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Joe Chehade, M.D.: Wants contribution to provide same research opportunity that launched his career

By Matt Galnor
December 2011

During his fellowships before arriving at the University of Florida College of Medicine—Jacksonville, Joe Chehade, M.D., had the opportunity to conduct research, get published and jumpstart his career by working with a mentor who had access to grant money.

Chehade, associate professor in the department of medicine, says he wouldn't be in a faculty position today if it weren't for that shot.

Now Chehade is donating to UF to help residents, fellows and junior faculty in the same way he was during fellowships in endocrinology research and endocrinology and metabolism at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Chehade's contribution is bolstering a UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville general internal medicine fund that is used to help cover some research costs.

"Conducting research is like a business, unfortunately," Chehade said. "You can have a good idea but if you don't have the funding, it's useless."

While a fellow in St. Louis, Chehade was able to work in the lab and became co- author on multiple studies. The research experience was invaluable, Chehade said, and the publication helped him establish himself.

Once a faculty member builds a reputation for research, it is easier to get funded for future projects, Chehade said.

The same goes for a university, and Chehade said all faculty benefit when other physicians get published and land grant funding.

Chehade joined UF in 2007 after seven years in private practice in Missouri, at which time he was also an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Saint Louis University.

He graduated from St. Joseph University School of Medicine in Beirut, Lebanon. Chehade completed an internship and a residency in internal medicine at Staten Island University Hospital in Staten Island, N.Y. He then moved to St. Louis, where he did two fellowships and landed the research role he says launched his career.

"It is always harder for fellows and residents to get funded," Chehade said. "They have great ideas, too. They just need to be funded."

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