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Barbours Open Research Gateways with Gastroenterology Fellowship

Dr. Edmund and Judy BarbourIt’s natural that a chief of gastroenterology for 25 years at Oakwood Hospital (now Beaumont Hospital) in Dearborn, Mich., would choose to support his specialty when planning a major gift to his alma mater. After all, Edmund Barbour, MD ’66, and his wife of 54 years, Judy, already had made significant donations to MCW for research in gastroenterology and hepatology.

What drives their latest gift is not only their passion for research but a desire to motivate MCW fellows toward novel scientific pathways in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and pancreatic cancer. The Barbours’ gift – establishing the Edmund M. Barbour, MD, Endowed Research Fellowship in Gastroenterology – also is augmented by a matching legacy gift.

“I didn’t do a lot of research other than clinical, but I realize the great need for research in GI – and I had a large practice in IBD,” says Dr. Barbour. “Additionally, in my day it was a rare event to see a patient with pancreatic cancer, and now it’s common. You have to believe it’s something in our diet or lifestyle that’s causing it.”

The idea is to elevate MCW’s already strong fellowship program with seed funding for new projects and dedicate more time for fellows to create therapies and clinical programs that benefit patients. Another primary goal is the collection of preliminary results that facilitate extramural funding for Barbour Fellows to advance their studies.

The Barbours’ gift was made in honor of Walter J. Hogan, MD, a longtime mentor who continues to practice and teach as a professor at MCW. Dr. Barbour developed a high regard for Dr. Hogan during a medical school rotation at the Zablocki VA.

Judy Barbour, who graduated with a degree in medical technology from Marquette University, also was familiar with Dr. Hogan. “Judy agreed that Dr. Hogan was a super person and worthy of this honor,” Dr. Barbour notes. “My two years of clinical work at the Marquette University School of Medicine (MCW’s predecessor) really prepared me for my residency. My knowledge from medical school provided me with a great foundation.”

It’s one of the reasons Dr. Barbour continues to give back to his alma mater and has participated on his class reunion committee, adding, “When I come back for reunions, it always feels like home."