Jefferson Names First Endowed Chair in Radiology Department's History

Vijay M. Rao, M.D., F.A.C.R., professor and chair of the Department of Radiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, has been named to the first endowed chair in the department's history. This endowment honors the former chair of the department, David C. Levin, M.D., who led the department for 16 years. New York businessman, Arthur S. Penn, bestowed a generous gift to Jefferson to create the chair honoring Dr. Levin.

"It is my honor to be the first radiologist to hold this endowed chair in Dr. Levin's name," said Dr. Rao. "Dr. Levin has had an illustrious career and been a national leader in the field. He was a friend and mentor to me and I am delighted to be able to follow in his footsteps."

"Dr. Levin is world-renowned for his research in radiology, his academic track record, and dedication to patient care. He was instrumental in growing Jefferson's radiology department into what it is today, so this honor befits his considerable talents and accomplishments here," said Michael Vergare, M.D., interim dean, Jefferson Medical College. "Dr. Rao is recognized around the world as one of the leading experts in head and neck imaging. She has provided outstanding leadership since she assumed the radiology chair six years ago. She tirelessly works to keep Jefferson a leading institution in radiological research, so it is fitting that she been named as the holder of the first chair in the department's history honoring a physician she can so closely identify with in research pursuits and diagnostic ability," added Dr. Vergare.

Vijay M. Rao, M.D.,F.A.C.R.
Vijay M. Rao, M.D., F.A.C.R., is professor and chair of the Department of Radiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. She is a graduate of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India's premier medical school. She did her radiology residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and has remained on the department faculty ever since. She was appointed associate chair for Education in 1989 and then vice chair for Education in 2000. Upon her appointment as Department Chair in 2002, she became the first woman chair of a clinical department in Jefferson's history.

Dr. Rao is recognized around the world as one of the leading experts on imaging of the head and neck. She has published 156 papers and 163 abstracts in the medical literature and has edited a major textbook on head and neck radiology. She has given 176 presentations at other academic institutions and radiology meetings. In addition to her research on head and neck imaging, she is also very active and widely recognized in health services research in radiology.

Dr. Rao has held many leadership roles, including president of both the American Society of Head and Neck Radiology and the Association of Program Directors in Radiology. In 2006, she received the Distinguished Achievement Award of the latter organization for her outstanding contributions to radiology education nationally. She is a member of the editorial board of several leading radiology journals. In 2005, she was honored by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of 25 Women of Distinction throughout the region. For many years, she has been chosen by her peers to be included in Philadelphia Magazine's annual list of "Top Doctors."

David C. Levin, M.D.
David C. Levin, M.D.,professor and chairman emeritus of the Department of Radiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, became interested in medicine while serving as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He subsequently attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University and did his radiology residency at the UCLA Medical Center. He then held successive faculty positions at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Downstate Medical Center, and Harvard Medical School. At Harvard, he was Head of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, before being appointed acting chairman of that department. In 1986, he came to Jefferson as professor and chairman of its Department of Radiology, a post he held until his semi-retirement in 2002.

Dr. Levin served as president of the Society of Chairmen of Academic Radiology Departments, Chairman of the Council on Cardiovascular Radiology of the American Heart Association, and on the editorial boards of six leading radiology journals. In research, he has published 233 papers and 267 abstracts and given 511 presentations at national meetings or as an invited lecturer at other institutions. Among these are 18 named or special lectures around the country and abroad. His research interests have included cardiac and vascular imaging and interventions, and more recently economic issues in radiology.

Dr. Levin has received the Gold Medals (the highest honors) of the American College of Radiology, the Association of University Radiologists, the American Roentgen Ray Society and the Pennsylvania Radiological Society. He is still active in Jefferson's Department of Radiology performing cardiac CTs, doing health services research, and teaching classes.

Arthur S. Penn
Arthur S. Penn is a New York businessman and financier long associated with charitable endeavors in the arts and education. He began his career as an attorney in 1961 eventually gravitating to the financing and development of real estate and related businesses.

These undertakings led to his participation in the establishment of various structured financial entities for U.S. Fortune 500 companies. He has served as a member of the board of directors of several companies in the energy and power industries and was an early participant in the growth of the commercial paper affiliates of a major financial institution. In 1992, he led the acquisition of the Capital Markets Assurance Corporation from Citicorp and served as its vice chair until its merger with MBIA, Inc. He has served as the president of two affiliated investment firms, Elmrock Capital Inc. and Stillrock Management, for the last 25 years. He is a former chair of Cornell University's Institute for Digital Collections and the University Library Council. He served on the board of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell for many years and has been a Presidential Councilor at Cornell for nearly a decade.

Over the years, The Arthur and Marilyn Penn Charitable Foundation has sponsored an annual symposium on photography at the Johnson Museum, and he and his wife, Marilyn, have published four books on the history of photography. The Penns have been contributors from their extensive photography and art collection to America's leading museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum.

Dr. Rao resides in Lafayette Hill, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; and Dr. Levin resides in Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.