The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees recognized three recipients of Mayo Clinic named professorships on Aug. 10. Named professorships represent the highest academic distinction for faculty members at Mayo Clinic.
Of the three named was Vanda Lennon, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and director of the Autoimmune Neurology Fellowship Program in the Department of Neurology. She is recognized as the Dorothy A. Adair Professor. Mrs. Adair and her husband, Robert Adair, were owners of Robert L. Adair Oil Properties and R.L. Adair Corp. Mrs. Adair researched land records in rural county courthouses, and the couple bought affordable parcels, retaining the mineral rights and selling the land to pay off the loans. Throughout the 1950s-1970s oil boom, exploration companies leased the mineral rights.
Dr. Lennon has mentored 52 postdoctoral fellows, published 255 peer reviewed papers, received RO1 grant funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1974 and holds two U.S. patents. The focus of her research and clinical translational activities has been plasma membrane channel proteins and their pertinence to autoimmunity and cancer. Her research has reflected that early recognition of cancer is a significant initiator of neurological autoimmunity. In 2005, she established at Mayo Clinic the world's first Autoimmune Neurology Fellowship Training Program to formally bridge clinical immunology and neurology.