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Neurology researcher to join University of North Dakota

FARGO — A neurologist with research expertise in Lou Gehrig’s disease and fatigue associated with Parkinson’s disease has been named the founding chair of the Dr. Roger Gilbertson Endowed Chair of Neurology at the University of North Dakota School Of Medicine.

Dr. Jau-Shin Lou comes to UND from the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology, which he joined in 1999. Most recently he served as a professor and director of a center there involving neuromuscular diseases.

Lou, who earned a doctorate at the University of Minnesota and completed residency training at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, was voted one of U.S. News & World Report’s best doctors of 2011-12.

Lou was introduced Monday after the unveiling of a bronze bust of Gilbertson to commemorate his contributions, including 17 years as president of MeritCare until its 2009 merger with Sanford Health.

Sanford created the chair honoring Gilbertson, who was a practicing neuroradiologist before he became a top administrator, with an endowment to UND of $1.5 million.

“We’re here to celebrate that and his role as a visionary leader,” said Paul Richard, president of Sanford Medical Center. Noting that Gilbertson presided over the 1993 merger of the former St. Luke’s Hospital and Fargo Clinic, Richard called Gilbertson “the right leader at the right time.”

Gilbertson, who retired when Sanford merged with MeritCare, was grateful for the recognition, which he said belonged to “hundreds and hundreds” who cared for the sick.

“I really am honored and humbled to a great extent by this recognition,” he said.

At UND, Lou will teach medical students and residents in addition to his administrative duties in neurology.

He also will spend half of his time seeing patients with neurological disorders at Sanford Health in Fargo. He will serve as chairman of Sanford’s neurology department.

“This endowed chair really provides us the freedom and means to pursue excellence in patient care and research,” Lou said.

Dr. Josh Wynne, dean of the UND medical school, said the endowed chair was a joint effort of Sanford and the university, much like Gilbertson’s melding of a hospital and clinic years before.

He said Lou comes with “outstanding clinical skills,” genuine commitment to education and “demonstrated administrative leadership abilities.”

Patrick Springer

Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to