Beverly Petterson ’44 and Charles Bishop ’42, G’44 graduated from Syracuse University in 1944, she with a bachelor’s in mathematics, he a master’s in chemistry. They went on to earn doctoral degrees and led successful careers in teaching and research, primarily at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
Beverly, a nationally recognized neuroscientist, was named Distinguished Teaching Professor at SUNY Buffalo in 1992. She continued to teach until a week before her death in 2008 at the age of 86. She never missed a single class. To honor his wife’s legacy, Charles established the Beverly Petterson Bishop Professorship in Neuroscience. The College of Arts and Sciences appointed Sandra J. Hewett as the inaugural Bishop Professor in the Department of Biology.
Hewett’s appointment was celebrated Wednesday, Oct. 12 with an induction ceremony at 11:30 a.m. in the Life Sciences Complex Lundgren Room (106), followed by a presentation by Hewett, “Maladaptive Inflammation in Acute Neuronal Injury.”
Hewett came to SU from the University of Connecticut Health Center, where, in addition to running an internationally recognized research program, she was deeply involved with the university’s neuroscience graduate program as a member its Graduate Faculty, as program director, and as vice chair of the Graduate Programs Committee.
“Dr. Hewett is a world-class neuroscientist whose work underscores the innovative spirit of the Bishop Professorship,” says Dean George M. Langford. “I’m confident she will honor Beverly's legacy through cutting-edge teaching and research.”
Hewett is charged with shepherding a joint Ph.D. program in neuroscience with Upstate Medical University, State University of New York. A 2010 memorandum of understanding paved the way for joint faculty appointments and graduate research opportunities at both institutions.
“I am honored to hold a professorship that bears the name of Beverly Petterson Bishop,” Hewett says. “I look forward to working with faculty to build a strong and vibrant neuroscience program at SU, which draws upon existing faculty strength as well as includes new faculty at both the undergraduate (Integrated Learning Major in neuroscience) and graduate levels.”
During her career, Beverly Petterson Bishop published dozens of articles on the neural regulation of motor activities. She taught neurophysiology to physical therapy students and challenged physical therapists to investigate the scientific basis of their interventions. She wrote monographs and book chapters that became seminal in the field, and produced a series of groundbreaking articles on how undamaged neurons (brain cells), when stimulated through activity, form new neurological pathways to compensate for those damaged or destroyed.