April 2012

April 2012

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Welcome to the April edition of the Round Table!

There have been several significant and positive events recently at UVA, and there are more coming down the pipeline. While on the topic of excellence: I had the pleasure of celebrating Match Day with the students of the Class of 2012. This class of 150 students had 146 matches to residency programs across the country, with four students deferring to pursue research or a master’s degree in public health. This was the largest class we’ve ever had at the School of Medicine, and there were many outstanding matches to prestigious residencies.

Nineteen of our graduates will remain at UVA to complete their training. The Class of 2012 arrived at UVA when I did, in August of 2008, and I’m particularly proud of them, as they are my first full four-year class. Match Day was the culmination of years of perseverance and hard work, and we all wish them success in their continued training. I would also like to thank the faculty and staff, educators all, for your dedication and commitment to these students. They are the great success of your hard work!

The Joint Commission’s February visit resulted in a successful survey and full accreditation. This is a testament to the efforts of everybody throughout the hospital — from physicians and housekeeping to nurses and facilities. You have demonstrated a commitment to excellence on a daily basis, for which you should be applauded.

At the end of March the new Bioinformatics Core had its grand opening. This core, directed by Stephen Turner, PhD, will support investigators in the design and analysis of studies in data-intensive fields, such as genomics and proteomics, and has great possibilities for future research directions.

In the coming weeks, there will be several ways to strengthen our engagement and serve our community. April 16–20 is National Volunteer Week, when we will “give back” to our patients, families, and visitors. National Hospital Week and National Nurses’ Week run concurrently, May 6–12. Hospital Week will celebrate our healthcare professionals, history, and technology, while Nurses’ Week will offer us an opportunity to show appreciation to our nursing staff, as marked by Florence Nightingale’s birthday!

Finally, I’d like to remind you that the next School of Medicine general faculty meeting and State of the School address will be held Tuesday, May 1, at 5 p.m. in the Claude Moore Medical Education Building (3rd Floor, Room 3110). The agenda will include a vote on a revision to the School of Medicine bylaws. Please join me at a reception immediately following our meeting. I look forward to seeing all of you.


Steven T. DeKosky, MD, FAAN, FACP


UVA Tops Mitral Valve Surgery Enrollment

I'm very pleased to announce that University of Virginia is leading the way with enrollment in 2011 and 2012 for two clinical trials sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) involving surgical treatment options for mitral valve disease. Led by principal investigator, Irving Kron, MD, Department of Surgery, these trials are being conducted through the NIH-funded Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN) (www.ctsurgerynet.org), which includes 10 centers of excellence in cardiac surgery in the United States and Canada. The goal of the CTSN is to foster rigorous scientific studies directed at improving cardiovascular disease outcomes for patients. Here at UVA, this research is supported by key personnel in the Departments of Surgery and Neurology, as well as the Division of Cardiology. The enrollment excellence at UVA within the Network is an example of the collaborative efforts to advance and strengthen our clinical research platform, a key part of our new clinical strategy. Congratulations to all!

Eight UVA Dialysis Sites Make 5-Diamond Status

Congratulations to UVA Dialysis for an outstanding job in renewing their 5-Diamond status. All eight of our units — University of Virginia Kidney Center, UVA Altavista Dialysis, UVA Amherst Dialysis, UVA Augusta Dialysis, UVA Lynchburg Dialysis, UVA Orange Dialysis, UVA Page Dialysis, and UVA Zion Cross Roads Dialysis — achieved this rating, the highest available.

The 5-Diamond Patient Safety Program helps dialysis facilities increase awareness, and promote and build a culture of patient safety. There are 138 facilities in Virginia, and only 15 of them made 5-Diamond status — eight of the 15 are UVA sites! These types of efforts are an important step in realizing our clinical strategy and exemplify the commitment our dedicated staff and care providers have toward patient safety.

National Healthcare Decisions Day Raises Awareness

April 16 is the fifth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day, a day to help raise awareness about the importance of advance care planning. Making decisions far in advance about end-of-life care and clearly determining who makes care decisions is important for family, friends, and healthcare providers. There will be a display from April 16-18 in the Hospital Cafeteria, and staff will be available to provide information about Advance Directives. There will also be related displays on trauma, organ donation, bereavement, and a signed proclamation stating our commitment to this effort. For more information on National Healthcare Decisions Day, visit nhdd.org.

Nature Highlights Groundbreaking UVA Autism Spectrum Research

Congratulations to Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, Department of Neuroscience, and his research team for their groundbreaking efforts in halting the symptoms of Rett syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, in genetically modified mice. Rett’s Disease that is fatal in humans, and their research is an extraordinary step toward discovering a cure. I urge you to go online and read the story that was highlighted in Nature, found here: www.nature.com/news/bone-marrow-transplant-reverses-rett-syndrome-in-mice-1.10243.

The study findings were published in Nature, in a letter found here: www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10907.html.

Call for Nominations: UVA’s Distinguished Scientist Award

The Office of the Vice President for Research requests nominations from department chairs and faculty for UVA’s Distinguished Scientist Award. Founded in 2006, this award recognizes faculty from the basic, medical, and engineering sciences who have distinguished the University through a significant body of research conducted while at UVA, and who have made national and international impact in a field of study. The recipient will receive a $10,000 contribution to their laboratory. I urge you to nominate your distinguished colleagues. The deadline is April 30. More information can be found at www.virginia.edu/vpr/dsa.html.

New SOM MilliPub Club Celebrates 1,000 Citations

Getting exemplary research funded and then having that work published in a reputable, highly voted peer-reviewed journal is the goal of many academic faculty members. When that work is cited heavily in literature it becomes an accomplishment worthy of formal recognition from the University. Having a single paper cited over 1,000 times deserves both commendation and commemoration. Therefore, I am pleased to announce the creation of the MilliPub Club, to acknowledge and honor the scholarly achievements of current School of Medicine faculty members who have authored at least one article that has been cited 1,000 times or more.

Andrea Horne, Research & Data Services Manager of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, established specific methodology using the Web of Science search engines to identify all articles by current faculty members that met the criterion of 1,000 citations by the end of 2011. A remarkable

32 current faculty members were identified!

The 2011 inaugural members in the MilliPub Club are: Robert D. Abbott, PhD, George A. Beller, MD, David L. Brautigan, PhD, John P.DiMarco, MD, Anindya Dutta, MD, PhD, Arthur Garson Jr., MD, Felicia Gaskin, PhD, Barry M. Gumbiner, PhD, E. Clarke Haley Jr., MD, Alan F.Horwitz, PhD, John A. Jane, MD, PhD, Neal F. Kassell, MD, Ellen C. Keeley, MD, Gordon W. Laurie, PhD, Michael B. Lawrence, PhD, Marty W. Mayo, PhD, Wladek Minor, PhD, Christopher A. Moskaluk, MD, PhD, James P. Nataro, MD, PhD, Edward H. Oldfield, MD, Gary K. Owens, PhD, J. Thomas Parsons, PhD, William R. Pearson, PhD, Thomas A. Platts-Mills, MD, Steven M. Powell, MD, Nina J. Solenski, MD, Avril V. Somlyo, PhD, William Steers, MD, Michael O. Thorner, DSc, Kenneth S. Tung, MD, Michael E. Williams, MD, and David Wotton, PhD.

Congratulations to all of you who have been cited! We anticipate some recipients may have be inadvertently omitted and encourage you to contact Christie Tanner, Project Coordinator (crt5c@virginia.edu), to ensure they are included in next year's honorees. Finally, my personal thanks to our research deans who came up with this idea and worked hard to bring it to fruition.


Amy Bouton, PhD, Honored with the Sharon L. Hostler Women in Medicine Leadership Award

Please join me in congratulating Amy Bouton, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Associate Dean for Graduate and Medical Scientist Programs, for winning the 2012 Sharon L. Hostler Women in Medicine Leadership Award. This award is given to faculty members who demonstrate excellence in leadership, scholarship and mentoring, and who exert influence in fostering a better institutional environment by advocating for women's issues.

Dr. Bouton has a long history of competing successfully for R01 awards from the NIH and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and in securing NCI pre-doctoral and doctoral training awards. She has mentored numerous undergraduate, medical, bioengineering, and graduate students, as well as 15 graduate students — 11 of who were women. She’s won the Dean's Excellence in Teaching Award, the Robert KadnerAward for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, and was a founding member and leader of the Academy of Distinguished Educators. Her research interest is in mechanisms of therapeutic resistance in breast cancer and the role of macrophages in tumor progression and metastasis. 

In her nominating letter, Karen Johnston, MD, Chair, Department of Neurology, says, “Dr. Bouton has demonstrated decades of commitment to education and leadership with a research and mentoring focus in helping women and men be successful in an academic school of medicine environment.” Congratulations, Dr. Bouton!

Take Time to Honor Your Faculty

A wonderful way to honor your faculty is by nominating them for recognition and awards. Listed below are four upcoming awards, to be given to faculty who bring excellence to our institution:

Dean’s Clinical Excellence Award
Award: $1,500 and a gift

Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award
Award: $1,500 and a gift

Robert J. Kadner Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching
Award: $1,500 and membership in the Academy for Distinguished Educators

David A. Harrison Distinguished Educator Award
$10,000/year for 5 years, membership in the Academy for Distinguished Educators, and title in perpetuity

The deadline for each of these awards is June 25. For more information on eligibility and criteria, please follow the above links.

Dean's New Faculty Seminar Series

Thank you to everyone who attended the March Dean's New Faculty Seminar series, “Fn14 and tweak promote muscle injury in myotonicdystrophy type I and represent a novel therapeutic target,” presented by Erin Pennock Foff, MD, PhD, Instructor of Neurology. In addition to education, the seminars are an opportunity for presenters to introduce themselves (and their research programs and methodologies) to other faculty and to make contacts with others around the School of Medicine and the Grounds. All faculty, students, and staff are welcome to attend April’s seminar, which will be held in Jordan Hall Auditorium.

Thursday, April 19, 4 p.m.

  • Presenter – Jung-Bum Shin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
  • Topic – Proteomic analysis of hearing and deafness

It is my hope that this merit-based series will speed the introduction of exciting new research ideas and accelerate collaborations and interactions between our new faculty and all of our established colleagues.

Chris A. Ghaemmaghami, MD, Awarded AOA – Anne L. Brodie Teacher’s Teacher Award

Please join me in congratulating Chris A. Ghaemmaghami, MD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, for winning the 2012 Alpha Omega Alpha – Anne L. Brodie Teacher’s Teacher Award. This is a medical education faculty mentoring award that recognizes University of Virginia School of Medicine faculty who model excellence in the mentoring of clinical faculty educators. Dr. Ghaemmaghmi received this award for his dedication and commitment to medical education, as well as for his positive impact on teaching in his role as Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Emergency Medicine. In what was a very competitive year, with many wonderful and qualified candidates, Dr. Ghaemmaghami stood out for organizing the expansion of emergency medicine fellowship opportunities, increasing the number of fourth-year medical student electives, and being involved closely in the curricular development of the Perioperative and Acute Care Medicine third-year clerkship.

“[Dr. Ghaemmaghami] has been my main role model in shaping how I teach at the bedside,” says Amita Sudhir, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, in her nominating letter. “He asks probing questions and turns every case into a teaching opportunity. On a busy ED shift, it is easy to let teaching fall by the wayside, but when tempted to do so I remember that every shift with Dr. Ghaemmaghami was a novel learning experience and I strive to emulate his methods.” Congratulations, Dr. Ghaemmaghami!


School of Medicine Gets an “A” for its COI Policies

The School of Medicine has received a grade of “A” on the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) PharmFree Scorecard 2011-2012 for our Conflict of Interest (COI) policies this year. This “grade” is up from a “B” the past two years. Of the 157 institutions that participated, only 28 received an “A” rating. Everyone has worked hard at putting our new rules into action, and I am grateful for your unceasing efforts to make these policies both workable and transparent. I would also like to thank the faculty for your feedback on the policy and efforts toward full financial disclosure over the past four years. Special thanks to Steven Wasserman, PhD, Assistant Dean for Research, for all his work in overseeing our COI efforts! The overall scorecard can be accessed at amsascorecard.org, while an expanded description of our policies can be found at amsascorecard.org/institutions/51.

Hospital Drive Releases Seventh Edition

Hospital Drive, the School of Medicine’s online creative journal that examines themes of health, illness, and healing, has released its seventh edition. Editor-in-Chief Daniel Becker, MD, Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Director of the UVA Center for Biomedical Ethics & Humanities, says, “Our works come from contributors as far away as England and the Bahamas, and as close as the Grounds of University of Virginia.” This issue includes more than 30 poems, essays, short stories, paintings, photographs, and music. I encourage you to go online and enjoy — at hospitaldrive.med.virginia.edu. For those of you who are creative, submissions are open to all, and I encourage you to submit your original works for consideration for the eighth edition.

Threat Assessment Team Offers Safety Resources

The Threat Assessment Team recently visited the monthly Deans’ meeting and presented information regarding potential crisis situations that may arise around Grounds and at the Medical Center. A valuable way to learn about the topic is to visit “Hoos Making a Safer Community at the University of Virginia” at www.virginia.edu/safercommunity, and take the Violence Prevention Training module. Here you’ll find information about key safety resources, learn how to recognize signs of distress in colleagues and students, and understand the proper prevention, intervention and response strategies. You’ll also have the opportunity to review the relevant University policies. You should share and discuss this with your faculty, staff and students. You can also use your phone to stay connected by signing up for University notifications of emergency situations at www.virginia.edu/safercommunity/alerts.html.

It is important to remember that prevention starts early. Do not wait to address a problem until it escalates to crisis. If you have additional questions about threat assessment, please contact Marjorie Sidebottom, Director, Office of Emergency Preparedness, at mls9m@virginia.edu or 924.8745.

SOM’s Employees of the Month Are …

I’m happy to announce our latest School of Medicine Employees of the Month: David Stewart (January 2012), Matt Dickerson (February 2012), and Melissa Gonzalez (March 2012).

David Stewart

David Stewart, Information Technology Specialist, Department of Neurology, was honored for his successful coordination of a recent national start-up meeting for the SHINE trial that involved individually configuring 120 laptop computers for 60 participating hospitals. The SHINE Project Director, Amy Fansler, Department of Neurology, one of his nominators, stated, “In this project David not only demonstrated his command of the technical aspects of his role but also his ability to work seamlessly with multiple external data management and programming groups.” David was also commended for improving faculty satisfaction.

Matt Dickerson

Matt Dickerson, Medical Education Equipment and Computer Support Manager, was selected for outstanding customer service, eagerness in handling technology issues and professional manner. In his nomination, Ann Chapin, Assistant Professor, Medical Education Support, wrote, “As a technology expert on call to fix myriad technological glitches in what has been reported as the nation’s most technologically advanced medical schools, some of Matt’s work is done under time pressure with the scrutiny of a dean, faculty or staff member experiencing stress at his elbow and an often bemused audience in attendance. He does this seemingly heroic work efficiently and graciously, allowing the work of educating students or faculty to proceed as planned.”

Melissa Gonzalez

Melissa Gonzalez, Administrator, Mellon Institute, was honored for her contributions to the Urology residency program and faculty newsletter, as well as achieving an increase in alumni attendance at the national annual meeting after taking on the role of updating 20 years of alumni “records in shambles.” William Steers, MD, Paul Mellon Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology, remarked that Melissa’s “administrative help with our academic and teaching missions allows my faculty and staff to devote diminishing time to these endeavors so they can spend more time to care for patients.” Melissa’s persistence and dedication was also pointed out by Tracey Krupski, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology, who indicated that Melissa coordinated the articles, layout and took the photographs for the “first ever Alumni newsletter.”

Congratulations to David, Matt, and Melissa, who will be honored at an award presentation May 24.