Dr. James Madara, CEO and executive vice president of the American Medical Association, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman will address The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences graduates at the commencement ceremony Friday, May 30, at 2 p.m. at Stranahan Theater.
There are some 250 candidates for degrees; these include 171 for doctor of medicine degrees, 42 for master of public health degrees, nine for master of biomedical sciences degrees, seven for master of occupational health degrees, and 18 students for graduate certificates.
Eleven students are candidates for a PhD in biomedical sciences.Madara will receive an honorary doctor of science degree, and Portman will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.
“We are honored to have these two leaders willing to share their experiences and advice with our graduating students,” said Dr. Ron McGinnis, interim dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “This is a great opportunity for our graduates to gain knowledge from two distinguished professionals before embarking on the next phase of their careers.”
As CEO and executive vice president of the American Medical Association, Madara oversees the nation’s largest physician organization.
An accomplished academic medical center physician, medical scientist and administrator, Madara previously served as Timmie Professor and chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine.
He also held the Thompson Distinguished Professorship and deanship at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He was the longest serving Pritzker dean in the last 35 years.
During his deanship at the University of Chicago, which also extended to the university’s Biological Sciences Division, Madara served as CEO of the University of Chicago Medical Center, bringing together the school’s biomedical research, teaching and clinical activities.
Madara is a noted academic pathologist and an authority on epithelial cell biology and gastrointestinal disease. He has made important contributions to understanding the biology of the cells that line the digestive tract, with more than 200 published original papers and chapters. His work has garnered both national and international awards.
He is a recipient of a prestigious Method to Extend Research in Time Award from the National Institutes of Health and recently received the Davenport Award for lifetime achievement in gastrointestinal disease from the American Physiological Society.
Madara has served as president of the American Board of Pathology and as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Pathology.
He earned his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical Center in Philadelphia. He completed an internship and residency at New England Deaconess Hospital and a fellowship in anatomy and cell biology at the former Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, now Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston. After completing his fellowship, he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School and became a full tenured professor. He also served as director of the Harvard Digestive Diseases Center.Portman was elected to the United States Senate, winning 82 of 88 counties, representing Ohio in 2010. He previously served 12 years in the House of Representatives from Ohio’s 2nd District.
During his time in Congress, he promoted welfare reform efforts and was a strong advocate of the balanced budget that passed in 1997. Portman was involved in several bipartisan legislative initiatives, including advocating to increase retirement savings, IRS reform, the addition of more than 50 new taxpayer rights, curbing unfunded mandates, tax reduction, and expanding drug prevention and land conservation efforts.
Portman left Congress in 2005 to serve in a cabinet-level post as the United States trade representative, responsible for implementing and enforcing U.S. trade policy. He was able to reduce barriers to U.S. exports and increase enforcement of trade laws to help American farmers, workers and service providers. Under his leadership, American exports increased, and the United States brought successful legal challenges against international trade law violations. He also served as director of the Office of Management and Budget.
He currently serves on several U.S. Senate committees, including the Senate Finance Committee, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce (as a ranking member), the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations and the District of Columbia, and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, with assignments on the Subcommittee on Energy and the Subcommittee on National Parks.
Portman received his bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College and studied law at the University of Michigan. After graduating from law school, Portman moved to Washington, D.C., where he became a trade law expert and lobbyist for the firm Patton Boggs. He then became an associate at Graydon, Head & Ritchey, a Cincinnati law firm.