September 2012

September 2012

Welcome to the September 2012 edition of the Round Table.

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September is always a special time for me. As we enter a new academic year, I had the privilege last month of welcoming the Class of 2016 at the traditional White Coat Ceremony. Seeing these 156 students put on their coats for the first time always reminds me of our purpose here — creating the future of medicine in which these students will practice. Whether it is teaching them how to be physicians or scientists — or even teachers themselves — meeting these students at the beginning of their formal education is a rejuvenating moment. It is a good reminder that we need to excel in our daily duties and make ready for the day when they will be the leaders and visionaries, here or at other institutions. Our role as stewards is never so clear to me as when a new class arrives, or departs. I am eager to see this highly talented and diverse group advance through the team-based Next Generation curriculum.

I am also very excited about the opening of the new Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) Graduate Program Education Center. The newly renovated space in McKim Hall (room 1023, now called the BIMS Education Center) will serve as a classroom, interactive space, seminar room, and open forum for our graduate program. This will be the new home of the revamped curriculum, which includes a 12-week, fully immersive "Core Course in Integrative Biosciences," to be followed by six-week topical modules. With this new integrated curriculum, we will be training future colleagues, giving them the critical-thinking skills and analytical tools that will serve them for their entire careers, while exposing them to a wide range of sciences. Thank you to all who played a role in preparing this exciting curriculum and beautiful space. Special thanks to Amy Bouton, our Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, for her enthusiasm, hard work, and determination that we would develop both the new space and the new curriculum.

While we revamp curricula and construct facilities here on Grounds to make access to our top-quality healthcare more convenient for our patients, it is important to remember that not all of those who need to see a doctor can do so, whether for financial or logistical reasons. That is why our outreach programs are so critical. Every year, the University of Virginia collaborates with several regional groups in Central Appalachia and organizations from around the state and nation to send volunteers to set up the Remote Area Medical (RAM) Clinic in Wise, Va., where we provide healthcare to the most medically underserved population in the state. Our volunteers offer medical and support services for dental, vision, emergency care, women’s health, endocrinology, dermatology, telemedicine, and more. I’m happy to report that this year’s clinic was a resounding success. During the three-day clinic, we registered 1,224 patients, had more than 6,500 patient encounters (including all services such as blood draws, sonograms, mammograms, echocardiograms, etc.), and 1,800 practitioner encounters. We filled 1,258 prescriptions and distributed 515 pharmacy vouchers. I would personally like to thank the more than 250 Health System and Culpeper Regional Hospital volunteers who donated their time and energy in bringing quality healthcare to those in need. This is a huge undertaking and I applaud your efforts!

Speaking of access: UVA Care Connection, the ambassador service program offered to Health System and University employees, their families, and to selected local companies to provide ease of access to UVA providers and services, has hit a new milestone. Since its inception in January 2010, more than 15,000 appointments have been made. This is an incredible number. Of these appointments, 73% have been for Health System and University employees and their families, and 27% have been made by non-University entities. (Of these, 78% were for specialty care; 19% for primary care; and 4% for Imaging and other services.) From January to April of 2012, those in the UVA family have increased their visits by 11% (by 19% in specialty care) as compared to the same time period last year. As you know, providing ease of access to expert healthcare is part of our Clinical Strategy — and the UVA Care Connection is helping us achieve that goal. Thank you for your outstanding efforts, dedication, and teamwork in reaching this milestone.


Steven T. DeKosky, MD, FAAN, FACP

In this edition of Round Table you will find information on:


Karen Rheuban, MD, Appointed to Board of Medical Assistance Services

Congratulations to Karen Rheuban, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and External Affairs, Medical Director of the Office of Telemedicine, and Director of the Center for Telehealth! She has recently been appointed to the Board of Medical Assistance Services by Gov. Bob McDonnell. The Department of Medical Assistance Services is an agency that administers Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Virginia. Its mission is to provide a system of high-quality and cost-effective healthcare services to qualifying Virginians and their families. Dr. Rheuban was nominated for this position by the Medical Society of Virginia, of which she is a member. Congratulations, Dr. Rheuban!

John Jane, Sr., MD, PhD, Re-elected as Editor, Awarded Golden Neuron

Double congratulations to John A. Jane, Sr., MD, PhD, Professor of Neurosurgery, for two outstanding achievements. He was recently re-elected for a another five-year term as the editor of the Journal of Neurosurgery and the Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group, premier publications for neurosurgeons. He has held this post since 1992. Additionally, the World Academy of Neurological Surgery awarded Dr. Jane with the Golden Neuron Award — only the second time it has ever been given. Once again, congratulations to Dr. Jane!

Schwartz Center Rounds Offers Discussion & Assistance

I urge you to participate in our sixth installment of Schwartz Center Rounds on Friday, Sept. 28. These free rounds are open to everyone — faculty, staff, students, caregivers, and non-caregivers — and offer a safe forum for the discussion of difficult psychological, social, and emotional aspects of providing care. The open-forum format is case-based, exploring real UVA cases. Rounds take place every other month; this month’s session will be held in School of Nursing’s McLeod Hall Auditorium. Lunch is provided starting at 11:30 a.m. The Rounds run from noon–1 p.m. Prior registration is encouraged.

The Schwartz Rounds is part of a national program founded by the Schwartz Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. UVA was the first hospital in Virginia to offer these popular Rounds. Thank you to all who participate.


Next Month: 11th Conference on Comprehensive Breast Care and Imaging

The Breast Care Services at the University of Virginia will present the 11th Conference on Breast Care and Imaging on Oct. 19 and 20, 2012.

This conference, sponsored by the School of Medicine Office of Continuing Medical Education, offers discussions and interactive case presentations, as well as a full day’s focus on breast imaging. This course will provide clinicians with practical information related to breast imaging and breast care and will include the latest information on screening, diagnosis, and treatment, with a focus on breast density. This year’s guest speaker is Liane Philpotts, MD, Chief of Breast Imaging at Yale University School of Medicine. UVA healthcare professionals can attend for a reduced fee of $50 for both days.

To view the full brochure and to register, please visit (click on “Conferences & Symposia”).

Fall LAM Program Starts This Week

Leadership in Academic Matters (LAM) kicks off this week and will run Monday sessions until Dec. 3. The program, originally called Leadership in Academic Medicine when it began in 2004, was renamed Leadership in Academic Matters in 2009 when faculty from across Grounds began to participate alongside faculty from the School of Medicine. LAM has become a universitywide opportunity for faculty to focus on professional development areas, such as self-awareness, managing organizational change, financial and strategic decision-making, media relations, and more.

This season’s session brings together a varied group from across grounds and disciplines, including participants from the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, the Curry School of Education, the Medical Center, the Office of the Vice President for Management and Budget, the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Law, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, UVA Physicians Group, and the University Library. Topics include Appreciative Practice and Leading Positive Change, Financial Decision Making, Media Training, Emotional and Social Competency, Leveraging Difference, Difficult Conversations, Negotiation Skills, Emotional Intelligence, Servant Leadership, and more. Thanks to Sharon Hostler, who has overseen this wonderful program from the start, and for all the staff and faculty who have participated in teaching or leading discussion groups.

SOM Doctors and Researchers Are Great Mentors

As a teaching facility, it is incumbent upon the School of Medicine (SOM) to pass along our knowledge to the next generation of doctors and researchers. Increasingly, undergraduate students are starting their studies better prepared and more mature than their predecessors. And their involvement in research has become an important component of their undergraduate experience at the University of Virginia. It is in many of our SOM labs and among our faculty where students discover unique experiences and independent research opportunities. In the last academic year alone, between 100-120 students performed their research in SOM labs.

Robert Kretsinger, PhD, Commonwealth Professor of Biology, established the Distinguished Mentor Award in an effort to recognize outstanding mentoring contributions to our students. This year's recipients are Carl Creutz, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology, and Coleen McNamara, MD, Professor of Medicine and Cardiovascular Medicine. Thank you to all who participate in mentoring programs such as these. It is a tribute to your dedication to education that this honor has been awarded to a SOM researcher every year since its inception!

Congratulations to Drs. Creutz and McNamara for their outstanding efforts!

Dean's New Faculty Seminar Series Returns

After a summer hiatus, the Dean's New Faculty Seminar series resumes this month. In addition to education, the seminars are an opportunity for presenters to introduce themselves (and their research programs) to other faculty and to make contacts with others in their field and around the School of Medicine and the Grounds. All faculty, students, and staff are welcome to attend these seminars, held in Jordan Hall Auditorium. I look forward to seeing you Monday, Sept. 10 at 4 p.m., when we will hear Alban P. Gaultier, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, speak about “Novel function for LRP1 in CNS pathology.”

It is my hope that this merit-based series will speed the introduction of exciting new research ideas, and accelerate collaborations and interactions among our new faculty and all of our established colleagues. A full list of speakers and topics can be found at:


Christopher Moskaluk, MD, PhD, Appointed Chair of the Department of Pathology

I am pleased to announce that Christopher A. Moskaluk, MD, PhD, has accepted the position of Chair of the Department of Pathology. Dr. Moskaluk is Professor of Pathology, Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, and Medicine (Division of Gastroenterology). His clinical interest is in surgical pathology; his research focuses on the analysis of molecular genetic events in human cancers, including molecular changes in precursor lesions of malignant neoplasms.

As Chair of the Department of Pathology, Dr. Moskaluk will focus on ensuring the clinical pathology laboratories support the changing needs of the clinical enterprise, aligning research themes with strategic clinical directions, and fostering strong links between Pathology, bioinformatics, and genomics. Genomic medicine is a major area for growth for both clinical practice and translational research.

Thank you to the search committee, ably chaired by Edward Oldfield, MD. Douglas Bayliss, PhD, Ruth Gaare Bernheim, JD, MPH, and Anindya Dutta, MD, PhD, served on the committee. I am also grateful to Mr. Ed Howell and the Medical Center for partnering with us during this recruitment.

Thank you for supporting Dr. Moskaluk in his new role!

Stephen Culp, MD, PhD, Shayn Peirce-Cottler, PhD, Receive Swortzel Award

Congratulations to Stephen Culp, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, and Shayn Peirce-Cottler, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, for receiving the 2012 Thelma R. Swortzel Collaborative Research Award. Their proposal, “TNF and NFkB signaling in targeted therapy resistance in renal cell carcinoma,” exemplifies the goals of the Swortzel Award, which is to provide support for innovative research collaborations in the areas of ear, eye, heart, and/or cancer; address unmet clinical needs; and leads to improvements in healthcare. Congratulations to Drs. Culp and Peirce-Cottler and their teams. I wish them the best of luck in their innovative research project.

Brant Isakson, PhD, Receives Annette Lightner Research Award

Congratulations to Brant Isakson, PhD, Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, for receiving the 2012 Annette Lightner Research Award. This award supports medical research in rheumatology, autoimmune diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Isakson’s proposal, “Loss of pannexin-mediated contraction of lymph vessels during rheumatoid arthritis,” was the winning project. I look forward to seeing the fruits of this innovative research project. Past recipients include Steven Cohn, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine (2010), and Adam Goldfarb, MD, Professor of Pathology (2011). Once again, congratulations to Dr. Isakson and his team!

BioConnector Offers Resources to Researchers

Getting researchers connected to the tools, experts, and resources they need is vital in continuing — and succeeding — in our mission here in the School of Medicine. To that end, I’m pleased to announce the formation of the BioConnector, a hub that brings together informational sciences, bioinformatics, and clinical informatics.

The BioConnector has been designed as a portal for biomedical researchers, with a goal to consolidate and organize important resources and tools, educational content, and collaborative technologies to support biomedical research. There will be both a virtual presence online as well as a physical space on the second level of the Health Sciences Library. The online resource will provide access to tools and data sets supporting genomics and proteomics analyses as well as retrospective and prospective clinical research. The library has two computers that can link to the Epic EMR and there are plans to add four more. Access to and support for open-source and locally developed analysis tools, custom database development, clinical trials data management, and de-identified clinical data will support the work of both new and established researchers. Future developments will include tools for research communication, dafta sharing, and collaboration discovery. Expert advice and “hands on” support for these tools and resources are available at the library location.

Gretchen Arnold, MLS, Director of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library; Stephen Turner, PhD, Assistant Professor and Director of the Bioinformatics Core; James Harrison, MD, PhD, Associate Professor and Director, Division of Biomedical Informatics; and Bart Ragon, MSL, Associate Director for Knowledge Integration, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, have collaborated to help create this innovative way to assist our researchers.

More information can be found at in the coming months. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Ron Turner at

The 2012 Distinguished Scientists Are …

Congratulations to Michael Scheld, MD, Bayer-Gerald L. Mandell Professor of Infectious Diseases, and Judith White, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology, from the School of Medicine for receiving the 2012 Distinguished Scientist Award. Both are internationally known for their innovative and translational research, and are immensely deserving of this distinction. The award, from the Office of the Vice President for Research, was founded in 2006, and recognizes faculty from the basic, medical, or engineering sciences who have distinguished UVA through a significant body of research conducted here, as judged by publications, awards and peer reviews, and have made a major impact upon a field of study, both nationally and internationally. Haydn Wadley, PhD, University Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, joins them in this honor. For a full article, see UVA Today’s coverage at Congratulations!

Save the Date: Research Retreat

Although this event is still several months away, I’d like you to save the date for the next School of Medicine Research Retreat, to be held at the Boar’s Head Inn on Feb. 8-9, 2013. As we reconvene after our various summer activities, the research deans and members of the Research Advisory Committee will be reaching out to faculty for ideas on areas of emphasis and how best to structure the event. I look forward to seeing you at this weekend of collaboration and opportunity. If you’d like to look at a past Research Retreat program, we have posted 2009’s schedule here:

Save the Date: Medical Student Research Symposium

I would like to remind everyone that the 11th annual Medical Student Research Symposium will be held Oct. 25 in the Jordan Hall Lobby (1st floor) from 11:45 a.m.-4 p.m. This event is open to faculty, community members, and any medical student who has performed research, whether through the Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP), an MD-PhD program, or through another program prior to coming to the University of Virginia.

The goal of this symposium is to present and discuss work among peers; to inform medical students about the research opportunities at UVA School of Medicine; and to provide a medium for faculty, students, and members of the general community to interact informally and discuss future or current research projects. Registration is not required. Lunch will be served from 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m., followed by a poster session. More information can be found at


New Faculty Orientation This Month

Please join me in welcoming our new faculty! To help them get settled in, there will be a New Faculty Orientation held Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., at The Colonnade Club.

The day will begin with breakfast, during which Department Chairs will introduce their new faculty. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet with colleagues to identify potential areas of collaboration in research, medical education, and patient care. They will meet with recently promoted/tenured faculty, who will offer advice on preparing for the promotion-and-tenure cycle by sharing their own experiences. New faculty will also be introduced to key School of Medicine faculty-support leaders. The afternoon session will focus on the University’s Hidden Gems, during which representatives from the University’s Human Resources office will describe some of the lesser-known employee benefits, including (but not limited to) Backup Care, Hoo’s Well, the UVA Care Connection, Employee Travel Opportunities, and Education Benefits. New faculty at the Assistant Professor level and above may register by visiting: If you have questions, please contact Susan Pollart, MD, at or Ashley Ayers at

Hospital Drive Releases Eighth Edition

Hospital Drive, the School of Medicine’s online creative journal that examines themes of health, illness, and healing, has released its eighth edition. Editor-in-Chief Daniel Becker, MD, Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Director of the UVA Center for Biomedical Ethics & Humanities, says it is one of only a few medical-school-based literary magazines with a national audience, and that the submissions are getting more and more competitive with every issue. The newest edition includes 28 artists, photographers, and writers, some of whom are locals, and was culled from more than 600 submissions. “Most of the work required,” says Becker, “the reviewing, selecting, arranging, copyediting — is all volunteered.” I encourage you to go online and enjoy this 60-page issue of poems, essays, short stories, and images — at

For those of you who are interested, submissions are open to all, and I encourage you to submit your original works for consideration for the ninth edition.

Save the Date: State of the School Address

I’d like to remind you that the next School of Medicine State of the School address will be held Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 5 p.m. in the Claude Moore Medical Education Building (3rd Floor, Room 3110). The agenda will include research, education, and clinical updates. Please join me at a reception immediately following our meeting. I look forward to seeing all of you.