Two School of Public Health faculty members named Kenan professors

February 10, 2006
Photograph of Dr. James Swenberg

Photograph of Dr. James Swenberg
Photograph of Dr. Steven Zeisel

Photograph of Dr. Steven Zeisel

Drs. James Swenberg and Steven Zeisel have been named Kenan professors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health, endowed faculty positions awarded to outstanding scholars and teachers.

“Both Dr. Zeisel and Dr. Swenberg are known worldwide for their significant contributions to science as well as to students,” said Barbara K. Rimer, Dean of the School of Public Health. “They are not only consummate researchers but also outstanding teachers, mentors and citizens of UNC and the broader scientific community. We are so proud that the University has recognized these remarkable professors.”

Zeisel is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and former chair of the Nutrition Department in the schools of public health and medicine and holds a professorship in the School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. He is associate dean for research at the School of Public Health and is director of the UNC Clinical Nutrition Research Center.

Zeisel’s research focuses on examining the role of choline in human nutrition, transmembrane signal transduction, apoptosis (cell suicide), carcinogenesis, and perinatal brain development. He has conducted human clinical trials on soy isoflavones and is a leader in the development of an innovative nutrition curriculum used by more than 155 medical schools worldwide.

Swenberg is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering and holds professorships in the School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition and the UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He also is director of the UNC Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility and the UNC Curriculum in Toxicology.

Swenberg’s research has focused on chemical carcinogenesis and toxicology, with an emphasis on studying the role of DNA damage and repair in carcinogenesis, developing highly sensitive assay methods for DNA adduct research, and improving the scientific basis of risk assessment.

The Kenan professorships were created through a 1917 bequest from Mary Lily Kenan Flagler Bingham to honor her father and uncle, Thomas S. Kenan and James Graham Kenan. Her bequest was one of the largest gifts made to a state university at the time.

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For further information please contact Ramona DuBose either by phone at 919-966-7467 or by e-mail at