Ishmail Abdus-Saboor has joined Penn as the Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Assistant Professor of Biology. Dr. Abdus-Saboor’s research aims to increase the basic understanding of the mechanisms governing somatosensory encoding, with a particular focus on pain. He uses an integrative approach spanning molecular optogenetics, quantitative analysis of kinematic behavioral movement features, neural circuit tracing, in vivo calcium imaging and electrophysiology.
Dr. Abdus-Saboor is the recipient of several major grants and fellowships, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant and a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health. He received his PhD in cell and molecular biology from Penn in 2012 with Dr. Meera Sundaram, and he also served as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Wenqin Luo in the Perelman School of Medicine.
The Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Professorship is one of three Presidential Professorships established in 2017 by Mitchell J. Blutt (C’78, M’82, WG’87) and Margo Krody Blutt. Mr. Blutt is the chief executive officer of Consonance Capital, an investment firm focused on the health-care industry. He was formerly the executive partner of J.P. Morgan Partners, the private equity investment fund of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and one of the largest private equity and venture capital activities in the world. He is also an adjunct professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
At Penn, Mr. Blutt is a member of the Board of Overseers of Penn Arts & Sciences and a former member of the Penn Medicine Board, where he served on its Executive and Finance Committees. He previously served as a University Trustee, Chairman of the University Trustees’ Committee for Strategic Initiatives, and Vice Chairman of both the Trustees’ Diversity Committee and the University Committee for Undergraduate Financial Aid. He received Penn’s Alumni Award of Merit in 2018.
The Blutt’s past Penn giving has benefitted undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, internships and professorships in Penn Arts & Sciences, the Perelman School of Medicine, and the Wharton School. The Blutts also support music at Penn through the Blutt Band Slam, a popular live music competition held each year at Homecoming; a music program that provides instruction to undergraduate students and supports professional performances, master classes, and other musical events; and a singer-songwriter symposium held each year at Kelly Writers House.