Emre Vural Named to Hamra Professorship in Otolaryngology

By Ben Boulden

Vural, Emre and Rahn

UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., congratulates Emre Vural, M.D., on receiving the Hamra Professorship in Otolaryngology.

A businessman and philanthropist, Hamra served as CEO and chairman of the board of Wendy’s of Little Rock Inc., one of the nation’s most successful Wendy’s franchises. He died of head and neck cancer in 1995.

“Many organizations benefited from Mr. Hamra’s generosity, including the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. “We are honored to have this professorship in his memory and to name Dr. Vural its recipient.”

Donations totaling $500,000 from numerous friends, family members and colleagues of Hamra were used to establish the professorship, the interest from which supports head and neck cancer research programs at UAMS.

“Mr. Hamra’s generosity and leadership were well known throughout Arkansas. Dr. Vural’s expertise makes him an excellent choice to receive this professorship honoring Mr. Hamra and carry on our important research in head and neck cancers,” said James Y. Suen, M.D., distinguished professor and chair of the UAMS Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Suen was named inaugural recipient of the professorship in 2000.

Vural received his medical degree at the Ankara University School of Medicine in Turkey where he also completed his residency training in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. This was followed by two fellowships at UAMS, one in head and neck surgery and oncology, and one in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

As a head and neck surgeon, Vural’s clinical focus is on the treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck as well as plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face. He is director of the Transoral Robotic Surgery program at UAMS.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.