$6M UA fund for diseases of joints

December 20, 2007

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Eric Swedlund, Arizona Daily Star] – The University of Arizona has created a new endowed faculty position and research fund for the study of rheumatology, funded by a $6 million bequest from a longtime Tucson doctor.

Dr. Salvatore Albani was appointed Monday as the Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Chair of Rheumatology. Albani, who begins next month, will also serve as the director of the Arizona Arthritis Center.

Dr. Charles Stephens and his wife Suzanne left their entire estate to fund rheumatology research at the College of Medicine. Dr. Stephens was a captain in the U.S. Army, working in rheumatology and treating concentration camp survivors at the end of World War II. After leaving the army as a major in 1946, he joined the Holbrook-Hill Medical Clinic in Tucson.

Stephens was also an early faculty member in the UA’s medical school and worked with the Arthritis & Rheumatism Foundation and Southwest Clinic and Research Institute, early organizations that helped develop the Arthritis Foundation and Arizona Arthritis Center. Dr. Stephens died in 2002, and his wife passed away in 2004.

Albani comes to the UA from the University of California at San Diego, where he was a professor of medicine and pediatrics and director of the Translational Research Unit of the school’s Clinical Investigation Institute. Born in Italy, Albani joined the University of California at San Diego in 1993.