Elia M. Ayoub Lectureship

Elia Ayoub

Elia M. Ayoub was a devoted physician who cared deeply for his pediatric patients, a superb researcher who worked relentlessly to resolve the mysteries of pediatric infectious diseases and rheumatic fever; and a teacher and mentor to generations of medical students, pediatric housestaff and his fellow physicians.

Shortly after Dr. Ayoub’s retirement in 2000, many people gave generously to start an endowment in his honor thereby immortalizing his legacy. Our goal for that endowment was to raise enough funds for an annual lectureship on infectious diseases.

The Elia M. Ayoub, M.D. Visiting Professor Program is an annual and permanent component of the educational activities of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine. This annual event provides professional enrichment to medical students, residents and fellow pediatricians, and other health professionals.

The First Elia M. Ayoub Visiting Professor Lectureship occurred in February 2011 with Dr. Richard  Jacobs, M.D. as our Guest Speaker. Dr. Jacobs is a prominent nationally recognized pediatric infectious disease expert and President of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, as well as the Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine.


Elia M. Ayoub, M.D.

April 12, 1928 – April 4, 2004

Dr. Elia M. Ayoub was educated at the American University of Beirut,  Lebanon.  He was a Professor of Pediatrics for the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville since 1969 and Professor in Immunology and Microbiology since 1972.  In 1984, Dr. Ayoub won the Hippocratic Award for Teaching Excellence, the highest medical student teaching award in the College of Medicine.  In 1994 he was named a Distinguished Service Professor.  Dr. Ayoub also served the College of Medicine as the Vice-Chairman for Academic Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Ayoub was heavily involved in various committees of the American Heart Association (AHA). He served on the Council on Rheumatic Fever and Congenital Heart Disease from 1970 through 1974 and was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young from 1977 through 1980.   Dr. Ayoub was awarded by the AHA the Bronze Medal for Meritorious Service in 1974, the Silver Medal in 1975, the Award of Distinction in 1977, and for his many years of dedicated service.  He was also awarded the T. Duckett Jones Lecturer Award by the American Heart Association.

Dr. Ayoub was a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Pediatrics Society, the Rheumatology Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and had publications in various books and journals.

Dr. Ayoub’s research was on protein markers in pediatric patients who developed streptococcal diseases to see why some develop complications from rheumatic fever and some do not. Rheumatic fever remains the single most common cause of acquired heart disease in children throughout the world. He presented his findings in a keynote address at the 8th Annual Lewis W. Wannamaker Memorial Lecture in 1991 at the University of Minnesota.


Previous Guest Speakers

Year Speaker Presentation
2021 Patricia Emmanuel, MD The Influence of the Pandemic on the Future of Children’s Health
2019 John W. Sleasman, M.D. Far From Over, the US HIV Epidemic Among Adolescents and Young Adults
2019 Daniel Jernigan, MD, MPH 100 Years Since 1918: Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic?
2018 Patricia Flynn, MD Growing Up with HIV
2016 Sonja Rasmussen MD, MS Zika Virus: Emerging Concerns for Pregnant Women and Infants
2014 Mobeen Rathore, MD Ebola Update
2013 Gregory Storch, MD Clinical, Virologic, and Genomic Aspects of Fever Without a Source in Young Children
2012 Stan Shulman, DDS
2011 Joseph St. Geme, III, MD
2010 Richard Jacobs, MD
2005 Kathryn Edwards, MD
2003 Paul Quie, MD