March 1, 2017

Congratulations to Vincent B. Young, MD, PhD, on William Henry Fitzbutler Collegiate Professorship

We are delighted to announce that Vincent B. Young, MD, PhD has been approved by the Regents as the William Henry Fitzbutler Collegiate Professor of Internal Medicine, effective February 1, 2017 through August 31, 2021.

Dr. Young received his MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University in 1992, under the joint guidance of Gary Schoolnik and Stanley Falkow. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Young was appointed as an assistant professor in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University in 2001. Later, he was appointed as an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan in 2007, and was subsequently jointly appointed in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology in 2008. He was promoted to associate professor and granted tenure in the Department of Internal Medicine in 2010.

Dr. Young’s research focuses on understanding the role of the bacterial communities that normally inhabit the human body and how they influence the health status of the host. He has led a number of research projects conducted by interdisciplinary groups of scientists, and this team science approach to complex problems concerning the microbiome has been funded by a series of large grants from the NIH. His is a standing member of the NIH gastrointestinal mucosal pathobiology study section and serves on a committee for the Infectious Disease Society of America. Dr. Young is a co-director of the University of Michigan Medical School Fast Forward Host Microbiome Initiative. He has published more than 130 articles, written four books, and is highly sought after to present his research.

Dr. Young is an extremely successful researcher in the field of translational microbiology, and is a very deserving candidate for this professorship. We are very proud of Dr. Young’s accomplishments!

Background on the William Henry Fitzbutler, MD Professorship

The Henry Fitzbutler Collegiate Professorship in Internal Medicine was established in February 2015 through a generous gift from the Genzyme Corporation to support the research and clinical efforts of a faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine. This professorship honors one of the University of Michigan Medical School’s most distinguished alumni – an exceptional educator, humanitarian and physician who fervently sought to improve the health of African Americans. He holds the distinction of being the first African-American student to graduate from the Medical School in 1872.

Dr. Fitzbutler was born on December 22, 1842 in Virginia. The son of a slave, he and his family fled to Amherstburg in Essex County, Canada, via the Underground Railroad. He graduated from Detroit Medical College in 1869 prior to graduating from UMMS in 1872. He was the first African-American to graduate from either of these prestigious institutions.

Following graduation, Dr. Fitzbutler and his family moved to Louisville, Kentucky. An outspoken critic of racial discrimination, he successfully lobbied the Kentucky Legislature to allow the establishment of a medical school that could not exclude applicants because of color. He ultimately founded and became dean of the resulting Louisville National Medical College and Hospital for more than two decades. The hospital was recognized as one of the best run hospitals in the country. Although the Louisville National Medical College closed in 1912, Dr. Fitzbutler’s impact on our medical community continues to this day.

Our medical students honored him in 2016 by naming one of the houses in the M-Home learning community the Dr. William Henry Fitzbutler House.