The gift will create the Robert C. Packman Professorship in virology and the John S. Daniels Professorship in immunology. Packman, senior vice president of medical affairs at Centene Corp., served as a professor of clinical medicine at the WUSTL School of Medicine for more than thirty-five years. Daniels is an associate professor of clinical medicine at WUSTL who specializes in endocrinology and metabolism.
Michael Neidorff, chair, president, and CEO of Centene Corp., and his wife are longtime supporters of the School of Medicine and previously supported research on surgical treatments for pancreatic and gastrointestinal diseases as well as health disparities research at the university's Brown School. The couple and the corporation also endowed the dean's position at the school.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous suffering in the St. Louis area and around the world, and it is unlikely to end until we find a way to prevent transmission and treat the disease," said WUSTL chancellor Andrew D. Martin. "Michael and Noémi Neidorff have long supported biomedical research at Washington University. Their latest commitment will accelerate research into desperately needed drugs and vaccines to put an end to this devastating pandemic. I am grateful to the Neidorffs for their continued commitment to our community and for stepping forward during this challenging time to support critical research at the School of Medicine."
"With the world's focus on the current global pandemic, the importance of virology and immunology has never been more [critical]," said Michael Neidorff. "To advance and support lifesaving research in those fields, Noémi and I are honored to endow professorships in recognition of the tireless work of two pioneering physicians."