Winter 2017

The First Trilling Professor

Endowed faculty position will enable microbiologist John Leong to advance his research in geriatrics.

Previous Next

John Leong. Photo: Alonso Nichols

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.

Top Stories

Head in the Clouds

There’s never been a good test for how altitude affects a mountain climber’s mental acuity. But recently one of our students took steps to improve things.

In A New Light

With its latest gift, a $15 million donation, the Jaharis Family Foundation Inc. will move the anatomy lab into modern new space and ease the debt burden on students specializing in family medicine.

A Cancer Cell’s Achilles’ Heel

Cell biologist Michael Forgac targets a mechanism that allows cancer to spread.

Heart Guard

High-tech chest protector thwarts sudden death in young athletes.

Open-and-Shut Case

John Santa, ’76, is leading an effort to make doctors’ notes from office visits readily accessible to patients, but not everyone is so eager to see it happen.

Starting Over Again

How a Tufts residency program is helping a small community of Haitian refugees in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Editor's Picks

The Alzheimer’s Hope

First, neuroscientist Philip Haydon made himself an expert in a little-known area of brain science. Now he is testing a revolutionary new approach that shows great promise for the treatment of this dread modern disease

Big Road Blues

Living near a highway can be bad for your health in a million small ways

Disease Detective

On the trail of health threats around the globe 

Field Marshal

At the height of the Depression and against all odds, Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, ’24, ventured to Mississippi to blaze a resonant new trail in public health

Resistance Fighter

Longtime faculty member Stuart Levy has spent a lifetime studying mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and crusading to abolish the use of antibiotics in animal feed 

The Gift

Over the past 30 years, the live-donor liver transplant program at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center has treated more patients than any comparable program in the country. One of those patients had his life saved thanks to a donation by his son, a Tufts medical student. Here, in their own words, is the story of that experience