John S. Strauss, professor emeritus of the UI Department of Dermatology, has given back to the University of Iowa through his outstanding work as an educator, his altruistic service, and his philanthropic heart.
A graduate of Yale University, Strauss taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the Boston University School of Medicine before joining the UI in 1978 as head of the Department of Dermatology. He served in that position for 20 years, playing a critical role in the understanding of the sebaceous glands and pathophysiology of acne, as well as in the introduction of retinoids to acne treatment.
Strauss's influence extends widely into the field of dermatology, where he has acted as president of every major organization, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the Society for Investigative Dermatology, the Dermatology Foundation, the International League of Dermatological Societies, and the American Dermatological Association. He has also served as director, president, and special advisor to the American Board of Dermatology, mentoring Iowa faculty members to leadership positions in the accrediting body.
Highly respected in his profession, he has been recognized with a presidential citation for his leadership of the 1992 World Congress of Dermatology, with the Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Academy of Dermatology, and with the Stephen Rothman Award, the ultimate honor given by the Society for Investigative Dermatology.
In the larger world of academic medicine, Strauss has also been named chairman of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and the executive committee of the American Council of Continuing Medical Education, and to the prestigious American Association of Professors. As an educator and researcher, he is a pivotal influence and inspiration to many successful alumni.
As head of the UI's Department of Dermatology, Strauss was instrumental in securing funds to support research and endow an academic chair. The John S. Strauss Chair in Dermatology, established in 1991, helps attract outstanding faculty members to the UI.
In fact, Strauss and his wife, Susan, have long been active supporters of the university. They have contributed to areas as diverse as the UI Roy and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, the School of Art and Art History, the Old Capitol Museum restoration project, WSUI and KSUI, Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and the Ronald McDonald House. They spearheaded the Joffrey Ballet's 2007 statewide tour in celebration of Hancher Auditorium's 35th anniversary and made charitable gifts to help Hancher and the UI Museum of Art in the wake of the Flood of 2008.
The Strausses also hold a rare distinction as gold level members of the UI Foundation's Presidents Club, having provided more than $1 million in donations to the university. Says UI Foundation President Lynette Marshall, "It is not just the amount of their giving that is remarkable; it is the breadth of their generosity and their interests—and their expressed desire to contribute in ways that substantially improve the lives of others."
Indeed, the determination to improve the lives of others has driven Strauss in his career and his philanthropic endeavors. By committing his knowledge and resources to the University of Iowa, John S. Strauss has left a legacy that will impact this campus—and the field of dermatology—for years to come.
Strauss is a member of the UI Foundation's Presidents Club.