News Release: School of Public Health

Apr. 14,  2009

Emory Establishes Endowed Chair for Rollins School of Public Health Dean

News Article ImageJames W. Curran, MD, MPH

Emory University has established an endowed chair in honor of Rollins School of Public Health Dean James W. Curran, MD, MPH. The recognition marks the first time Emory has endowed a chair for a sitting dean. Curran and his successors will be known as the James W. Curran Dean of Public Health.

"Dr. Curran’s extraordinary vision and leadership have helped to establish the Rollins School of Public Health as a world leader in public health education and research," says Emory University President James W. Wagner, PhD. "This gift is a testament to his contributions over the years and confidence in his future endeavors as he continues his leadership at Emory."

The gift was made possible by the generosity of Emory University and Lawrence P. and Ann Estes Klamon, longtime friends of Emory and the Rollins School of Public Health. The Klamons are also co-chairs of the school's $150 million fundraising initiative as part of Campaign Emory, the University's $1.6 billion fundraising effort.

Curran has served as professor of epidemiology and dean of the Rollins School of Public Health since 1995. Under his leadership, the school has grown from 30 faculty members and $5 million in research grants when it was founded in 1990, to nearly 200 faculty, 900 graduate and doctoral students, and more than $55 million in annually funded research today. It also has established close partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Cancer Society, CARE and The Carter Center. Curran is also principal investigator and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research.

"Dr. Curran has provided excellent leadership to the Rollins School of Public Health for a decade while overseeing tremendous growth," says Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD, Emory executive vice president for health affairs and chairman of Emory Healthcare. "His proven ability to collaborate within the University and with external partners has helped to build many bridges to exciting opportunities for the school in Atlanta, the region, nationally and globally."

Prior to joining Emory, Curran led the HIV/AIDS Division at CDC, where he attained the rank of assistant surgeon general. He is a member of the American Epidemiologic Society, the American College of Preventive Medicine, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and a member of the Institute of Medicine, where he chairs the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. Curran was awarded the Surgeon General's Medal of Excellence in 1996 and is past chair of the Association of Schools of Public Health.

In appreciation for the Klamon's generous gift, the Rollins School of Public Health will name its 2,720 square-foot-multipurpose meeting space in its new building after the philanthropists. The Lawrence P. and Ann Estes Klamon Room will be located on the top floor of the Claudia Nance Rollins Building, slated to open in fall 2010.

The Klamon's strong ties to Emory extend far beyond their roles as campaign co-chairs and ambassadors for the school of public health. Ann is a graduate of Emory College and Emory Law School. Lawrence chairs the Rollins School of Public Health's Dean Council. He has also served on the Goizueta Business School's Advisory Council and the University's Board of Visitors.

"Jim Curran's outstanding leadership deserves special recognition," says Ann Estes Klamon. "Larry and I are honored to support Jim and to help the Rollins School of School of Public Health achieve its goal of better health for people around the globe."

To learn more about the Rollins School of Public Health, visit


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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