Dr. Catherine Juillard, who studies ways to improve surgical care in underresourced countries, has been named UCLA’s first Marjorie Fine, M.D., Professor of Clinical General Surgery.

Juillard, an associate professor in residence in the UCLA Department of Surgery, is co-director of the Program for the Advancement of Surgical Equity.

“An endowed chair is one of the greatest honors a faculty member can receive,” Juillard said. “It is so much more meaningful to me and my colleagues that the chair also honors the career of a trailblazer, Dr. Marjorie Fine.”

Juillard has been a member of the UCLA faculty since 2018, and she is a UCLA alumna. She completed her medical training at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA before earning a master’s degree in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Juillard completed her residency in general surgery at UCLA and a fellowship in surgical critical care at UC San Francisco, followed by a faculty appointment at UCSF.

The endowed chair was established with a generous gift of $1,068,885 in 2019 from Marjorie Fine and her husband, Arthur.

Marjorie Fine is also a UCLA alumna: She graduated first in her class from the medical school in 1975, earning recognition for her surgical skills. She was the first woman to be admitted to and complete an internship and residency in the UCLA Department of Surgery, and she held faculty positions in the surgery department from 1980 to 2001 and from 2013 until her retirement.

The Fines’ gift was matched with $1 million from the Geffen School of Medicine. The endowed chair is intended to support a highly regarded surgeon equally committed to clinical general surgery and the training of future surgeons.

“I am proud of my training and career in surgery at UCLA,” Marjorie Fine said. “After my experience, Art and I wanted to support clinical general surgeons in academic medicine. We believe a chair focused on clinical general surgery will benefit patients, surgeons, providers, insurers and society with competent, compassionate and cost-effective care.”

The couple recently relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona, where Marjorie Fine continues to serve on the admissions committee of the Geffen School of Medicine, continuing a role she has held since 1992.

“We hope the endowed chair encourages women, in particular, and other underrepresented groups to become clinical and academic surgeons,” Arthur Fine said. “Marjorie and I want to improve the delivery of clinical surgery and care and the patient’s experience throughout. Marjorie’s dedication to her patients complemented her dedication to advancing clinical surgery and mentoring young surgeons.”

Dr. Jonathan Hiatt, the medical school’s vice dean for faculty emeritus, trained as a surgeon at UCLA and is a longtime colleague of Marjorie’s.

“We have made great strides in surgery, and it is due to clinical surgeons like Marjorie who excel in their field and share that knowledge and experience with trainees,” he said. “I am heartened and humbled by the Fines — my dear friends — for their generosity. The inaugural chair holder, Dr. Catherine Juillard, embodies Marjorie’s devotion to the profession and patients, specifically addressing surgical inequities driven by ethnicity and gender.”