Dr. Shawn Ellerbroek
Dr. Shawn Ellerbroek

The Ralph E. Otto Endowed Professorship in Chemistry

Established in 1995 through a gift from Dr. Ralph Otto, former Board of Regents member

Dr. Shawn Ellerbroek completed a B.A. degree in biochemistry at the University of Iowa and earned a Ph.D. degree in cell and molecular biology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Prior to joining the Wartburg faculty in 2004, Ellerbroek was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was named to the Ralph E. Otto Professorship in Chemistry in 2007.

Ellerbroek has contributed significantly to the growth of the chemistry department. His restructuring of the curriculum now provides biochemistry majors with the ability to perform research through a structured set of classes. Ellerbroek's own research, in collaboration with Pharmgen L.L.C., centers on the creation of a new reagent called a monoclonal antibody. This reagent is currently undergoing testing for research viability. Ellerbroek has published more than 20 research articles related to the study of cancer.

Dr. Ralph E. Otto '63 earned his M.D. degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and became a successful cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon in the greater Chicago area. He and his wife, Diane, also established the Professor A.W. Swensen Scholarship for chemistry majors to honor his former Wartburg teacher and mentor. Dr. Otto served on the Board of Regents from 1992 until his death in 2008.