Noteworthy News

Noteworthy News

January 2017

Honors and Awards

Outstanding faculty members promoted or achieve tenure

Congratulations to the following faculty members who were recognized for exceptional career achievements with promotion or tenure:

  • David Aucoin, Ph.D., associate professor with tenure
  • Ross Berkeley, M.D., professor
  • Kirk Bronander, M.D., professor
  • Kristen Lorenzen, M.D., associate professor
  • Laura Shaw, M.D., associate professor

Aucoin, Berkeley, Bronander, Lorenzen, Shaw

Publications and Presentations

Evan Klass, M.D., FACP, senior associate dean for Statewide Initiatives; Gerald Ackerman, assistant dean for Rural Programs; and Reka Danko, M.D. '08, clinical assistant professor and Northern Nevada HOPES chief medical officer will serve as instructors for the Nevada Primary Care Association's training "Addressing Prescription Drug Abuse and Opioid Addiction in Nevada's Safety Net Health Centers." The seminar will be held Monday, Feb. 27, at the VA's Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno with a live stream available in Las Vegas at the VA Southern Nevada Health Care System. Registration is required.

Evan Klass, M.D., FACP, Gerald Ackerman, Reka Danko, M.D.

Ruben Dagda, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology, and Patricia Berninsone, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, co-published "Mitochondrial O-GlcNAc transferase (mOGT) regulates mitochondrial structure, function and survival in HeLa cells" Jan. 18 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Dagda and Berninsone, principal investigators of this study, were assisted by Juliana Sacoman, Amanda Burnham-Marusich and Raul Dagda. This collaborative work was supported by the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Cell Biology of Signaling Across Membranes and by NIH R21 grant "Role of protein Glycosylation on Mitochondrial Function."

Ruben Dagda Ph.D., Patricia Berninsone Ph.D.

Melissa Piasecki, M.D., executive associate dean, School of Medicine, and Nicole Jacobs, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, partnered with faculty from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to edit and update the second edition of Problem-Based Behavioral Science and Psychiatry (Alicata, Jacobs, Guerrero & Piasecki, 2016) for consistency with the fifth edition Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; APA, 2013). Guerrero and Piasecki edited the first edition, while Alicata and Jacobs are co-first authors on the second edition.

Contributing authors included UNR Med faculty, community faculty, residents, medical students and alumni from various disciplines. The opportunity for student and resident authors to partner with faculty to write chapters provided experience in scholarly activity and preparation for careers in academic medicine. The process also encouraged community faculty to engage with UNR Med to promote their scholarly interests.

Some chapters have already been incorporated into the UNR Med curriculum, including The Physician-Patient Relationship (Jacobs & Calvo, 2016) and Stigma and Medicine (Kohlenberg, 2016).

Melissa Piasecki, M.D., Nicole Jacobs, Ph.D.

Stephen Francis, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology, School of Community Health Sciences, published "In utero cytomegalovirus infection and development of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia" in Blood Journal. The research shows that newborns with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) - a common virus in the herpes family - may have an increased risk of developing acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Although it has long been suspected that infection plays a role in childhood ALL, the most common form of childhood leukemia, this is the first time researchers have tracked ALL back to a specific virus.

Stephen Francis, Ph.D.

Faculty and Staff

Packham promotes tobacco-free zones in public parks

John Packham, Ph.D., director of health policy research, School of Medicine, and a member of the Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition, spoke about the benefits of tobacco-free zones in public parks during an interview with KOLO-TV Channel 8 in Reno.

John Packham, Ph.D.

Schwenk evaluates advances in primary care

Thomas L. Schwenk M.D., dean, School of Medicine and vice president, Division of Health Sciences, weighed in on "2016's Top 5 Primary Care Clinical Developments" for MedPage Today. Schwenk singled out new data on testosterone therapy as one of his top picks, and one that he thinks should have an effect on clinical care.

"The results of the ‘Testosterone Trials,' published in 2016, showed that there was a statistically significant, but clinically modest, average improvement in sexual function scores and minimal improvement in fatigue and physical function," Schwenk said. "These results challenge the belief that benefits justify the known risks of testosterone therapy in aging men."

Thomas L. Schwenk M.D.

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