Established in 1996 by William and Shirley Griffin and other donors in honor of Edyth H. Schoenrich

EDYTH H. SCHOENRICH, SPH 1971, came to Hopkins as a young physician in 1948. After an internship on the Osler Service, she served as chief resident on the Marburg Service and held postdoctoral fellowships in hematology and oncology. Concerned with the personal tragedies and societal costs of advanced illness, she focused her attention increasingly on the protection of health and prevention of disease. Dr. Schoenrich has been a trailblazer in bringing a community-health perspective to medicine and a clinical perspective to public health. She played a leadership role in the development of one of the premier preventive medicine programs in the country at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. In addition to her service at Hopkins, for several years she directed all preventive services for adults in Maryland through the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Schoenrich is a recipient of the Alumni Association's Heritage Award and the William H. Welch Award from the School of Medicine. In 2007, she was a recipient of the university’s Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award for "Current Issues in Public Health," an Internet-based course.


Image Credit: Robert J. Smith WILLIAM and SHIRLEY GRIFFIN have been dedicated supporters of the university, contributing to the J. Donald Woodruff Chair in Gynecology and Obstetrics and to many other areas at the School of Medicine. In 1996 they turned their attention to the School of Public Health; through their longtime friend Edyth Schoenrich, they had come to value the school's mission. As a tribute to her pioneering work and to establish an ongoing academic focus in preventive medicine within the school, the Griffins made a substantial commitment to help endow this professorship.


JAMES D. YAGER JR., the Edyth H. Schoenrich Professor of Preventive Medicine, is a professor of toxicology in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and senior associate dean for academic affairs in the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Oncology at the School of Medicine.

Dr. Yager has a doctoral degree in developmental and cell biology from the University of Connecticut and did postdoctoral work in chemical carcinogenesis and DNA repair mechanisms at the University of Wisconsin’s McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research. He joined the Hopkins faculty in 1989 after serving on the faculty of the Dartmouth Medical School and as an associate director of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center. He headed the school’s Division of Toxicology from 1989-2000 when he was appointed by Dr. Al Sommer as the senior associate dean for academic affairs. In this position he oversees the entire academic mission of the school.

Dr. Yager is an expert on the mechanisms of estrogen carcinogenesis. His research is focused on understanding genetic and environmental susceptibility factors related to breast cancer with the goal of developing strategies for prevention and understanding how environmental chemicals with estrogenic or antiestrogenic activities may disrupt estrogen receptor signaling pathways. Key original observations that pertain to the role of estrogens in the etiology of cancer and that have resulted in follow-up studies in his laboratory and the laboratories of other investigators include the findings that a low activity form of an enzyme involved in the inactivation of reactive estrogen metabolites represents a risk factor for breast cancer, and that the estrogen receptor resides within the mitochondria and mediates increased transcription of mitochondrial DNA-encoded genes as part of the overall constellation of the cellular response to estrogens that contributes to cell growth and protection from cell death. He was the keynote speaker at the 1999 Gordon Conference on Hormonal Carcinogenesis and serves on a variety of advisory boards and review panels, including NIEHS review panels, and the NAS/NRC Committee on Toxicity Testing and Assessment of Environmental Agents. He is also a member of the Council on Education in Public Health, the national accrediting organization for all schools of public health. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology; Toxicological Sciences, and Chemical Research in Toxicology. He is the author or co-author of 77 journal publications, 14 book chapters and numerous published abstracts. Dr. Yager is a member of the Delta Omega Honor Society, Alpha Chapter and has been a recipient of Bloomberg School’s Advising, Mentoring and Teaching Recognition Award.