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Haller Professorship in Pediatric Neurologic Diseases

School of Medicine

Established in 1996 by the estate of Virginia Doriot Haller

HallerVirginiaVIRGINIA DORIOT HALLER began her remarkable life as the daughter of a general physician and surgeon in the coalfields of Pocahontas, Virginia. At a time when few women attended college, she graduated from Randolph-Macon Women’s College and received a master’s degree in Latin and the classics from Columbia University, followed by post-graduate studies in Rome. After a long and illustrious teaching career in several boarding schools, she retired to her home in Salem, Virginia, where she remained active in civic affairs, especially with the Virginia Historical Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Although Miss Haller was not schooled in medicine, it was her observation and belief that many degenerative disorders of the mind had hereditary and genetic origins. Since her father had died from Parkinson’s disease and her mother from Alzheimer’s, she wanted to leave her resources to support neurological research. When she died at age 97, she left funds to endow this chair to foster clinical and laboratory research on neurological diseases. She also wished to honor the generations of Hallers who have been physicians and dentists, including her nephew, J. Alex Haller Jr., Med 1951, a Hopkins professor emeritus of pediatric surgery; his wife, Emily Haller (both pictured here, with Dr. Harvey Singer, right), a former professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Hopkins; and their daughter Julia A. Haller and her husband, John D. Gottsch, both of whom are on the Hopkins faculty in ophthalmology.

Held by Carl E. Stafstrom


CARL E. STAFSTROM, MD, PhD, is the Haller Professor in Pediatric Neurologic Diseases and the Lederer Endowed Chair of Pediatric Epilepsy, and serves as the Director of Pediatric Neurology and Director of the John M. Freeman Pediatric Epilepsy Center.

Dr. Stafstrom received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, with residencies at the University of Washington Medical Center and Tufts New England Medical Center, as well as fellowships at Harvard for neurology research and Boston Children’s Hospital in clinical neurophysiology, electroencephalography, and epilepsy.

Dr. Stafstrom previously served as Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and Chief of Pediatric Neurology at American Family Children’s Hospital at UW Madison.

Dr. Stafstrom’s clinical and research interests include the mechanisms of epileptogenesis and neuronal excitability in the developing brain, the effects of seizures in the immature brain on subsequent cognitive function and seizure susceptibility, dietary approaches to epilepsy management, and children’s self-perceptions of neurologic disorders through art. Dr. Stafstrom is the author of more than 250 research articles, chapters, and commentaries, as well as editor of 2 books. He served as associate editor of Epilepsia and is currently chief editor of Epilepsy Currents. A dedicated educator who places high priority on the teaching and mentoring of medical students and residents, Dr. Stafstrom has won numerous teaching awards was the 2012 recipient of the American Neurological Association’s Distinguished Neurology Teacher Award.