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Mutch Named the Ira C. and Judith Gall Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Contact:
Gila Z. Reckess
314.286.0109
reckessg@msnotes.wustl.edu


St. Louis, July 3, 2001 -- Cancer specialist David G. Mutch, M.D., has been named the first Ira C. and Judith Gall Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The professorship was established by Ira C. Gall, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the School of Medicine, and his wife, Judith Gall.

Mark S. Wrighton, Ph.D., chancellor of Washington University, and William A. Peck, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, made the announcement.

"I congratulate David Mutch on this well-earned honor," says Wrighton. "I am tremendously grateful to the Galls for their magnanimous contribution. Gifts like this perpetuate the university's tradition of academic excellence and community involvement."

"Through community service and philanthropy, Ira and Judith Gall already have had an admirable impact on the St. Louis community," says Peck. "I can think of no one more qualified and capable of continuing the Galls' commitment to improving clinical care for women than David Mutch. He is a premier physician, clinical researcher and teacher."

Mutch currently is professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, one of the largest divisions of its kind in the country. He completed his medical degree at the School of Medicine in 1980 and remained at the university for his internship and residency. He met Ira Gall during his early medical training.

"Ira not only was my teacher when I was a student and resident, but he also has been a significant contributor to the university's three-tiered mission of teaching, research and patient care," says Mutch. "I'm honored to implement this gift from the Galls."

Mutch joined the Washington University faculty in 1987, after spending three years in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke University Medical Center. He is known for his research on gynecologic cancers, focusing in particular on cervical and endometrial cancers.

Cervical cancer occurs most often in women under 50. Once the most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States, the incidence has significantly decreased thanks to improvements such as routine Pap testing. However, the Division of Gynecologic Oncology still treats more than 150 patients each year.

"We have made great progress in treating gynecologic tumors such as cervical cancer, but it's still a significant threat," says Mutch. Several years ago, his team and others showed that a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy is a more effective treatment for cervical cancer than either treatment alone.

His research also focuses on endometrial cancer, a dangerous disease that arises in the lining of the uterus. He now is collaborating with Paul J. Goodfellow, Ph.D., professor of genetics, surgery and obstetrics and gynecology, to examine the molecular events that lead to endometrial cancer. The research team is characterizing and cloning the gene already found to be important in the development of this form of cancer.

Mutch's research and teaching have earned him many honors, including Teacher of the Year Awards in 1989 and 1994, the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Award for best paper in 1989 and the Hugh M. Wilson Award in Radiology in 1980.

He also is a member of several academic societies, including the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He chairs the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Cancer Committee.

Ira Gall also has been involved in the field of gynecology. He received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1951 and came to St. Louis with his wife, Judith, in 1952 to pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the School of Medicine and Barnes Hospital. In 1955, he began one of the first physician corporations in Missouri, Obstetrics & Gynecology Inc., with the late Mitchell Yanow, M.D., an alum of the School of Medicine (1941) and professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology.

In 1970, Gall and Yanow founded Medicine Shoppe International Inc. to offer medications and supplies at less cost than traditional drug stores. Cardinal Health Inc. bought the chain in 1995.

Ira Gall was a board member for the Jewish Federation and is a lifetime trustee of Temple Israel, where the Gall Sanctuary was named in the family's honor. He currently serves on the Medical School National Council at the University and was a past Eliot Society Membership Committee member. Both Galls are Life Patrons of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society.

Judith Gall worked at Jewish Hospital when the couple first moved to St. Louis. She helped WWII refugees and now is a lifetime member of the Hospital Auxiliary. This experience, inspired her to participate in founding the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center in St. Louis. She also has been involved with Metropolitan Employment and Rehabilitation Services (MERS), a statewide agency that offers training, employment and rehabilitation services to people in need, and she serves on the board at the Miriam School. She has been a longtime supporter of Jewish Family & Children Services, Technion University, the Jewish Book Festival and Logos School and has served on the board of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. In 1999, she was named Woman of Achievement by KMOX radio and Suburban newspapers.

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The full-time and volunteer faculty of Washington University School of Medicine are the physicians and surgeons of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC Healthcare.

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Washington University School of Medicine, Office of Medical Public Affairs, Washington University School of Medicine at Washington University Medical Center, Campus Box 8508, 4444 Forest Park Ave., St. Louis MO 63108-2259, (314) 286-0100 FAX: (314) 286-0199


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