intriguing topic further. During this conversation, the proposal of the establishment of the J. P. Gibbons Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry was created. The establishment of this endowed professorship was announced upon Mr. Gibbons passing in 1963. In 1966, Mrs. Virginia Ware Gibbons made provisions to increase the endowment upon her passing.
Dr. Lisanby is an internationally recognized leader in the field of brain stimulation. A pioneer in a novel depression treatment called magnetic seizure therapy (MST), she is the co-author on more than 150 publications.
Dr. Blumenthal is considered a vanguard on research focused on psychosocial factors and coronary heart disease, depression and exercise. These distinguished professorships were established in 1963 by the late John P. Gibbons, Jr., a 1929 graduate of Duke University’s Trinity College, and his wife, Dorothy.
Distinguished professorships are the highest academic award that a university can bestow on a faculty member. They recognize faculty members’ achievements in science and medicine, pay tribute to named honorees, and serve as an enduring tribute to the donor who established them.