Endowed Chairs & Professorships
Drs. Harold and Mary Zirin Chair in Pulmonary Biology
Investigating lung disease
The continued study of the cells of the lungs and airways will help
contribute to our understanding of asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and
other severe lung diseases.
The cure for these diseases depends on our understanding of their
biological nature. By endowing a chair in pulmonary biology, Drs.
Harold and Mary Zirin help ensure the discovery of more effective
treatments and cures fro respiratory ailments that affect millions
around the world.
Physician-scientist Greg Downey, MD, was hired in the Fall of 2006
to be the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at National
Jewish Health and holds the Drs. Harold and Mary Zirin Chair in
Pulmonary Biology. Previously, he served as an endowed Professor of
Medicine, Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine and Chief of
Respirology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Downey oversees academic
and research programs at National Jewish Health, integrating the
clinical and research efforts of the Departments of Medicine,
Pediatrics and Immunology.
In addition to his positions at the University of Toronto, Dr.
Downey has served since 2001 as the Canada Research Chair in
Respiration for the Canada Institutes of Health Research. Dr. Downey’s
research and clinical interests include pulmonary cell biology and
acute lung injury. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed
scientific articles, editorials and book chapters.
Dr. Downey received his medical degree from the University of
Manitoba in 1980, did his internship and residency in internal medicine
at Beth Israel and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical
School, and completed his clinical fellowship in pulmonary medicine at
the University of Colorado Denver and National Jewish Health in 1986.
He then completed a research fellowship in pulmonary cell biology in
1988 at National Jewish Health, while simultaneously serving as a staff
physician and Medical Director for the Adult Special Care Unit at
National Jewish Health.
Dr. Downey has received numerous honors throughout this career,
beginning with a 1989 Career Scientist Award from the Ontario Ministry
of Health. In 1997 he was elected to the American Society of Clinical
Investigation, and in 1999 he received a Department of Medicine
Research Award from the University of Toronto. More recently, he was
named a Scholar with the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine at
the University of Toronto in 2004 and received the Canadian Cystic
Fibrosis Foundation Zeller’s Senior Scientist award for outstanding
contributions to Cystic Fibrosis Research. He has served as the
Associate Editor of the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and
Molecular Biology since 2002.
Greg Downey, MD