Crowder named Brown Professor in Anesthesiology

C. Michael Crowder, M.D., Ph.D., has been named the Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professor in Anesthesiology

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, made the announcement.


“Dr. and Mrs. Brown’s support has been very important to the University and to the School of Medicine,” Wrighton said. “Their generosity is advancing the outstanding research of some of our leading scientists.”

Crowder’s research involves identifying the targets of general anesthetics as well as looking for genes that control survival and adaptation to cellular injury from low oxygen (hypoxia). In conditions such as stroke and heart attack, hypoxia often damages or kills cells. Crowder is learning more about the mechanisms that make cells either vulnerable to hypoxia or resistant to it.

“Mike Crowder is one of the leading physician-scientists in anesthesia research,” Shapiro said. “His work in the model organism C. elegans has helped elucidate genetic and cellular mechanisms in those microscopic worms that also are important in human disease, and his outstanding work with medical students and fellows has helped to advance the school’s educational mission. He is clearly deserving of this honor.”

The Brown professorship was established in memory of Rose Brown’s husband, Seymour Brown, M.D., and in honor of Alex S. Evers, M.D., the Henry Elliot Mallinckrodt Professor and head of the Department of Anesthesiology.

A native St. Louisan, Rose Brown graduated from Washington University in 1936 with a bachelor’s degree in education and biology. After college, she served on the editorial staff of the C.V. Mosby Co., editing medical books and journals.

Seymour Brown, M.D., also a native St. Louisan and a graduate of Washington University and the School of Medicine, returned to St. Louis after decorated service in World War II and became one of the first full-time anesthesiologists in St. Louis and an acknowledged pioneer of that specialty. He served more than 40 years as chief of anesthesiology at St. John’s Mercy Hospital and was on the clinical teaching faculty of Saint Louis University School of Medicine for more than three decades.

In addition to the Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professorship in Anesthesiology, the Browns also established the Seymour Brown, M.D., and Rose Tropp Brown Endowment for Research in the Division of Gastroenterology, in memory of their son Alvin R. Brown, M.D., who completed his residency in gastroenterology at the School of Medicine and passed away in 2000.

Crowder is chief of the Anesthesiology Research Unit at the School of Medicine. He also is an attending anesthesiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where he cares primarily for patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures, and a faculty member at the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders.

“I am honored and grateful for this recognition, which helps to recognize and boost the entire research effort in our department,” Crowder said. “We are blessed with outstanding scientists making important advancements in the understanding of nerve signaling, pain biology and cell death from hypoxia and infection. I am proud to be part of this exciting research effort.”