Division Dialogue

Division Dialogue

Summer 2013

Message from Vice President Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

Division of Health Sciences continues to grow

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.

The health care sector of the economy is the fastest growing-perhaps the only growing-part of the U.S. economy, which probably explains why the Division of Health Sciences is one of the fastest growing units at UNR. We have passed the 2,000 student mark and the demand for our many health professions programs, undergraduate and graduate degrees, minors, and certificates shows no end of declining.

This demand brings both excitement and responsibility.

We are excited that so many students want to be what we are and do what we do. We are excited that Nevada will be better served as these students move into many different health professions and serve their clients, patients and communities. We are excited that so many students recognize the quality and value that we have to offer in our educational programs.

But we are also aware of the awesome responsibility we have to teach, train, mentor, supervise, advise and support these students.

We seek to be the kind of faculty and staff members to whom students turn when they are in need. We want to bring passion to our teaching and mentoring that will spark the same passion in our students. We need to instill the concept of lifelong learning in our students so that they continue to learn long past the time they leave our influence. We have the paradoxical task described by this anonymous aphorism, "The teacher should influence his or her students to be independent of the teacher's influence." And we seek to connect our students to their communities, defined in many ways. Ultimately that is where they will work and thrive.

I welcome everyone-students, staff and faculty members-to the 2013-14 academic year and wish you the great success.

Tom

News from Division of Health Sciences Units

Goutham MenonSchool of Social Work names new director

Goutham M. Menon, Ph.D., has been selected as the new director of the School of Social Work, following a national search. Menon comes from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he's been an associate professor since 2006. He completed his MSW in 1988 at the Madras School of Social Work, at the University of Madras, India. In 1997 he completed a doctorate in social work at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include technology in human and social services; online/distance education; minority mental health, international social development and social work education.

Menon said Nevada's social work program has been doing well, with a stable student population and faculty and will offer him the opportunity to build on that base.

"We are looking to expand access to students across the state, so this move is a good fit for me," Menon said. "Our faculty is positive and willing to explore and develop these opportunities." According to Menon, the social work workforce has historically been low in Nevada. Working in consultation with faculty, he intends to grow that pool of new professionals by reaching out to prospective students through traditional classroom settings for the School of Social Work's undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and expanding its offerings of on-line and hybrid degrees.

Biotech start-up launched by School of Medicine researchers

The work of two University of Nevada School of Medicine researchers has led to the launch of a new Nevada biotechnology corporation based on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. DxDiscovery, Inc. has begun operations at the University's Applied Research Facility, marking the start of what could be a new dimension of commercial and economic development for Nevada.

The core focus of DxDiscovery is the development of medical diagnostics tests for infectious disease using highly optimized monoclonal antibodies. Tom Kozel, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and co-founder and CEO of the new company, and David AuCoin, Ph.D., co-founder and professor of microbiology, are both School of Medicine faculty members who have each successfully commercialized some of their research, already in use around the world.

Mel Minarik Photo Minarik selected as 2013 Division of Health Sciences Teaching Award winner

Melanie Minarik, Ph.D., MPH, lecturer, School of Community Health Sciences, was selected as the 2013 Division of Health Sciences Teaching Award winner. In addition to receiving a commemorative plaque and a $500 faculty development award from the division, she was will be put forth as the nominee from the division to compete for the Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Professor Award Committee at the university level.

"The committee was impressed with the diverse range of active learning techniques Dr. Minarik uses to engage her students both in the classroom and online. The careful thought given to planning her classes to ensure student participation was evident," said Kristen Clements-Nolle, chair of DHS Teaching Award committee.

Kimberly Baxter, M.S.N., R.N., F.N.P., assistant professor and associate director of undergraduate programs, Orvis School of Nursing was named first runner up for the award. Members of the Division of Health Sciences Teaching Award committee evaluated and reviewed the teaching portfolio of each nominee and observed classroom teaching, as well.

School of Medicine and High Sierra AHEC host Summer of Discovery program for teens

The School of Medicine, in partnership with the High Sierra Area Health Education Center, hosted from June 23 to 28 the annual Summer of Discovery program for 8th, 9th and 10th grade students on the school's Reno campus. With a call to those who "love science and microscopic creepy crawlies" the medical school and AHEC hosted interested teens and challenged them to come and experience using forensic science, view their own DNA and conduct experiments. The one-week camp provided 36 Nevada high school students the chance to become excited about science and their ability to be successful in science. The program's goal is to increase the number of science courses students take throughout high school and help them learn about the career and educational opportunities in science at the college level.

Project ECHO presents at autism training program

The Project ECHO Nevada team had the opportunity to present at the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) Multidisciplinary Training Program. ADOS-2 is a state of the art, evidence based tool for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders. This training program was offered to multi-disciplinary teams from agencies across the state (such as Nevada Early Intervention and school districts) in order to increase their expertise in diagnosing autism. The program was presented by the Nevada Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Training Program (NvLEND) with funding from the Nevada Title V, Maternal and Child Health.

The goal of the ECHO presentation was to begin a dialogue for development of a tele-health system for statewide provision of services to children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Dissemination and support of best practices and leveraging of limited health care resources are the core values of Project ECHO. Erika Ryst, M.D., associate professor in the department of psychiatry and Debra Vigil, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of speech pathology and audiology are members of the NvLEND program and initiated the invitation.

Lupan Family

CMM Auditorium named for longtime faculty member

The legacy of David M. Lupan, Ph.D., former senior associate dean for research, was honored when the large auditorium in the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) on the School of Medicine's Reno campus was dedicated in his name on July 11. Lupan passed away at on June 23, 2012. He was instrumental in the development, design and construction of the CMM, which opened in 2010 and houses researchers from several basic science departments at the School of Medicine. A plaque, designed by the family, honoring Dave Lupan and his contributions to the medical school now hangs inside the entrance to the auditorium.

Sanford Center SOS program continues service to seniors

During the past year, 143 Senior Outreach Services (SOS) volunteers have served 257 low income, frail, homebound seniors age 60 and older who most often have no family support. Volunteers provided over 20,000 hours of service. The leverage on state-funded investment for volunteer services is 4.6-to-1 on the market rate of $18.82 per hour and 2.5-to-1 on the ADSD $10 hourly rate for volunteer time. Additionally, volunteers contributed out-of-pocket expenses for mileage costs, lunches and other items to help address client needs.

Medical school offers cancer screenings related to nuclear testing

The School of Medicine's Nevada Radiation and Exposure Screening and Education Program is excited to announce a new partnership with Grover C. Dils Medical Center that brings free cancer screening clinics to Lincoln County residents. Nevadans who lived near or worked at the Nevada Test Site during the period of atmospheric nuclear testing (1951 - 1963) may be eligible to participate.

High Sierra AHEC presents Health Care Heroes summer camp

High Sierra AHEC has partnered with Extended Studies to offer its fifth year of Health Care Heroes Summer Camp. In an effort to innovatively expose young students to health care careers, twenty five students in grades 6th through 8th participated in a variety of activities to include: dissections, ABO blood typing and a hospital tour with Renown. The event kicked off with a mass casualty incident working with REMSA. During camp they also had a chance to speak with local health professionals.

Medical school, UMC team up for science festival

The School of Medicine and University Medical Center staffed an interactive booth at the Las Vegas Science and Technology Festival on May 4 at the Cashman Center. Medical students, outreach staff from the School of Medicine and UMC and nurses from UMC staffed the hands-on experiential booth.

Endowment honors School of Social Work co-founder Barbara Larsen

The late Barbara Larsen, associate professor emerita of social work, was co-founder of the School of Social Work at the University and served for several years as the school's chair. During her 25 years of teaching, Barbara was a strong advocate for children and taught child law courses in addition to courses in social work. She was honored as a Senior Scholar Mentor in 1990. Barbara's husband, College of Business faculty emeritus Larry Larsen, and her children, Lance, Kiersten, Erik and Gretchen, are honoring her by establishing the Barbara West Larsen School of Social Work Founder's Endowment, a scholarship endowment to benefit graduate or undergraduate students pursuing degrees in social work. To learn more about supporting the School of Social Work and the Division of Health Sciences, please contact Christina Sarman, director of development, (775) 784-6009.

NAETC hosts HIV summit in Las Vegas

The Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center (NAETC), a program of Statewide Initiatives in the School of Medicine, presented a Las Vegas HIV Community Partners' Summit on June 27. The program brought together representatives from all HIV service organizations in the Las Vegas Valley to discuss the provision and future of HIV care and services in the area. Trudy Larson, MD, NAETC Medical Director, and Patty Charles, DrPH, NAETC director, co-hosted the Summit with the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center.

Health Sciences System launches research and scholarly activity searchable database

The Health Sciences System Council of the Nevada System of Higher Education has designed a database that profiles the areas of expertise of faculty, staff and graduate students in the health sciences programs within the Nevada System of Higher Education. This dynamic and up-to-date database will facilitate greater collaboration and better position participants to identify and secure research grants and increase government and industry partnerships. The database website can now be found at www.nsheresearch.org.

UNR Orvis School of Nursing faculty members named to prestigious nursing program

Two University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing faculty members recently were named to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's prestigious Leadership for Academic Nursing Program. Stephanie DeBoor, Ph.D., R.N., CCRN, assistant professor and associate director for graduate programs, and Christine Aramburu Alegria, Ph.D., R.N., FNP-BC, assistant professor and doctorate of nursing practice coordinator, were selected for this executive leadership fellowship designed to prepare a more diverse, younger pool of leaders.

School of Medicine faculty earn promotion, tenure

Congratulations to the following faculty who were promoted and/or received tenure this summer:

  • Timothy Browder, M.D., was promoted to associate professor with tenure in the surgery department
  • Nicole Jacobs, Ph.D., was promoted to associate psychiatry professor
  • Deborah Kuhls, M.D., was promoted to professor in the surgery department
  • Kami Larsen, M.D., was promoted to associate pediatrics professor
  • Shawn Tsuda, M.D., was promoted to associate professor with tenure in the surgery department
  • Sandyha Wahi-Gururaj, M.D., was promoted to associate professor of medicine
  • Wei Yan, M.D., Ph.D., was promoted to physiology and cell biology professor

Scott honored by Women's Fund

Carol Scott, M.D., director of the sports medicine fellowship program in Reno, was one of 59 women honored by the Nevada Women's Fund at its annual Salute to Women of Achievement luncheon.

Physicians lend a hand at local summer sporting events

The sports medicine faculty with the School of Medicine has volunteered time at local and regional public sporting events. Carol Scott, M.D., director of the sports medicine fellowship program in Reno and Ryan Zerr, D.O., 2012-13 sports medicine fellow, volunteered their expertise to provide medical care at the Reno Rodeo and Tahoe Endurance Run.

Less invasive surgical treatment for heartburn now offered

Shawn Tsuda, M.D., associate professor of surgery and chief of minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at the School of Medicine, is now certified in the LINX™ Reflux Management System. Dr. Tsuda is the first and only surgeon in Nevada with this certification. The LINX™ system is a procedure that helps augment the lower esophageal sphincter for patients who have gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as heartburn.

Martin earns MPH

Congratulations to Kate Martin, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine, who earned her master's in public health this spring.

Ezeanolue appointed to national committee

Echezona Ezeanolue, M.D., associate pediatrics professor, has been appointed to a six-year term to the Committee on Pediatric AIDS by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Hoaglund earns professional designation

Toby J. Hoaglund, practice plan billing manager, earned the professional designation of Certified Medical Practice Executive from the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

Ruchala appointed to juvenile services committee

Judge Egan Walker appointed Orvis Nursing School director and professor, Patsy Ruchala, DNSc, RN, to serve on the Washoe County Juvenile Services Committee.

Brown inducted into American College of Psychiatry

Gregory P Brown, M.D., interim chair and residency training director of the University of Nevada School of Medicine Psychiatry program in Las Vegas, and interim chair, was inducted into the American College of Psychiatry at their annual meeting in February of 2013. Dr. Brown is one of few psychiatrists in Nevada to have been awarded this honor.

Barker named Employee of the Month

Sherri Barker, office manager for the School of Social Works was named as employee of the month in July. Nominator Farah Rashdan noted, "She is an exemplary employee of the University. Sherri never hesitates to offer more than a helping hand when it comes to the students within the School of Social Work." "She has been able to not only troubleshoot issues that can directly affect our accreditation period, but she has taken an active duty of resolving those issues with pristine results." Rashdan said that perhaps Barker's finest quality is her empathy. "She is a constant reminder of what a magnanimous contributor is able to construct while changing others' lives for the better."

Diggins coordinates national outreach program

Ann Diggins, director of recruitment and student services, School of Medicine, Las Vegas, coordinated an outreach program with the Association of American Indian Physicians held in Santa Clara, CA in July.

School of Community Health Sciences welcome two new faculty members

Erin Grinshteyn, Ph.D., has joined School of Community Health Sciences as an assistant professor in Health Administration and Policy. Grinshteyn earned her Ph.D. from UCLA; MS from Harvard School of Public Health in health policy and management; and BA from Brandeis University in sociology and minor in health, law and society. Her research interests are health policy with emphasis in relating to crime, victimization and mental health outcomes and would like to examine other interest including health outcomes as they relate to fear and the experience of violence. Also, Jeff Angermann, Ph.D., was hired as an assistant professor in environmental health. He earned his Ph.D. from UC Davis in agricultural and environmental chemistry and B.Sc. in environmental toxicology. His research interests are arsenic toxicology; ion channel cell physiology; clinical exercise physiology hyperoxia; breast milk nutritional quality and algal biology.

Matles joins medical school as safety officer

The University of Nevada School of Medicine welcomes Steve Matles as its new safety officer in the Office of Compliance. He will have offices at the School of Medicine's Las Vegas and Reno campuses.

Steve Matles

RSVP Volunteer Coordinator named

Suellen Bacigalupi has been selected as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Washoe County, a program of the Sanford Center for Aging. Previously, she worked at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center for 31 years in a variety of positions from receptionist to human resources manager. RSVP Director Scott Trevithick said, "Suellen has both the relational skills and administrative background that make her a great fit to work with volunteers and our community partners at RSVP."

Shigemitsu joins internal medicine in Las Vegas

The School of Medicine welcomes Hidenobu Shigemitsu, M.D., as professor of internal medicine and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine, in Las Vegas. Dr. Shigemitsu specializes in a wide-range of pulmonary diseases and is an internationally recognized expert in sarcoidosis, pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung diseases. He was co-director of the sarcoidosis and interstitial lung disease program at USC before joining the School of Medicine this spring.

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology adds new faculty and staff

Abbie Olszewski, Ph.D., has joined the faculty of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology as an assistant professor and Rachel Walden, M.S., has been named as director of clinical operation. Also joining the staff is Karen Braun, who will serve as office manager.

Orvis School of Nursing hires new full-time faculty

Andrew Brown, MSN, RN, FNP, APRN has been joined the faculty of the Orvis School of Nursing as an assistant professor.

Phillips joins practice plan HR team

Shannon Phillips has joined the medical school's practice plan human resources team as a generalist, working in the Las Vegas clinical practice office. She recently earned her Professional in Human Resources certification and her expertise includes recruitment, employee relations, training and development, benefits and employee communications.

School of Social Work hire three new assistant professors

  • Heather Gough, Ph.D., J.D., MSW, has joined the School of Social as an assistant professor. She earned her Ph.D. from Arizona State University; J.D. from U.C. Berkeley and MSW from the University of Denver. Her research interests include behavioral health law, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous cosmologies; decolonizing professional education (law and social work); urban debate and social justice.
  • Maureen Rubin, Ph.D., was also hired as assistant professor. Rubin holds a master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (1995) and a Ph.D. in social work from the University of South Carolina (1994). She, is an experienced educator, having held an assistant professor position at the University of Texas, San Antonio since 2007. Her research interests include mental health, developing effective cross-cultural measures and grandparents caring for grandchildren.
  • Jennifer McClendon, Ph.D., is joining the faculty as a tenure-track assistant professor. She, too, is an experienced educator, having held an assistant professor position at Adelphi University in New York since 2009. McClendon received both her master's (2000) and doctoral (2009) degrees in social work from George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Her current research interests include runaway and homeless youth.

McHardy joins OME

Welcome to Christine McHardy, new administrative assistant position with the Office of Medical Education in Reno. She will be taking over the role of scheduling third- and fourth-year medical student clinical rotations.

New staff join clinical practice

Congratulations to Dominic Ricciardi and Mahfoud Beajow who joined the Office of Medical Education on the Las Vegas campus this spring as preceptors and Mary Cole and Adam Levy, who joined the obstetrics and gynecology department.

John Ostezan Ostezan joins development team

John Ostezan joined the DHS/School of Medicine development team in the Office of Institutional Advancement this summer. A native of Michigan, Ostezan has a bachelor's degree from Michigan State and spent several years living in England as a child and then again as an undergraduate. For the past 15 years, he has been in pharmaceutical sales in Reno after two years doing the same work in Las Vegas. A long-distance ultra-marathon runner, Ostezan was attracted to the University so that he could give back to the greater good and help advance the mission of health sciences.

Grants, Publications, Research

  • John Pixley, M.D., internal medicine, had a paper entitled "In utero transplantation: Disparate ramifications" published in the April 26, 2013 issue of World Journal of Stem Cells.
  • Dean Burkin, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology, has had his manuscript accepted for publication in the journal Disease Models and Mechanisms. The manuscript describes experiments in animal models of DMD and in cells from DMD patients in which Prednisone, the current front line treatment for DMD, targets an increase in laminin and alpha7 integrin. These data support the idea that laminin-111 protein therapy is likely to be successful in the treatment of DMD.
  • Cherie Singer, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology, has been selected as a 2013 Sheldon C. Siegel - AAFA Investigator Grant Award recipient from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for her application entitled, "Integrin-Based Therapies for the Treatment of Asthma."
  • Samrat Das, M.D., assistant pediatrics professor and Pisespong Patamasucon, M.D., pediatrics professor, published "Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis" in the May issue of Consultant for Pediatricians.
  • Teresa M. Sacks, MPH, project director and principal investigator, Sanford Center for Aging, received FY 2014 funding for the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program from the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD). The MTM program has served over 1,150 elder Nevadans with chronic health conditions and complex drug regimens. The MTM program provides essential medication reviews for our state's most vulnerable elders who are at risk for unnecessary hospitalizations and/or nursing home placement. The program is oriented toward preventing medication-related problems and adverse drug events through education, advocacy, consultation with a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, and reporting.
  • Gregory Pari, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, coauthored a manuscript in PLoS Pathogens entitled "Cis And Trans Acting Factors Involved In Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) Experimental and Natural Latent Infection Of CD14 (+) Monocytes and CD34 (+) Cells." This article describes the use of cutting edge next generation sequencing to elucidate the HCMV latent signature in infected individuals as well as in the experimental setting. He also coauthored a manuscript in Journal of Virology entitled "Regulation of viral and cellular gene expression by Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) PAN RNA," which describes the regulatory properties of a virus encoded long non-coding RNA.
  • David AuCoin, Ph.D., associate microbiology and immunology professor, recently was funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Naval Research Laboratory. The two-year, $800,000 project is in collaboration with InBios International, a Seattle based biotech company. The goal is to develop a rapid immunoassay for the diagnosis of two infectious diseases common to southeast Asia.
  • Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., dean, University of Nevada School of Medicine, is the associate editor of a new textbook on oncology for primary care physicians as well as co-author of one of the chapters in that textbook.
  • Sanford Barsky, M.D., chair of pathology, is editor of a two-volume book entitled The Breast - Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Diseases.
  • Melissa Piasecki, M.D., senior associate dean for academic affairs and Ole Thienhaus, M.D., former School of Medicine dean and chair of psychiatry, are co-authors of Volume 11 of the book Correctional Psychiatry.
  • Randy St. Hill, assistant professor of surgery, gave a talk on liver cancer to the Nevada Chapter of the American College of Surgeons in June.
  • Subhash C. Verma, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, was awarded $4.1 million in grant funding to conduct research on Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV): Beginning grant-in-aid from American Heart Association to identify targets for disrupting KSHV latency using gene specific small peptides. Funding included: Research Scholar Grant Award from American Cancer Society to determine the mechanism of KSHV DNA replication in the presence of herpesviral drugs; R01 grant from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to determine the genetic and epigenetic regulators of lytic DNA replication of KSHV during viral reactivation; R01 grant from National Cancer Institute to identify the mechanism of viral genome amplification during de-novo primary infection of KSHV into the target cells. He also presented at the 16th International Workshop on Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpesviruses and Related Agents, in Mexico this summer and coauthored a manuscript in Journal of Virology entitled "Phosphorylation of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) Processivity Factor ORF59 by a Viral Kinase Modulates Its Ability To Associate with RTA and oriLyt." This article describes a critical step in the lytic replication cycle of the virus.
  • Wei Yan, MD, Ph.D., professor of reproductive physiology, molecular and cell biology, School of Medicine, recently received a $100,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study the "Regulation of Leydig cell function by small noncoding RNAs."
  • Kelly O'Shaugnessy, J.D., network director, department of family medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas, was published in the AAMC, Group on Women and Medicine GWIMSWatch an article entitled, "My Sanctuary."
  • Ramesh K. Gadam, M.D., PGY3, internal medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas, presented a poster at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 22nd Congress on his research, "To treat or not to treat, Can pro-calcitonin differentiate between bacterial colonization and bacterial infection?"
  • David Antonuccio, Ph.D., professor emeritus, department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, School of Medicine, Reno, co-authored an article, "Shooting the Messenger: The case of ADHD" in the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy.
  • Doina Kulick, MD, MS, FACP, associate professor, internal medicine and nutrition, School of Medicine, Reno participated in the 39th Seminar on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, a competitive program organized by the AHA and CDC and limited to 32 healthcare professionals, researchers, and public health practitioners from across USA. Dr. Kulick is also serving as abstract reviewer/judge for the national meeting of Obesity Society and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. She was an invited speaker at the National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP) Fall Managed Care Forum, Las Vegas, on the subject of medical treatment of obesity. Dr. Kulick recently co-authored a research article in the BMC Family Practice entitled, "Live well; a practical and effective low-intensity dietary counseling intervention for use in primary care patients with dyslipidemia- a randomized controlled pilot trial."
  • Deborah A. Kuhls, M.D., CACS, FCCM, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of surgery, School of Medicine, Las Vegas, recently co-authored and published an article in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 74(2): 664-670, 2013 on "Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSES): A New Surgical Skills Cadaver Course for Residents."
  • Ewa Olech, M.D., associate professor, division of rheumatology, School of Medicine, Las Vegas, presented a poster at the 2013 Annual European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) meeting in Madrid, Spain that she co-authored on "Magnetic resonance imaging may be helpful in predicting long term efficacy of certolizumab pegol in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. " She also presented a lecture for the community on "Managing Your Rheumatoid Arthritis" sponsored by Arthritis Foundation.
  • Amy Ellwood, MSW, LCSW, BCD., professor of family medicine and psychiatry, department of family medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas, published an article entitled, "Soap Star and Social Worker: A Tale of Two Lives" in the Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education, June 2013.
  • Melissa Piasecki, M.D., senior associate dean for academic affairs, presented "Behavioral Systems Analysis to Inform Faculty Development" at the AAMC GFA Conference. The presentation represented a collaboration between the School of Medicine and the UNR Department of Psychology. Faculty involved with this project were: Ramona Houmanfar, Ph.D.; Daniel Reimer, MA; Greg Smith, MA; Gwen Shonkwiler, Ph.D.; Jennifer Hagen, M.D.; Tim Baker, M.D.; Robbyn Tolles, MA and Nicole Jacobs, Ph.D.
  • Hidenobu Shigemitsu, M.D., professor, department of internal medicine, School of Medicine, Las Vegas had the publication entitled, "Colon sarcoidosis responds to Methotrexate: A case report with review of literature" accepted to Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine. A second article by Dr. Shigemitsu, "Multinational evidence-based World Association of Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders recommendations for the use of methotrexate in sarcoidosis: integrating systematic literature research and expert opinion of sarcoidologists worldwide" was accepted for publication in Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine.
  • Shadi Abdelnour, M.D., assistant professor, department of internal medicine, Las Vegas, School of Medicine had the following publication accepted to the Endocrine Practice Journal entitled, "Effects of Glycemia on Immediate Complications Following CABG."

Student News

Orvis nursing students launch community resource website

A group of Orvis School of Nursing students has launched a website, Resource Reno, as a class assignment to provide information on local community resources for families and individuals with limited income. "The website allows both professionals and individuals to connect with resources they may not have known about," nursing student McKinnon Chappell said. "We've promoted the website to local hospitals and non-profit organizations."

Residents shine on research day events

Medical residents from the University of Nevada School of Medicine showcased their research prowess during the school's annual Resident Research Days held in Reno and Las Vegas on June 12 and 14, respectively. See the list of research and awards.

Medical students discuss career options with teens

The School of Medicine continued its partnership with Las Vegas high school this past spring with visits to East Career Technical Academy and Northwest Career and Technical Academy to discuss careers in health care with students. Several fourth-year medical students and standardized patients (patient-actors trained in a particular medical case to know how to respond to medical questioning and provide feedback to medical students) spent time over the course of two days at each school talking to high school students about the standardized patient program at the School of Medicine and how it is used in their learning process.

Students earn first-time scholarships, other honors

Shavon Moore, Class of 2016, is one of eight recipients of an American Medical Association Minority Scholarship Award and the first School of Medicine recipient of this award. Zareen Choudhury, Class of 2014, was honored with a Student Rising Star Award from the Clark County Medical Society. This new award seeks to recognize medical students who are doing a superior job. According to the CCMS, Zareen has excelled both in the classroom and with community involvement and she exemplifies what it means to be a rising star in medicine.

Undergraduate working in basic sciences earns high honor

Justin Lopez, an undergraduate student working in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology under the direction of Sean Ward, Ph.D., for the past two years, is a recipient of the Herz Gold Medal for outstanding undergraduate upon his graduation from UNR this spring.

Students connect with alumnus through interest group

School of Medicine students and an early alumnus with a common interest connected this spring through the efforts of the International Medicine Student Interest Group's spring program. Benjamin Rodriguez, M.D.'82, came to the school's Reno campus in March to talk about his experiences doing international medical mission work to members of the interest group. As a plastic surgeon, Dr. Rodriquez makes several trips a year overseas to treat conditions ranging from cleft palates to club feet to burns.

Huntsman presents poster at national meeting

Richard Huntsman, Class of 2015, recently presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Society of Critical Care Medicine in San Juan, Puerto Rico and his abstract was published in Critical Care Medicine. He conducted his research, "Inconsistent calculation of resting energy expenditure when compared with indirect calorimetry warrants quality improvement measure," during the summer between his first and second years as part of a special qualifications in nutrition program.


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