John and Emma Bonica Endowed Chair in Anesthesiology and Pain Research
The John and Emma Bonica Endowed Chair in Anesthesiology and Pain Research was created in 1985.
John Joseph Bonica, born in Italy, received a B.S. from New York University and an M.D. from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. He did his internship and residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York. During World War II, he went to Madigan Hospital in Fort Lewis, Wash., a captain in the United States Army, where he developed a special interest in pain after working with wounded soldiers.
From 1947 to 1960 he served as the first director of the anesthesiology department at Tacoma General Hospital, where he continued his pain research, pioneering in regional and obstetrical anesthesia and introducing the first anesthesiology residency program in the state of Washington.
During this time, he wrote his seminal book The Management of Pain, which is still used in medical-school curriculum today.
In 1960, Dr. Bonica was appointed the founding chair of UW Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology, as position he held until 1977. An internationally recognized leader in pain research, he established the Pain Clinic at the University Hospital (now known as UW Medical Center) in 1961, the first of its kind in the world.
In the early 1970s, he founded the International Association for the Study of Pain. Throughout his life, he was a guest lecturer at major universities worldwide, authoring and co-authoring numerous books, journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Bonica died in August 1994, shortly after the death of his beloved wife, Emma.
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