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Stermer Family Professorship in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

School of Medicine

Established in 2006 with a commitment made in 2000 by Richard and Audrey Stermer

StermerRichardAudreyMore than a quarter of those who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are under 20 years of age. These diseases, which include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, are chronic conditions that cause inflammation and ulceration in the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in a host of painful problems that range from cramps and bleeding to joint soreness. This professorship provides resources to a distinguished faculty member engaged in finding ways to alleviate the suffering of children affected by inflammatory bowel disease. Because of their interest in helping youngsters, RICHARD and AUDREY STERMER became involved with the Hopkins Children’s Center in the early 1990s through its annual telethon. Sometime later, two of their own four children developed inflammatory bowel disease, motivating them to focus their support of the Children’s Center in this area. The couple moved from Baltimore to Colorado after Mr. Stermer’s retirement from a career in structural engineering, but continue their involvement with the Children’s Center. They have supported both research and clinical initiatives in pediatric gastroenterology specifically designated for the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. (Pictured are Richard and Audrey Stermer, seated, with their children and grandchildren.)

Held by Maria Oliva-Hemker

Oliva-HemkerMariaMARIA OLIVA-HEMKER, Med 1986, is the inaugural Stermer Family Professor of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease and directs the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition. She joined the faculty in 1993 and, in 1998, established the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. Dr. Oliva-Hemker has authored numerous articles, book chapters and reviews and is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. She is co-chair of a North American Inflammatory Bowel Disease Educational Campaign for the Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation and has been named one of America’s Top Doctors for the last five consecutive years by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. She was born in Havana, Cuba, and is married to Kevin J. Hemker, PhD, a professor in Hopkins’ Department of Mechanical Engineering and holder of the Alonzo G. Decker Chair in Mechanical Engineering.