May 2010

May 2010

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Welcome to the May 11th edition of Round Table.

In a few short weeks we will bid farewell to the class of 2010. As medical reform begins to take shape, many uncertainties will face these new physicians. We can take pride in knowing these men and women are prepared to meet these new challenges, thanks to the education and training they received at the University of Virginia.

As we celebrate their successes and look forward to a new class, I am pleased to say the School of Medicine is in a strong position to train the next generation of physicians and scientists. This is due in large part to the foundations laid by our predecessors and solidified by the hard work and dedication of our current faculty and staff.

In this issue of Round Table, we have information on the State of the School Address held April 28, an important milestone for our liver transplant program, details on our new Associate Dean for Graduate and Medical Scientist Programs, Amy H. Bouton, PhD, a high honor for Alan F. “Rick” Horwitz, PhD, and an update on the Campaign for Health.

Respectfully,

Steven T. DeKosky, MD

Celebrating Our Faculty and Students

Thank you to everyone who attended the State of the School address on April 28. During the April address the faculty approves bestowing medical degrees on our fourth-year students. It is also a time to celebrate the accomplishments of our faculty. This year we had much to celebrate. I encourage those of you who were unable to attend the meeting to read through the presentation on the School of Medicine website.

Please feel free to send any question you may have to AsktheDeanAnything@Virginia.edu. Faculty, staff, students, and house staff may use this address to send me questions about any topic related to the School. I will do my best to answer all your questions and acknowledge your comments.

 

Campaign for Health Reaches $500 Million Goal

I am very pleased to report the Campaign for Health, part of UVA’s overall fundraising campaign, has reached its goal of $500 million, a full 21 months before the official end of UVA’s campaign.

This fundraising effort has touched nearly every facet of the School of Medicine, Medical Center, and School of Nursing. The Campaign has already resulted in two new buildings – the Carter-Harrison Research Building and the Claude Moore Nursing Education Building - with the Claude Moore Medical Education Building due to open this summer. Construction of the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center is well underway. Plans for the Barry and Bill Battle Building at UVA Children’s Hospital are moving forward. Campaign funds are also providing scholarships, fellowships, professorships, research funding, patient care resources, new program initiatives, and much more.

With more than a year left until the official end of the University campaign, the Health System will now focus on a “bridge campaign” to follow through on original goals, complete capital projects, build resources for core needs, and advance several new priorities, including a major translational research initiative.


A special note of thanks to Karen Rendleman and the entire development staff for all of their efforts to make the Campaign for Health a great success!

Amy H. Bouton, PhD, Appointed Associate Dean for Graduate and Medical Scientist Programs

I am very pleased that Amy H. Bouton, PhD, will be our Associate Dean for Graduate and Medical Scientist Programs, effective July 1, 2010. Dr. Bouton, who has been at UVA since 1991, is a Professor of Microbiology. Her lab has two major research interests – adhesion signaling in macrophages, and molecular mechanisms by which breast cancer cells become resistant to the growth-inhibitory effects of antiestrogens (competitive inhibitors of the estrogen receptor).

In her role as Associate Dean for Graduate and Medical Scientist Programs, Dr. Bouton will be responsible for overseeing and supporting all aspects of graduate studies at the School of Medicine. This includes oversight of the BIMS programs, the Graduate Programs Office, and coordination of graduate studies across departments and schools within the University.

Dr. Bouton chairs the Tumor Cell Biology Study Section of the NIH and is a Permanent Member of the NIH Tumor Cell Biology. She is on the editorial board of Breast Cancer: Basic and Clinical Research.

Dr. Bouton was elected as a founding member of the School of Medicine’s Academy of Distinguished Educators and has served on the ADE’s Steering Committee since 2004.

Brian Duling, PhD, who graciously served as Interim Associate Dean, led an outstanding search committee composed of Shayn Peirce-Cottler, PhD; Prabhakara Reddi, PhD; David Castle, PhD; James Garrison, PhD; Daniel Burke, PhD; Carl Creutz, PhD; and John Bushweller, PhD. I am grateful to him and each of the members of the committee for contributing their time and expertise to this important search.

Transplant Program Performs 1,000th Liver Transplant

Just a few short weeks ago, the transplant team at the Medical Center hit a major milestone, completing their 1,000th liver transplant. This achievement could have slipped by quietly, but I feel it is important for all of us to celebrate their success.

Our team performs between 85 and 90 liver transplants annually, making it one of the nation’s largest programs. This program thrives thanks to the hard work of many individuals and teams including nurses, radiologists, social workers, pathologists, anesthesiologists and many more groups.

Congratulations on a job well done!

ASA Endorses UVA Medical Simulation Center

Our Medical Simulation Center has joined elite company. It is one of only 20 centers in the U.S. to earn the endorsement of the American Society of Anesthesiology. This recognition tells colleagues across the country that our program provides high-quality courses to ASA members. Congratulations to our Simulation Center team including Co-Center Directors Mark Kirk, MD, and Keith Littlewood, MD, Elisabeth Wright, director of operations, Marcus Martin, MD, and Gene Corbett, Jr., MD, for this outstanding achievement!

Alan F. “Rick” Horwitz, PhD, Receives UVA’s 2010 Distinguished Scientist Award

Congratulations to Harrison Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology, Alan F. “Rick” Horwitz, PhD, on receiving the University's 2010 Distinguished Scientist Awards.

The award, created by the Office of the Vice President of Research, honors longtime faculty members who have made extensive and influential contributions in the sciences, medicine or engineering.

Dr. Horwitz, has conducted innovative research at the vanguard of emerging disciplines and led interdisciplinary research at the highest levels. He has made major discoveries in the fields of cell adhesion and migration and is a co-discoverer of the integrin family of proteins that mediate adhesion to connective tissues and other cells and regulate basic cellular phenomena like growth, survival and gene expression.

Dr. Horwitz is a pioneer and leader in the field of cell migration, where his papers on the role and regulation of adhesion and protrusion are considered to be classic. He is the founder and director of the Cell Migration Consortium, an $80 million NIH-sponsored "glue grant," comprising approximately 35 principal investigators from 25 institutions dedicated to developing new, interdisciplinary approaches to cell migration. Cell migration is central to the formation and regeneration of tissues including stem cell therapy. Abnormal migration contributes to many pathologies including metastasis, the spread of cancer cells throughout the body, and chronic inflammation in diseases like arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Academy of Distinguished Educators (ADE) Nominations Due May 14

Nominations for the Academy of Distinguished Educators (ADE) are due May 14, 2010, by 5:00 P.M. The Academy recognizes teaching in both the basic and clinical sciences.

Specifics on how to assemble a nomination packet and submit it electronically can be found on the School of Medicine website ( ADE Nomination).

Should you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Graham (eg4e@virginia.edu), Molly Hughes (mah3x@virginia.edu ), Marty W. Mayo, PhD, (mwm3y@virginia.edu), or Jerry Donowitz, MD, (grd@virginia.edu).

Nancy Rush of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics Named Employee of the Month

Congratulations to Nancy Rush

Congratulations to Nancy Rush, administrative assistant in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, for being selected as the February 2010 Employee of the Month. Nancy was nominated for her outstanding attitude and initiative in representing the best interests of the department and its members.


When I presented Nancy with her award, the members of Dr. Anindya Dutta’s lab turned out in force to support her. They half jokingly told me that Nancy is the one who keeps the lab organized and clean. And I have to say, it was one of the cleanest labs I have ever visited.

In nominating Nancy, Dr. Dutta expressed the following to the selection committee: “It is a privilege to have such a pleasant and dependable employee with an extremely high level of initiative. If there is a problem, Nancy will try to fix it.  If there is not a problem, she’ll scrutinize the operation to see if she can improve it.”


Congratulations again to Nancy!

Respectfully,

-STDeK