Endowed Chairs & Professorships

Cetalie & Marcel Weiss Chair in Pulmonary MedicineRobert J. Mason, MD

Understanding the Environmental Impact on Lung Health

Enabling patients to breathe better has long been an important mission of National Jewish Health. With the establishment of this chair in pulmonary medicine, Cetalie and Marcel Weiss provide resources to direct research into environmental factors that affect pulmonary health. Children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are among those who will benefit from this philanthropy.

Robert J. Mason, MD arrived at National Jewish Health in 1981 to serve as Head of the Department of Medicine's Pulmonary Division.  In 1985, Dr. Mason was appointed Chairman of the Department of Medicine and led the department for eleven years.  In 1996, he stepped down from the position to devote more time to research.  Dr. Mason currently serves as Director of the Environmental Lung Center and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and holds the Cetalie and Marcel Weiss Chair in Pulmonary Medicine.
Dr. Mason's clinical specialty is treatment of adult pulmonary disease, especially asthma.  As a researcher, he is a pioneer in studies on pulmonary surfactant and on the biochemical processes that enable the lung to recover from injury and disease.  Dr. Mason was the first to isolate alveolar type II epithelial cells, which produce surface-active material, and has continued to study their function and regulation.  He received a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health for his research in lung cell biology.  Most recently Dr. Mason is studying the effects of viral infections including SARS in human lung alveolar epithelial cells.

Dr. Mason is an active member of many professional societies, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Thoracic Society and the American Physiological Society.  He received an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association.  In 2000, Dr. Mason received an award from the American Thoracic Society for Scientific Achievement.  He is also Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver and has served on the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed medical journals.  Dr. Mason lectures extensively at national and international conferences.
Dr. Mason earned his Medical Degree from Western Reserve Medical School inCleveland, Ohio.  Following an internship on the Harvard Medical Service at Boston City Hospital, he fulfilled his residency at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.  He received his pulmonary training at the University of California, San Francisco, and was a member of their faculty until he came to Denver in 1981.

Robert J. Mason, MD