Wedner named Korenblat Professor

From left, Larry J. Shapiro, H. James Wedner, Arleen Korenblat, Phillip Korenblat and Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton stand together after Wedner’s installation as the Dr. Phillip and Arleen Korenblat Professor. (Credit: mark beaven)

H. James Wedner, MD, has been installed as the Dr. Phillip and Arleen Korenblat Professor at Washington University School of Medicine, where he serves as chief of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The named professorship, a gift from Jess and Alice Yawitz, honors their longtime friend and physician, Phillip E. Korenblat, and his wife, Arleen. Korenblat is a clinical professor of medicine in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at the School of Medicine.

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, announced the appointment.

“The generosity of Jess and Alice Yawitz is further enhanced by choosing to honor Dr. and Mrs. Korenblat in this manner,” Wrighton said. “This marks the second time the Yawitzes have made their admiration of outstanding individuals at Washington University known through their gifts.”

The Yawitzes previously established the John Schael Scholarship to honor the university’s longtime director of athletics.

“In choosing to direct their most recent gift to the School of Medicine in the form of a professorship named after Dr. Korenblat, the Yawitzes have demonstrated keen understanding of the value of clinical research and training as well as excellence in clinical care,” Shapiro said. “Dr. Wedner embodies these ideals.”

Alice and Jess Yawitz stand together after the installation. Their gift established the professorship. (Credit: Mark Beaven)

In their decision to name the professorship after the Korenblats, the donors, Jess and Alice Yawitz, cited their admiration for Korenblat’s reputation as an outstanding educator as well as a leading clinician. “He frequently had Washington University residents trailing him at his practice,” said Jess Yawitz. “He seemed keen on passing wisdom down to the next generation.”

Korenblat has been in private practice in St. Louis since 1966. From 1989 to 1991, he was the first chief of staff at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, where he originated the community’s first dedicated center for asthma care. He is a clinical professor of medicine at the School of Medicine. Arleen Korenblat has been a committed benefactor and volunteer leader for many organizations in St. Louis.

Wedner, who joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1973, also serves as medical director of The Asthma and Allergy Center at the university and directs the allergy and clinical immunology fellowship training program. He has served as a member of the institutional review board of the Office of Human Research Protection since 1996.

Wedner has held editorial responsibilities for leading immunology publications, including The Journal of Immunology and The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. He is a fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology. His numerous awards include the Clarence C. Coryell Prize in Medicine and the Bordon Award for Research from Cornell University Medical College.

Jess and Alice Yawitz

Jess B. Yawitz, PhD, is chairman and chief executive officer of NISA Investment Advisors. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Washington University. From 1971 to 1985, Yawitz was a faculty member of the Olin School of Business at the university, where he became the John E. Simon Professor of Finance and served as director of the school’s Institute of Banking and Financial Markets. He is the author of two books on aspects of the fixed-income markets.

He later served as chief investment officer at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. In 1994, Yawitz co-founded NISA Investment Advisors, a St. Louis-based firm.

He has received both a Distinguished Faculty Award and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University. In 2006, Yawitz, who holds the career victories record for the university’s wrestling program, was inducted into the Washington University Sports Hall of Fame.

Alice Yawitz, also a graduate of Washington University School of Business, is a founding member of Mid-County Teen Advocacy Council. She has been a volunteer and committee member of the St. Louis Zoo Friends and is a charter member of Support Dogs Inc.

In addition to the named professorship and named scholarship, Jess and Alice Yawitz have provided scholarships for students who experience financial emergencies. They are regarded as generous supporters of Washington University.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.