Dr. Batra named inaugural Hartmann Chair

by John Keenan, UNMC strategic communications | May 10, 2021

Image with caption: Surinder Batra, PhD

Surinder Batra, PhD

Surinder Batra, PhD, is the first holder of a named chair in the 106-year history of the UNMC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Dr. Batra will become the inaugural Dr. Alfred and Linda Hartmann Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Dr. Batra is the 2012 UNMC Scientist Laureate and the recipient of the University of Nebraska's 2016 Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award. He serves as principal investigator or project leader on multiple major National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded projects. He is best known within the scientific community for his work related to pancreatic cancer and other cancers and is part of a team that has made the medical center's pancreatic cancer research program one of the best of its kind in the world.

Alfred Hartmann, MD, is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and of UNMC, earning his MD and MS in biochemistry in 1968 and serving his residency in pathology at Nebraska Methodist Hospital.

"During medical school, I had the opportunity of additional study in the UNMC Department of Biochemistry, leading to my MS degree," Dr. Hartmann said. "I have a deep gratitude to UNMC and the department of biochemistry for allowing me to pursue this degree, which led to many scientific opportunities in my field of laboratory medicine."

Dr. Hartmann and his wife, Linda, are longtime supporters of UNMC and UNL, and they serve as trustees of the University of Nebraska Foundation.

The newly created Hartmann chair, Dr. Batra said, not only brings recognition to the biochemistry and molecular biology department but will help him to grow the department further, recruiting researchers and faculty and attracting top fellows and students.

"We already are one of the top 20 departments in the country for national funding, and that is increasing every year," he said. "This will help us bring the department to a new level of excellence, as well as supporting more novel work in diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases."

Drs. Batra and Hartmann spoke together for almost a year, discussing the best way the Hartmanns could help fuel the department's growth and accomplishments.

"The Hartmanns are aware of the work we're doing in the department," Dr. Batra said. "They've seen how the faculty members are helping our students, how our researchers are making an impact in patient care, and how our work has been nationally recognized. I can't thank them enough for their support of the department and for all the things their support will help us achieve."

Bradley Britigan, MD, dean of the UNMC College of Medicine, said that the creation of the inaugural Hartmann Chair will have a lasting impact in biochemistry and molecular biology education and research at UNMC - and ultimately, clinical treatment as well.

"The Hartmanns have long been supporters of our medical students," Dr. Britigan said. "With this gift, they have impacted not only UNMC students, through the support of the biochemistry faculty, but they have enabled research and supported researchers who will have a lasting effect on the treatment of cancer and other diseases."

"When Linda and I were made aware that the department was the only department at UNMC that did not have a named chair, it was an easy decision to establish and fund one," Dr. Hartmann said. "This chair was established to maintain promising faculty and help recruit new faculty to promote excellence in research and teaching of medical and graduate students.

In addition, after spending much time speaking with Dr. Batra about the future of the department, the Hartmanns are excited and pleased that he will be the inaugural Hartmann Chair.

"We cannot think of a more deserving scientist in the basic science field," Dr. Hartmann said. "Dr. Batra has put the UNMC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in a world-class position, with a large amount of research grants, recruitment of distinguished faculty, a large number of impressive graduate students, knowledgeable and innovative teaching of medical students and excellence in cancer research, particularly in the field of pancreatic cancer."

Meg Johnson of the University of Nebraska Foundation thanked the Hartmanns for their support.

"The Hartmanns have made the University of Nebraska and specifically, UNMC, one of their top philanthropic priorities over the years," she said. "Their impact on students through their scholarships, and now faculty through the Hartmann Chair, is immeasurable and will continue to be well into the future. Their selfless enthusiasm has been remarkable, and they care deeply."

May 17, 2021 at 8:07 PM

Congratulations to Dr. Batra and Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UNMC., for this distinguished honor.

May 16, 2021 at 6:06 PM

Congrats Dr Batra! Another feather in your cap

Johnson V. John
May 10, 2021 at 8:19 PM

Congratulations! Dr. Batra....

Steve Dixon
May 10, 2021 at 7:34 PM

Congratulations and thumbs up to you Surinder.

May 10, 2021 at 6:03 PM

Congratulations! Dr. Batra

Kusum K. Kharbanda
May 10, 2021 at 6:00 PM

Congratulations, Dr. Batra! A well-deserved recognition and accolade.

Ashima Choudhary
May 10, 2021 at 4:52 PM

Congratulations Dr Batra

Seshadri Bhuvaneshwari
May 10, 2021 at 3:21 PM

Congratulations! Dr. Batra

Armen Petrosyan
May 10, 2021 at 2:38 PM

Congratulations! Well deserved!

Lynette Smith
May 10, 2021 at 2:37 PM

Congratulations Dr. Batra!

May 10, 2021 at 1:10 PM

Hearty Congratulations to Dr. Batra

Shiv Ram Krishn
May 10, 2021 at 12:44 PM

Congratulations Dr. Batra.

May 10, 2021 at 12:15 PM

Congratulations Dr. Batra

amar singh
May 10, 2021 at 10:34 AM

A well-deserved recognition. Congratulations Dr. Batra.

Wasim Nasser
May 10, 2021 at 10:03 AM

Congratulations Dr. Batra

Tom O’Connor
May 10, 2021 at 10:01 AM

Dr. Batra is perhaps the hardest working person at UNMC. His work ethic is legendary. So glad to see him get this recognition. Kudos to the Hartmanns for making it happen.

Parvez Khan
May 10, 2021 at 9:38 AM

Heartfelt Congratulations Dr. Batra!!

Saraswathi Viswanathan
May 10, 2021 at 9:35 AM

Congratulations, Dr.Batra!

Parthasarathy Seshacharyulu
May 10, 2021 at 9:30 AM

Hearty Congratulations to Dr. Batra!

Yashpal Singh Chhonker
May 10, 2021 at 9:18 AM

Congratulations Dr Batra

Gopalakrishnan Natarajan
May 10, 2021 at 9:05 AM

Congratulations Dr. Batra.

Palanisamy Nallasamy
May 10, 2021 at 9:03 AM

My hearty congratulations to Dr.Batra!

Amita Daverey
May 10, 2021 at 9:02 AM

Congratulations Dr. Batra.

May 10, 2021 at 8:57 AM

Congratulations Dr Batra

Rakesh Bhatia
May 10, 2021 at 8:56 AM

Congratulations Dr. Batra.

Babu Guda
May 10, 2021 at 8:53 AM

Congratulations on this outstanding achievement!

Harold M Maurer, MD
May 10, 2021 at 8:52 AM

Congratulations, Surindar. Well deserved and my best wishes. Hal Maurer

James Grunkemeyer
May 10, 2021 at 8:45 AM


Rakhee Rathnam
May 10, 2021 at 8:28 AM

Congratulations Dr. Batra!

jawed siddiqui
May 10, 2021 at 8:25 AM

Heartfelt congratulations, Dr. Batra.

Ranjana Kanchan
May 10, 2021 at 8:06 AM

Congratulations Dr. Batra!

May 10, 2021 at 8:05 AM

Congratulations Dr. Batra!!

Imayavaramban Lakshmanan
May 10, 2021 at 8:01 AM

Congratulations Dr. Batra

Dong Wang
May 10, 2021 at 7:35 AM

Congratulations, Dr. Batra!

John S Davis
May 10, 2021 at 7:29 AM

Congratulations Surinder! Well deserved.

Moorthy Ponnusamy
May 10, 2021 at 7:27 AM

Hearty Congratulations Dr. Batra