Andrew Colin, M.D., Named Batchelor Family Professor
Surrounded by his wife, son, friends, colleagues, members of the Batchelor Foundation and Miller School leadership, Andrew R.A. Colin, M.D., recounted his many life-changing years working with cystic fibrosis patients before humbly accepting the prestigious Batchelor Family Chair for Cystic Fibrosis and Pediatric Pulmonology.
But before Colin took to the lectern at the Tuesday evening dedication ceremony in the lobby of the Batchelor Children’s Research Institute, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.; Steven E. Lipshultz, M.D., the George Batchelor Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics; and Colin’s son, Michael Colin, M.D., provided glimpses of the extraordinary journey that made him a friend and advocate for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. They spoke about his early days in medicine in Israel and the great challenges and triumphs that made him a sought-after specialist at Harvard.
In introducing Colin, Dean Goldschmidt noted how fitting it is that the chair endowed by George Batchelor, another champion for children, and originally held by the late, highly respected Robert McKey, M.D., would now be held by another revered clinician and researcher internationally known in the CF and pulmonary field.
“The Batchelor Foundation clearly understands the role of research in eradicating childhood diseases and, because of its dedication, we are able to pass this long-established chair to Dr. Andrew Colin, one of our brilliant researchers,” Dean Goldschmidt said.
Under the care of McKey, founder and then-director of the UM Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, George Batchelor’s son, Falcon, was able to live with CF for many years. Family members who attended the event included Sandy Batchelor, foundation chair and co-CEO; Jon Batchelor, foundation executive vice president and a member of the UM Board of Trustees, Daniel Ferraresi, foundation trustee and co-CEO, Jack Falk, foundation trustee and counsel, and McKey’s widow, Ceil. Several people prominent in the South Florida CF community, pediatrics donors, and Ofer Bavly, Israeli consul general to Florida, also attended.
“Endowed chairs,” Dean Goldschmidt said, “are so important because they give the holder the wonderful ability to pursue critically important research toward a cure.”
Lipshultz talked about the founding of the UM Cystic Fibrosis Center, how the University’s reputation has grown over the years, and how George Batchelor’s “desire to help find a cure for the disease” is still the focus of much of the work being pursued today under Colin and his remarkable team. He described Colin, whom he worked with before coming to UM, as a giant in the field.
“He and his colleagues really created the field of infant pulmonary function,” Lipshultz said. “He was a clinical hero in Boston. He is one of my heroes.”
After a heartfelt and abridged recounting of his life story, which was clearly intertwined with studying and treating CF and pediatric pulmonary patients, Colin thanked his family, Lipshultz, and others who helped him along the way.
“I am greatly indebted to the members of the Batchelor Foundation, Dean Goldschmidt and the leadership of the University of Miami for trusting me with George Batchelor’s dream,” Colin said, “and giving me and members of my dream team, who are all here tonight, the tools to make this part of the world a better place for children.”