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Niagara University makes first appointment to endowed pre-health program director position

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Tue, Jan 5th 2016 05:20 pm

Niagara University has appointed Dr. William Cliff to its first-ever endowed faculty position.

Cliff, a faculty member in the university's biology department since 1992, has been named the first John J. Hughes, '67, M.D., endowed program director of pre-professional health.

Niagara University received a $750,000 estate gift from 1967 alumnus Hughes, a prominent radiologist, to establish the first endowed faculty position at the university. It is intended to serve as a catalyst for Niagara to build upon and expand its programs in the interdisciplinary sciences, generally, and the health and life sciences, specifically. Furthermore, it will serve as a component in the university's continuous effort to align its strategic priorities with those of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.

In 2013, Niagara opened the $33 million B. Thomas Golisano Center for Integrated Sciences, a state-of-the-art facility that houses 18 laboratories, which are supported by designated areas for nuclear magnetic resonance, tissue culture, imaging, plant growth, radioisotope storage and numerous other functions. Displays are situated throughout the facility that highlight the university's lengthy list of accomplished medical alumni, such as Dr. Lawrence D. Jacobs, '61; Dr. Peter Milonni, '69; Dr. Melvin B. Dyster, '48; and Hughes.

The endowed pre-professional health position is a prestigious, three-year appointment that requires an assortment of important responsibilities, including student recruitment, academic advisement, chairing the committee on recommendations for medical/dental studies, maintaining articulation agreements and organizing and implementing specific programming activities related to pre-professional studies in the health and life sciences.

"We are grateful to Dr. Hughes for his confidence in our faculty and academic programs, and we are certain that Dr. Cliff will demonstrate exemplary work with our pre-professional health students," said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. "The establishment of this endowed position by Dr. Hughes - and Dr. Cliff's appointment - is a testament to the lasting impact that Niagara University faculty members have on their students, many of whom go on to achieve significant personal and professional success."

Cliff obtained bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Cornell University. At Niagara, he teaches courses in human anatomy and physiology, comparative animal physiology, pharmacology, cell biology and natural history. In addition, Cliff is a visiting professor at the University at Buffalo's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

To learn more about Niagara University's pre-health programs, visit www.niagara.edu/pre-health-professions or call 716-286-8060.

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