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Atran Foundation Professorship in IBD Research

School of Medicine

Established in 2023 by the Atran Foundation

Atran Foundation Members
Atran Foundation Members

Founded in 1945, by Efroim “Frank” Atran, the ATRAN FOUNDATION has been engaging in “tzedakah”, a Hebrew word meaning both charity and justice, for over seven decades, providing yearly grants to both worthy and charitable organizations that are aligned with our founding principles.  From the outset, the Foundation has been deeply involved in Jewish matters and in labor movements but at the same time also greatly concerned for those in pain, regardless of race, religion or politics.  In 1950, Frank donated $1 million to build the still-standing Atran Laboratory at Mount Sinai Hospital which has done extraordinary work and, soon after in 1952, the Atran Foundation became one of the founding members of the newly created Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.  Since then the Foundation has been a stalwart of support for hundreds of organizations and institutions including YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the Worker’s Circle, the Forward publication, the Jewish Labor Committee, the UNCF among many others.  Frank Atran’s vision was to also create a named legacy through various programs and Chairs of higher learning such as the Atran Chair of Yiddish Studies at Columbia University created in 1956, and the both long-supported but newly endowed Chairs at Brandeis and Albert Einstein Universities.  The recent endowment to Johns Hopkins and the Gastroenterology Department just solidifies the long and fruitful relationship we have had over the past two decades and we look forward to the amazing discoveries to come.  The Atran Foundation is extremely blessed to continue to play a major role in the realm of American Jewish Philanthropies and support such dedicated and diverse organizations in achieving their mission.

Held by Florin M. Selaru

Gastroenterologist FLORIN M. SELARU, MD, MBA, has faculty appointments to the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology; the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center; and the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute of NanoBioTechnology at The Johns Hopkins University. He is a clinical expert in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and serves as the director of the Harvey M. and Lyn P. Meyerhoff Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Selaru earned his medical degree at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania. He completed his internal medicine residency at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and completed his fellowship training in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Selaru’s research focuses on the intersection of clinical medicine, engineering and biology. His research expertise is in the utilization of bioengineering tools to answer clinically relevant questions and to translate findings for use in the clinical setting. He established and leads the Selaru lab, a National Institutes of Health-funded laboratory at Johns Hopkins that focuses on inflammation, fibrosis and cancer.

The Selaru lab specializes in drug and device development for inflammatory and malignant conditions, as well as tissue regeneration solutions. Some specific projects include drug development for fibrosis in the gastrointestinal tract, microrobot development for oral drug delivery, tissue engineering for fistulas and other tissue defects in IBD, and novel drug targeting approaches for inflammation and cancer. Dr. Selaru’s overarching goal is to deliver medical products and technologies to patients with IBD and cancer.