The University of Utah and Takeda Pharmaceuticals have partnered to create an endowed chair in honor of Dr. James Freston to help advance future scientific research and development. The working relationship between Dr. James Freston and Takeda Pharmaceuticals dates back to the late 1990’s when Dr. Freston was Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Dr. Freston advised Takeda on basic research, clinical development plans and provided leadership on Advisory Boards.
Takeda is the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders in the industry with over 18,000 employees worldwide. Takeda’s focus is on metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, gastroenterology, neurology, inflammation and oncology. They were first founded in June of 1781, which is more than a 230 year heritage. The mission of Takeda Pharmaceuticals is to strive toward better health for patients worldwide through leading innovation in medicine. Their vision is to embody global pharmaceutical leadership through innovation, culture and growth guided by an unwavering commitment to significantly improve the lives of patients.
Dr. Freston is a graduate of the University of Utah and was formerly was professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the U. Dr. Freston won outstanding professorship 6 times in addition to directing the gastroenterology and clinical pharmacology divisions. He is the chairman of the Foundation of Digestive Health and Nutrition, the past chair of the American Digestive Health Foundation and past president of the American Gastroenterology Association. Dr. Freston also was consultant to the surgeon general for gastrointestinal section of the Health Consequences of Smoking and a member of 2 FDA advisory panels. He also sits on numerous NIH panels and committees. Dr. Freston is internationally recognized for his expertise in clinical pharmacology and gastrointestinal drugs and diseases, particularly acid related. He has lectured worldwide and is author of over 120 peer-reviewed journals and 40 books and chapters. Dr. Freston currently works at the University of CT Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut.
Due to Dr. James Freston’s extraordinary achievements both at the University of Utah and community wide, it was decided to name an Endowed Chair in his honor. When he was asked who he would prefer to partner with in this endeavor he quickly told us of Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
The honor of the first chair holder went to Dr. John Fang, Clinical Director, Medical Director of the Endoscopy Lab, Co-Director of the Fellowship Program, and Associate Professor of Medicine. Dr. Fang's research interests include enteral feeding, eosinophilic esophagitis, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), and esophageal motility diseases.