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portrait of Don Torry

July 3, 2012

SIU Med School Names Chairman of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology

Donald Torry, Ph.D., has been named chairman of the Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He succeeds Morris Cooper, Ph.D., who has retired after 39 years at SIU School of Medicine.

Torry is also professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Year 2 curriculum for the School of Medicine.

His research has focused on understanding immunological and cellular mechanisms leading to preeclampsia during pregnancy.  His laboratory has characterized different factors that regulate production of placenta growth factor and a soluble form of its receptor by the placenta in pregnant women who develop preeclampsia.

Torry was honored in 2011 with a lifetime achievement award for reproductive immunology research from the American Society for Reproductive Immunology. His research has been funded for 15 years by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association and March of Dimes Birth Defect Foundation. He has served as a permanent member of the Pregnancy and Neonatology Study Section at NIH.

Torry joined the SIU faculty in 2000.  He completed a three-year research fellowship in pathology at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass. (1992).  Torry completed his doctoral degree in microbiology and immunology as well as his master’s and bachelor’s degrees at SIU Carbondale (1989, 1985, 1982).

Previously, he was an assistant professor of immunology and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Tennessee (UT) Graduate School of Medicine in Knoxville, Tenn. (1993-2000, 1999-2000). He also has held UT faculty appointments in comparative and experimental medicine (1994-2000), physiology (1993-95), and life sciences graduate (1997-2000) programs.

A native of Washington, Ill., Torry and his wife, Lisa, are the parents of six children.