Noteworthy News

Noteworthy News

November 2015

Honors and Awards

Karla Wagner with award and Dr. Christine MadisonKarla Wagner (left) receives Nevada Public Health Advocacy Award from Dr. Christine Madison (right), past-president of the Nevada Public Health Association.

Wagner received Nevada Public Health Advocacy Award

Karla Wagner, Ph.D., assistant professor, School of Community Health Sciences, was honored with the Nevada Public Health Advocacy Award at the Nevada Public Health Association annual meeting. She was recognized for her work in getting the Nevada state law designed to help prevent drug overdose deaths passed in the 2015 legislative session.

Settlement funds available to School of Medicine for women's health research projects

Through a settlement brokered by the State of Nevada Attorney General's Office, approximately $3.8 million is available to the University of Nevada School of Medicine for research projects aimed at improving women's health in Nevada. The funds will be distributed by the Attorney General's Office over a five-year period ending in 2019, with half the available research funds going to School of Medicine faculty in Reno and Las Vegas and the other half going to University Medical Center of Southern Nevada.

Through the process of submitting of grant proposals, School of Medicine faculty members are able to access settlement funds to support research studies on women's health. In Reno, the School of Medicine's pharmacology department is heavily involved in research relating to women's health. Iain Buxton, Pharm.D., pharmacology department chair, has purchased a super-resolution microscope, the first of its kind for Nevada. This microscope enables scientists to study subcellular structures in the greatest detail using fluorescence imaging. Buxton is the principal investigator on research projects involving breast cancer and pre-term birth at the School of Medicine.

Heather Burkin, Ph.D., of the pharmacology department, plans to use the funds to test her hypothesis that certain proteins may regulate uterine contractions, thereby affecting birth timing. Ruben Dagda, Ph.D., and Tania Das Banerjee, Ph.D., MPH, also of the pharmacology department, will use the funding to examine possible connections between Alzheimer's disease in women and the increase in hormone levels from use of estrogen-based hormone therapy.

Dan Spogen, M.D., family medicine chair in Reno, will use the funding to promote use of screening guidelines for women's health. He proposes the development of a patient app that will reduce confusion in patients stemming from conflicting information on frequency and need for various screening tests (Pap smears, breast exams, etc.).

At the School of Medicine's Las Vegas campus, Vani Dandolu, M.D., obstetrics and gynecology chair, plans to establish a Women's Heart Center to improve the transition of care for women admitted to the hospital with heart disease and to identify women with high risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Elissa Palmer, M.D., family medicine chair, plans to use money from the settlement to develop the Clinical Health Assessment and Promotion Program to address women's health issues, specifically preventative health care, in the subpopulation of women with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Richelle O'Driscoll and Anne McMillin with awardsLeft, Richelle O'Driscoll, director of public affairs and right, Anne McMillin, public relations manager, School of Medicine.

School of Medicine wins awards from Public Relations Society of America

The School of Medicine marketing and communications department was honored at the annual Silver Spikes Awards hosted on November 19 by the Public Relations Society of America Sierra Nevada Chapter. Richelle O'Driscoll, M.A., director of public affairs, accepted the Silver Spike award in the area of community relations for the school's efforts in implementing Project Medical Education Nevada. In addition, Anne McMillin, APR, public relations manager, was inducted into the Public Relations Hall of Fame for her 25-plus years of leadership in the industry.

Publications and Presentations

Scott Earley, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, co-authored, "Unitary TRPV3 Channel Ca2+ Influx Events Elicit Endothelium-Dependent Dilation of Cerebral Parenchymal Arterioles" in the American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2015 Oct 9:ajpheart.00140.2015. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00140.2015. [ePub ahead of print]

Nevin Wilson, M.D., chair and professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, has had his 100th manuscript accepted for publication. His manuscript, "Parental perception of efficacy of antihistamines for pruritus in pediatric atopic dermatitis" has been accepted for publication in the upcoming Allergy and Asthma Proceedings.

Peter Reed, Ph.D., director, Sanford Center for Aging and Jennifer Carson. Ph.D., presented on "Transcending Tragedy: Promoting the Rights of Residents with Dementia" at the Annual Conference of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care on November 5, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Mary Beth Hogan, M.D., professor of pediatrics and chief of allergy and immunology, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Las Vegas campus, was the plenary speaker at the 2015 Yuying Children's Hospital International Forum of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine hosted by the Wenzhou Medical University. Wenzhou, China. She presented "Pulmonary Complications of Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases." This was an International CME event for Pediatricians and Pulmonologists interested in Respiratory Diseases.

As a visiting professor, Dr. Hogan also presented at several Grand Round that included: "Hyper IgM Syndrome" at Yuying Children's Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University; "Pulmonary Complications of Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases" at Enze Medical Center, Taizhou China and Hangzhou Children's Hospital; and also addressed "American Residency Training."

These visiting professor sessions were performed under the umbrella of being US Faculty for the China-USA Collaborative Allergy/Immunology Educational and Research Network. This network operates collaboratively with faculty at both Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Nevada School of Medicine and with Pediatric Pulmonary faculty at Wenzhou Medical University in Wenzhou, China to provide didactic and interactive sessions in the field of Allergy/Immunology to the South China region. It is noteworthy that China does not yet have a board certified Allergy/Immunologist. The collaborative is committed to training pulmonologists in Allergy/Immunology issues with teaching occurring in both the US and China.

Faculty and Staff

Jennifer Baker Jennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker hired as Project Director for Volunteer Program at Sanford Center for Aging

Jennifer Baker has been named project director, volunteer programs at the Sanford Center for Aging. In this role, she will be responsible for all of the center's volunteer programs, including the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Washoe County. Prior to joining the Sanford Center staff, Jennifer was program and rural outreach coordinator at the Alzheimer's Association, Northern Nevada.

Three alumni join Department of Family and Community Medicine

The University of Nevada School of Medicine welcomes back three alumni who are returning to practice medicine and see patients in the Department of Family and Community Medicine on the University of Nevada, Reno campus.

Leslie Greenberg, M.D., FAAFP, is a board-certified family medicine physician with obstetrics and advanced endoscopy training. After graduating from the School of Medicine in 1995, she completed her residency training at St. Joseph Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas and continued her private medical practice there, while also teaching residents at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

Mark Stovak, M.D., also graduated from the School of Medicine in 1995 and completed his residency at St. Joseph Medical Center, followed by a sports medicine fellowship at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana. He returned to Wichita, Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita where he started and directed the sports medicine fellowship program for 11 years, the family medicine residency program for five years, and was the head team physician for Wichita State University intercollegiate athletics for 15 years. He was team physician for the U.S. Pan American Team in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and for the U.S. Paralympic Team in 2008 in Beijing, China. He is board-certified in family medicine and has a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine.

Kacey Durant, M.D., graduated from the School of Medicine in 2011 and stayed on to complete her family medicine residency program. She then went to the University of Texas to complete an obstetrical fellowship. She is board certified in family medicine and has certifications in advanced cardiac life support and neonatal resuscitation. She is a member of the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians and has volunteered at the School of Medicine's Student Outreach Clinics that serve the uninsured of Washoe County.


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