LSU Health Shreveport has received a generous gift of $64,000 from Dr. and Mrs. Dennis J. O’Callaghan to establish an endowed professorship within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Graduate Studies. The O’Callaghan Family Endowed Professorship in Microbiology will enhance the department’s competitive, cutting-edge research program and facilitate the continued research productivity and academic excellence of a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
The gift from the O’Callaghan family will be combined with other donations supporting the O’Callaghan Family Endowed Professorship, which honors Dr. O’Callaghan’s parents, John and Odeal O’Callaghan, and the life and legacy of Dr. O’Callaghan’s wife of 51 years, Helen Frances O’Callaghan, who sadly passed away in November 2018.
The Louisiana Board of Regents through its Endowed Professorships program has provided $20,000 in matching funds to create this professorship.
“Dr. O’Callaghan came to us as he was approaching his retirement last spring with the desire to have a deeper impact on the institution he loved so dearly. He has given so much to LSU Health Shreveport already over the years, yet still wanted to give back and do something truly special to support LSUHS faculty and students,” said Kevin Flood, president and CEO of the LSU Health Sciences Foundation. “This endowed professorship bears the name ‘The O’Callaghan Family Endowed Professorship’ to honor Dr. O’Callaghan’s parents and his beloved wife. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to this Endowed Professorship and honored to have it be a part of Dr. O’Callaghan’s legacy at LSU Health Shreveport.”
Matthew D. Woolard, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, is the first holder of the O’Callaghan Family Endowed Professorship in Microbiology. Dr. O’Callaghan and Dr. Martin Sapp, PhD, Chairman of the Microbiology and Immunology Department, shared that Dr. Woolard is a talented and outstanding scientist, faculty member, and mentor to doctoral and postdoctoral trainees. His ongoing research on atherosclerosis is supported by a R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and he serves his field nationally and internationally as a journal reviewer and member of numerous scientific societies. Dr. Woolard was recognized at an investiture ceremony held on September 18.
About Dennis J. O’Callaghan, PhD:
Dr. Dennis J. O’Callaghan, Boyd Professor Emeritus, served LSU Health Shreveport for nearly 34 years as the Chairman of Microbiology and Immunology. During his tenure, Dr. O’Callaghan taught approximately 10,000 students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical residents throughout his career. At LSUHS, Dr. O’Callaghan developed the Doctoral Program in Microbiology and Immunology and established the Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology (CMTV), which was awarded 15 years of funding by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Research Resources. His contributions to research at LSUHS are extensive. He was the first faculty member to be awarded a COBRE grant, which supported the CMTV, and has secured more than $39 million dollars in research funding, the most of any faculty member in the history of the institution.