The First Trilling Professor
Endowed faculty position will enable microbiologist John Leong to advance his research in geriatrics.
John Leong, chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, has been named the medical school’s first Edith Rieva and Hyman S. Trilling Professor.
The Trilling Professorship is designed to support an outstanding educator who conducts research related to aging or geriatrics. Leong’s lab has a long history of investigating the behavior of bacterial pathogens in the human host. He is particularly interested in addressing the observation that age is accompanied by an increased susceptibility to infection.
Leong’s association with Tufts began when he did postdoctoral training with Ralph Isberg, professor of molecular biology and microbiology; he later was appointed an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology at Tufts Medical Center. Prior to becoming professor and chair of molecular biology and microbiology in 2011, Leong served as professor and vice chair of microbiology and physiological systems at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
The endowed professorship was made possible through a gift from Hyman Trilling, a 1928 alumnus of Tufts College, and his wife, Edith. A businessman who studied economics at Tufts, Trilling founded Hub Cash and Carry Groceries, the frozen fish company Boston Bonnie and Boston Bonnie Bakers.
Long interested in the concerns of the elderly, the couple established the Trilling House, an assisted-living center in Randolph, Massachusetts.