The endowed position was named in honor of Johnson City native and professor emeritus Dr. Carroll Hardy Long, who first practiced family medicine in Johnson City in 1932. He left the area for a brief time to serve as a surgical fellow at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans before returning to establish the Johnson City area’s first exclusively surgical practice. Strongly committed to the community, Long served on the city commission and school board as well as serving as mayor of Johnson City for a time. During his career, he was an important factor in the creation of the clinical aspects of the medical school at ETSU and also was an active missionary, making several trips to India through the Methodist church. In honor of his contributions, in 1988, friends and colleagues endowed the chair position in his name to support research efforts at the medical school.
The primary functions of the chair position are to advise and guide residents in research; to promote faculty research involvement; to supervise student learning research procedures; to support departmental teaching activities; to present and publish scientific findings; to obtain funding for research projects; to strengthen institutional teaching, patient care and research programs; and to enhance the institutional recognition by public and professional communities.
During a special ceremony recognizing Williams as the new Chair of Excellence, Quillen College of Medicine Dean Dr. Robert Means said he had no doubt Williams would continue to advance leadership within the medical school through the role.
“Before I even met him, Dr. Williams was already known to me because of his extensive research,” Means pointed out. “He continues to be one of our leading investigators.”
Williams, who is also the co-director of ETSU’s Center for Inflammation, Infectious Disease and Immunity, is conducting research projects through multiple grants funded by the National Institutes of Health and other entities. His research in inflammation and immunology has garnered extensive recognition.
“I really have enjoyed the 25 years I have been at ETSU,” Williams said. “I’ve had the opportunity to grow scientifically and also to work in such a wonderful environment.”
Prior to Dr. Williams’ appointment to the role, Dr. Race Kao held the position from 1992 until his retirement from ETSU earlier this year.