Matthew Ennis, PhD, Named Chairman of Anatomy and Neurobiology

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Steve J. Schwab, MD, executive dean of the College of Medicine for UTHSC, has announced the appointment of Matthew Ennis, PhD, as the Simon R. Bruesch Endowed Professor and chairman for the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology.

Steve J. Schwab, MD, executive dean of the College of Medicine for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has announced the appointment of Matthew Ennis, PhD, as the Simon R. Bruesch Endowed Professor and chairman for the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in the College of Medicine.

Dr. Ennis is a five-year veteran of UTHSC, having joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology as professor in 2003. Dr. Ennis is a systems neuroscientist whose research focuses on neural networks involved in olfaction, taste and pain regulation. Since his arrival at UTHSC, he has been continuously funded by multiple research grants and is currently the principal investigator and a co-principal investigator on grants funded by the NIH. Other members of Dr. Ennis’s research team are also independently funded by NIH research grants.

Dr. Ennis noted that it is an honor and privilege to step into a leadership role in a department that has consistently ranked in the top-tier of neurobiology departments nationally. The most recent NIH research grant rankings in 2005 placed the department in the 12th position nationally among U.S. medical school neuroscience departments.

In addition to Anatomy and Neurobiology, UTHSC is home to an interdepartmental Neuroscience Institute, which represents researchers across basic science and clinical departments, as well as scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Memphis. “The vitality of neuroscience at UTHSC was the driving force that attracted me here five years ago. As we move forward the department looks to recruit outstanding neuroscientists who will complement and enhance our existing strengths, and to explore opportunities for new growth and collaborative neuroscience research and training across UTHSC,” Dr. Ennis said.

“Equally important, Anatomy and Neurobiology serves a vital educational mission on the campus. We are responsible for gross anatomy, neuroanatomy and histology for the Colleges of Medicine, Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry and Nursing, as well as all neuroscience courses in the College of Graduate Health Sciences,” he explained. “We take great pride in training the next generation of neuroscientists and health care professionals.”

“The national search for the chair of Anatomy and Neurobiology was ably led by UT Neurology Chair William Pulsinelli, MD, PhD. Several outstanding chair finalists were identified from a field of more than 15 candidates,” noted Dr. Schwab. “Dr. Ennis emerged as the most qualified individual to further the growth of the department as well as to lead an outstanding group of accomplished researchers,” he stated.

Dr. Pulsinelli added, “Dr. Ennis is highly respected by the faculty in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and their enthusiastic support, along with his national reputation for research excellence, were important factors in the deliberations of the search committee.”