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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital mobilized in a number of different ways to help in the aftermath of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12. The medical school and hospital sent physicians and health care workers to provide medical relief to the victims. In addition, medical students brainstormed fundraising activities, making contributions to two relief organizations.
Four Chicago medical institutions: Northwestern University, University of Chicago Medical Center, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and Rush University College of Medicine forged an informal network called the Chicago Medical Response Consortium, collaborating to send health care workers and medical supplies to Haiti.
The first group from Northwestern and the University of Chicago left Monday, January 25, to provide medical services and assess the situation. Northwestern Memorial Hospital donated $25,000 of medical supplies and equipment.
The University of Chicago provided two private planes and a survival backpack with personal supplies for each team member. Additional Northwestern health care professionals left for Haiti on Jan. 29 and Feb. 3. New teams of six to eight physicians, nurses, and technicians leave each week and will continue to do so through April.
Martin Lucenti, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Feinberg and a physician at Northwestern Memorial, and Joseph Weistroffer, MD, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Feinberg and spine surgeon at Northwestern Memorial, have both made the trip to Haiti as part of the response teams. Dr. Weistroffer has extensive experience in disaster settings.
Northwestern’s relief effort is being led by Robert Murphy, MD, director of the Northwestern Center for Global Health. In addition, the center has also assumed the role of lead institution for the consortium efforts, coordinating day-to-day operations and medical supplies, cataloging and organizing volunteer travel, and providing IMC information updates.
So far, 25 Northwestern clinicians have volunteered their time and personal finances to be a part of the team. The group includes orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, internal medicine and emergency medicine physicians and nurses.
The medical response team partnered with International Medical Corps (IMC) to coordinate the physicians’ schedules and logistics while on the ground in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. IMC is currently operating an urgent-care health facility there.
In the early weeks, with only a few hospitals standing, most medical care in Haiti was provided in tents. By the end of February, eight medical teams had made the trip to Port-au-Prince or Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
On January 28, two Haitians who were pulled from the rubble with severe spinal cord injuries arrived in Chicago. In part, their journey was made possible by Daniel Ivankovich, MD, a Northwestern orthopedic surgeon. Once at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the patients were evaluated by neurosurgeon Dr. John Liu, underwent successful surgeries, and are now being treated at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago under Dr. David Chen.
“The outpouring of professional and institutional support from all the major Chicago institutions is phenomenal,” Murphy said.
In January, Northwestern employees were given an opportunity to help by making donations in support of the medical teams’ efforts. More than $26,000 has been raised.
In addition, medical students jumped into action by organizing fundraisers and scheduling a speaker to educate them about the situation in Haiti. The American Medical Student Association pledged to match the funds raised by students, dollar for dollar. Through breakfast donations and a post-test party, more than $2,500 was raised. Once doubled, $5,000 was donated to Doctors without Borders and Partners in Health.
For more information about the Haiti relief efforts, contact Carolyn Baer, deputy director of the Northwestern Center for Global Health, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doctors Rahul Khare and Mark Agulnik are just two of the physicians from the Northwestern University medical community who have volunteered their time and energy to help the earthquake victims in Haiti. Both arrived in Port-au-Prince on February 4 and worked challenging days in the heat in tents for two weeks. Here they share their experiences and why they felt compelled to travel to a poor, shattered country to do what they could to help ease the pain and suffering of the Haitians.
One is a father of three and has a background in emergency medicine; the other speaks fluent French and is accustomed to the challenges presented in medical oncology. They both felt the need to take action after the quake wreaked havoc on Haiti.
Dr. Rahul Khare, assistant professor at Feinberg and assistant director of ER operations at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, saw the faces of the Haitians on CNN and had to offer his services. Although his wife is currently working on her PhD in social administration, and he is getting his master’s in clinical investigation, with the help of friends and family, they found a way to manage schedules with their three young children.
“I’ve been a doctor for six years,” he explains, “and I’m at a stage that it’s almost become easy, because we have so much testing available to us. I wanted to be in the trenches.”
He got his wish. With no breaks in activity, doctors in the three ER tents set up on the university hospital grounds treated 400 patients each day, compared to the 250 typically seen at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Flesh wounds, amputations done improperly, and gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea were the norm. “We realized quickly that people were coming to the ER for non-emergency issues, so we put up a fourth tent when we got more doctors,” explains Khare.
They had access to most of the common antibiotics, thanks to the work of International Medical Corps (IMC). Because lab tests took six to eight hours and X-ray capabilities were limited, doctors used physical exams to diagnose and treat patients. “It was gratifying that we could practice medicine with limited resources and still figure a way to get things done by any means. We collaborated well and it was fun because everyone came together.
“The resilience of the Haitian people is what I’ll always remember,” continues Dr. Khare. “I saw 600 people living in one tent city and they were grateful. Despite losing everything — family members, jobs, and homes — they pray and make the best of what they have.”
Dr. Mark Agulnik, assistant professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, looked into Doctors without Borders as soon as the earthquake happened. So when Dean J. Larry Jameson’s message went out to the medical school faculty and staff asking for volunteers, he was ready and immediately shot off a message to the Feinberg Center for Global Health.
“Because I grew up in Canada and speak French, Haiti didn’t feel ‘foreign’ to me,” says Dr. Agulnik. “It was the easiest decision I ever made; I never had a doubt that that was where I needed to be. When you’re trained as a doctor, you always know that you could be called to duty like this.”
With the support of his division chief and patients whose appointments had to be changed, he set off for a life-changing experience that taught him important lessons.
He was the first internist on the ground with IMC. It was his job to manage all of the post-care surgical and internal medicine patients in eight tents with 20 to 25 people, along with a ward of another 70 patients. With this volume of patients, he relied on nurses to help decide which ones he needed to see. He started each day at 7 a.m. and worked nonstop until 5:20 p.m.
After a very full day, the volunteers got back on the bus and had an hour of down time before the daily debriefing. “The third day was the hardest,” he explains. “It becomes a little too overwhelming because the death is so out of proportion to what it should be and it pushes you to the edge. As an oncologist, I deal with death and difficult situations all the time, so my background somewhat prepared me for this.”
While the days were long and hot, there was much to do to help all the people so desperately in need. “It was all about the patients,” he explains. “I knew that I would be coming back to my life in 15 days. And I believed that I was doing good, so that sustained me.”
Since he returned to the U.S., the oncologist has been talking about the experience and encouraging friends to donate money to the relief efforts, but he’s also taken action of his own. “I’ve been working to gather supplies and was able to acquire tents for 60 people who were homeless and sleeping in a church parking lot under tarps. I believe that one person can make a huge difference. There is no need for people to feel helpless; you just have to work hard to change people’s lives.”
If you would like further information about volunteering or donating funds to support the ongoing efforts through the Center for Global Health, please contact Carolyn Baer, deputy director, at email@example.com or visit the Center for Global Health’s website at globalhealth.northwestern.edu. Donations can be made through the following website: http://foundation.nmh.org/haitirelief.
The countdown is finally over for 157 soon-to-be Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine graduates who gathered, along with their family, friends, and faculty mentors, at Gino’s East of Chicago on March 18 to discover where they will complete their residency training. While these fourth-year medical students will earn their Doctor of Medicine degree in May, Match Day marked the beginning of the next phase of their lives.
For many Class of 2010 students, like Neel Naik from Carol Stream, Ill., who got his desired match in emergency medicine at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, this event celebrated hopes and dreams that had finally, after a great deal of hard work, become a reality. Naik entered Feinberg through the Honors Program in Medical Education and has since been an outstanding contributor to the medical school community. He said that although he will miss having his family nearby, he cannot wait to get to New York City to enjoy everything the city has to offer.
“I’m going to New York,” Naik repeatedly shouted, adding that he looks forward to not only exploring the city’s unique restaurants, but also learning from the attending physicians he met during a brief rotation at NYU. Naik’s father Kirit was also present at the event to support his son and find out where he and his wife will be vacationing over the next four years.
As Naik heads east, his classmate Tamika Smith from Miami, Fla., will move her family to the West Coast. Smith celebrated her residency match at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) along with her husband Eric and daughter Bailey, who was born at Prentice Women’s Hospital during Smith’s medical school education. The elated couple, who met when Eric was Tamika’s teaching assistant at Feinberg, says the UCSF’s highly ranked medicine residency program and its location (near the ocean and Golden Gate Park) couldn’t be a better fit for their young family.
“We were leaving it up to faith,” Eric said. “But, I wasn’t worried; Tamika is so smart.”
Amanda Redig has spent the past seven years stationed in Chicago as a student in Feinberg’s Medical Scientist Training Program. Redig, who entered with the Class of 2007, is not only thrilled to be completing the program but is also eager to call Boston, Mass., home for the next four years. Redig was matched with her first-choice internal medicine residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
“The depth of scholarship at Brigham & Women’s is astounding,” said Redig, who will be on a short-track toward specializing in hematology-oncology. “I am delighted to be a part of their program.”
While Neeta Lal, from California, and Nikolas Kazmers, from Michigan, also matched to their first choice at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, their reactions were less joyous than their peers’ and instead displayed utter relief. That’s because Lal and Kazmers, who met and began dating while first-year students at Feinberg, feared they would be split up, even though they had linked their rank lists by participating in a couples match.
“We both had positive feedback from Barnes-Jewish, but you can never tell,” said Lal, who was matched in the neurology residency program, while her boyfriend will enter the school’s orthopedic surgery residency. “We knew we’d be thrilled to match anywhere together.”
John X. Thomas, Jr., PhD, senior associate dean for medical education in the Augusta Webster, MD, Office of Medical Education (AWOME), is proud of the of the rapport Feinberg has with residency program coordinators across the country, and as a faculty member, was thrilled to see many of the students he has taught be selected into the nation’s top residency programs.
“My colleagues and I spend a great deal of time mentoring these students throughout their undergraduate medical education,” Thomas says. “For the medical school, it’s exciting to see where our students are matched; and for these students, their placements are affirmation of a job well done here at Feinberg.”
Also exciting was the fulfillment of all residency openings in Northwestern McGaw’s recently developed family medicine residency program, a partnership between the medical school, Norwegian American Hospital, and Erie Family Health Center. Three Feinberg students — Beth Dunlap, Meredith Hirschman, and Sylvia Ukonga — as well as others from across the country matched into this residency.
“It’s amazing that these students were so interested in this program and the exciting things happening here at Northwestern,” said Sandy Sanguino, MD, MPH, associate dean for student programs and career development in AWOME.
Now that the entire class has been placed in a residency program, Thomas and Sanguino say the countdown begins to graduation, another important day in the journey for these students to become practicing doctors.
Scientists from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden recently delivered public talks at Northwestern University to introduce an important new exchange program to the University’s research community.
The two institutions signed an education and research exchange agreement in Sweden in December 2009 to foster collaborative relationships in biomedicine and translational research.
Northwestern’s Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (IBNAM) and Gothenburg’s medical school, known as the Sahlgrenska Academy, are the primary institutions in the exchange program. IBNAM’s research strengths are well matched to Sahlgrenska’s research interests in regenerative medicine, particularly the neural and orthopedic areas.
The program, open to medical students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty of both universities, will include exchanges of scientific materials and information and cooperation in organizing joint research activities and conferences. The student exchange portion of the program will provide graduate students with research opportunities in the laboratories of Northwestern and the University of Gothenburg.
Two collaborative projects involving faculty and students soon will be under way: one will focus on a novel biomaterial stem cell approach to induce brain repair, and the other will test biomaterials in healing fractures in a model for osteoporosis. Additional areas of collaboration will develop as researchers learn about the exchange opportunities between the two institutions.
“The Sahlgrenska Academy has an innovative Center for Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, and Sahlgrenska researchers have been pioneers in osteointegration of bone implants,” said Samuel I. Stupp, director of IBNAM. “They have received major grants to pursue research on biomaterials, nanotechnology, and stem cells.”
Lake Forest Hospital became a wholly owned entity of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, the parent corporation of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, on February 1, 2010. The 215-bed institution is now called Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.
“We are very excited about what the future holds for patients now that this affiliation is final,” said Dean M. Harrison, president and chief executive officer, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, in an NMH press release. “With all necessary approvals in place, we are positioned to move forward with developing plans to expand access to medical care, clinical trials, and a host of other healthcare services for patients in Lake and Cook counties and surrounding regions.
“Northwestern Memorial and Lake Forest hospitals had many similarities going into the affiliation agreement that will be enhanced,” added Harrison, “particularly due to Northwestern’s century-long ties to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.”
Additionally both hospitals share: a patient and family-centered culture; a commitment to clinical excellence and quality; an ongoing dedication to provide care regardless of one’s ability to pay.
“We are excited about the prospect of combining our strengths with an excellent institution such as Northwestern Memorial to create a health system that will provide broader access to care for patients in our region,” said Thomas J. McAfee, president, Lake Forest Hospital.
Pharmaceutical, device, and biotechnology companies frequently collaborate with physicians and basic scientists within an academic medical center to help improve patient care and advance science. These relationships are important in establishing the effectiveness and safety of promising new therapies, achieving scientific breakthroughs, and collaborating with our peers. Many of us are engaged in these relationships and external activities of various kinds, and while they enhance our ability to pursue our clinical, education, and research missions, such endeavors may also give rise to potential conflicts of interest. These potential conflicts have the ability to threaten the integrity of our mission in light of the
modern health care environment, which places emphasis on transparency and disclosure.
Maybe you have seen recent headlines, where physicians or faculty members have failed to disclose external relationships with, or consulting compensation received from, their research sponsors. Or, perhaps you have taken note of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s interest in financial relationships within the health care industry, and in particular, among doctors who conduct research with funding provided by the National Institutes of Health. Senator Grassley has said, “Requiring disclosure is a common sense reform based on the public dollars and public trust at stake in medical training, medical research and the practice of medicine.”
To assure objectivity in research and patient care, and to ensure that our reputation and programs are not compromised, the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and its affiliates, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, have adopted integrity and conflict of interest policies. These policies require faculty to annually report paid and unpaid external industry relationships and other academic professional activities.
In the past, these three institutions surveyed for annual disclosures independently, at different times of the year, using different tools, with different questions, for different reporting periods. This led to varying degrees of completion rates, as well as confusion and frustration because many of our faculty received three separate surveys. Senior leadership encouraged us to work together to devise a solution.
A steering committee, comprised of individuals from the three affiliates, collaborated to design, develop, and implement a joint, integrated, online survey. The custom-designed application allows for each user to receive an individualized survey based on their affiliate and role.
We launched our joint application on April 1, 2009; the survey deadline was May 1, 2009. We were pleased that we achieved 100 percent completion within three weeks of the survey deadline — an unprecedented first for the three entities. Once all disclosures were received, we worked together to implement a new joint review process, whereby all disclosures were examined at three levels — by the division chief (when applicable), by the department chair, and by joint affiliate leadership. Disclosures related to research were forwarded to the Feinberg Conflict of Interest Committee for further review and consideration, and we implemented improvements in our conflict management plan tracking.
In December, we launched updated medical school faculty profiles, which included a new section to display external professional relationships by category. The two primary types are Industry Relationships and Academic/Other Professional Activities. Visit this web site to search our faculty profiles: http://fsmweb.northwestern.edu/faculty/index.cfm.
Voluntary disclosure places us at the forefront of a national movement toward greater transparency. In fact, we were sixth in the country to make this information publicly available. This new communication vehicle was established because we firmly believe that the clarity achieved by full disclosure is necessary both to inform the public about all our faculty’s professional activities and to maintain its trust that we are fulfilling our missions to advance research and education and provide exceptional patient care.
This year’s disclosure initiative was launched on April 1st with several enhancements, including an improved user experience, and a new survey partner, Children’s Memorial Hospital. As a result of this remarkable cooperation and our achievements this past year, Northwestern University, professional organizations, and other universities have expressed interest in adopting our tools and methods. We continue to fine-tune our joint processes and encourage you to contact the Office for Regulatory Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.
Robert M. Rosa, MD
Dean for Regulatory Affairs and Chief Compliance Officer
A Look at LatticeGrid—Finding New Collaborations Is Easier With Social Networking Tool Aimed at Researchers
The NUCATS Biomedical Informatics Center (NUBIC) has launched a new online knowledge management system linking researchers from disparate disciplines. Building on the capabilities of existing social networking and knowledge management platforms, LatticeGrid assesses collaboration patterns using institutional and public data such as PubMed, eIRB, and pre-award and post-award systems. LatticeGrid integrates and visualizes these data around organizational constructs such as centers and departments to build models of collaboration patterns. LatticeGrid is interoperable with other collaboration tools such as the Harvard Catalyst system and the Cornell Vivo system. However, LatticeGrid is uniquely able to define collaboration teams “on the fly” and provides multiple ways to represent and graph physical and virtual relationships between investigators.
LatticeGrid models also enable evidence-based decisions about how best to manage and direct organizational change to maximize the effectiveness of translational science initiatives. Toward this effort, LatticeGrid enables biomedical research organizations to monitor and measure more effectively collaboration and funding patterns and assess the effect of organizational and policy change. Understanding how shifts in institutional structure and policy affect translational science patterns of collaboration and funding is of fundamental importance to the biomedical research community and the goals of the NUCATS Institute. This knowledge provides a mechanism to evaluate the “return on investment” in team science efforts.
The core of LatticeGrid can be viewed on the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University website at http://latticegrid.cancer.northwestern.edu and at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine website at http://latticegrid.feinberg.northwestern.edu. The UCSF website is at https://latticegrid.cancer.ucsf.edu. The Fox Chase website is at http://staffpubs.fccc.edu.
The LatticeGrid system is and will continue to be open source to allow sharing with other Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) institutions.
“Managing and tracking publications have always been a challenge for research universities,” Warren Kibbe, associate director of NUBIC, director of bioinformatics in the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, research associate professor in the Center for Genetic Medicine. “The NUBIC team saw the potential for an open source solution in addressing this need, and LatticeGrid is the result. We’ve had great response from the biomedical research user community so far and plan enhancements as we incorporate their feedback and ideas into the application.”
The United States Senate and House of Representatives passed resolutions congratulating Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine on its sesquicentennial and its 150-year commitment to advancing science and improving health.
In a statement addressed to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.), on behalf of himself and U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), said that Feinberg has grown to become one of the most prominent medical schools in the nation, preparing the next generation of leaders, innovators, and researchers who will shape the course of health care in this country for generations to come.
The resolutions, also brought forth by Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) and Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), recognize and commend Feinberg for its dedication to educating world-class physicians and scientists, sponsoring cutting-edge medical research, and providing highly specialized clinical care.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of Senators Durbin and Burris, and Representatives Davis and Biggert to recognize the 150-year milestone in the history of Northwestern University’s medical school,” said J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean of Feinberg. “The medical school has trained thousands of physicians in each decade. These physicians have included pioneering researchers, master clinicians, and some of the best teachers in our discipline. We take great pride in their service to humanity.”
Jameson added that, moving forward, Feinberg will build on its history and use its position in the medical community to help shape the future of health care in the United States and beyond.
“Being able to assist in the Haiti relief effort with other medical centers across Chicago, for example, is what makes being involved in this field so rewarding,” Jameson said. “We look forward to the challenges to come in medical research and education over the next 150 years.”
The Northwestern University PT Alumni Association held a Class of 2009 Graduation Reception at Navy Pier on Friday, December 4, 2009. This reception was held before graduation on Saturday, December 5. Seventy graduates received their Doctor of Physical Therapy diploma during a ceremony on the Chicago campus.
The commencement speaker was Janet Bezner, PT, PhD, deputy executive director of the American Physical Therapy Association. The class speaker was Christopher Sbertoli.
Clinical Education Awards were presented to Steven Churchill, Tiffany Crespin, and Nicole Tito.
Melina Kibbe, MD, GME ’03, associate professor of surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, was honored at the White House as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). PECASE is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Nine federal departments and agencies join together annually to nominate young scientists and engineers whose work is of benefit to the nominating agency’s mission. Kibbe, who was nominated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will receive funding for five years as part of this award.
Kibbe — also a vascular surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH), co-chief of the vascular surgery service and director of the vascular laboratory at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and a member of the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine at the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center — is being honored for her innovative research in the field of nitric oxide vascular biology and the development of novel translational therapies for patients with vascular disease.
“Having my research recognized in this manner has been very rewarding not only for me, but also for all the members of my lab — past and present — as this achievement represents the hard work and dedication of a team of researchers and staff all working toward a common goal,” Kibbe says. “Without these individuals, as well as the support of my partners, my division chief, NMH, and the VA, receiving an award like this would not be possible.”
The awards are coordinated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Kibbe and the other awardees were selected on the basis of two criteria: pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and a commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.
Kibbe’s research explores how to extend the effectiveness of vascular procedures such as balloon angioplasty and stenting, bypass grafting, and other vascular interventions with limited durability. The focus in the Kibbe Lab is to further the understanding of nitric oxide vascular biology in order to develop nitric oxide-based therapies to improve patient care.
In January, Thomas A. Mustoe, MD, was named as the Orion H. and Lucille W. Stuteville Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Mustoe joined Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as professor and chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery in 1991.
Mustoe earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where he continued his medical training as a research fellow in the laboratory of Bernard Fields, MD, working on the genetics of reovirus, and was awarded the Somas Weiss award for his work in 1978. He completed his internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, residencies in surgery and plastic surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a third residency in otolaryngology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Endowed professorships empower recipients to seek answers to provocative research questions and to better understand diseases to improve patient care. Dr. Mustoe will continue his research on mechanisms for impaired healing that result in chronic wounds and excessive healing that result in fibrosis and scarring.
The Orion H. and Lucille W. Stuteville Professorship of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery was established in 2009 through generous annuity and estate gifts from Lucille W. Stuteville, in memory of her husband Orion, MD ’39. He was professor emeritus and former chair of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department at the Dental School, and also served as director of the plastic surgery residency program.
Maureen Smith, MS, CGC, has been awarded the 2009 Natalie Weissberger Paul National Achievement Award, the most distinguished honor within the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC). The annual award recognizes one outstanding member who has served with exemplary national achievement and volunteer activities on behalf of NSGC and the profession.
Virginia Bishop, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine, was named one of the Top 10 Doctors serving the Latino community by EXTRA, Chicago’s leading bi-lingual newspaper. The publication accepted nominations from hospitals, clinics, and community members for Latino doctors who go above and beyond to serve. Dr. Bishop was recognized for her efforts in starting a school-based health center at Roberto Clemente Academy High School nine years ago. In addition to providing free medical services, she works with the Academy’s Youth Empowering Strategies, a peer health education program that teaches health education, pregnancy and violence prevention, along with fitness and nutrition.
Stanford T. Shulman, MD, Virginia H. Rogers Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, is a member of the Board of Directors of the World Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
Effective January 1, Leon Platanias, MD, became president of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research for two years.
Robert Kushner, MD, was elected president of The Obesity Society at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in October 2009.
In 2009, Mark Morasch, MD, became a Distinguished Fellow for the Society for Vascular Surgery, edited “Surgery of the Aorta and Its Body Branches,” and along with Dr. Mark Eskandari, edited “Vascular Surgery: Therapeutic Strategies.”
Mark Eskandari, MD, has been a section editor for the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology since 2008.
Lewis Landsberg, MD, has been invited to give the Farr lecture at Yale Medical School on their research day in May. This important medical lecture will include career advice to students and a summary of his career in academic medicine.
Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman, MD, DrPH, Solovy Arthritis Research Society Professor, was appointed to a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the American College of Rheumatology. In July, she will become a co-editor for Arthritis and Rheumatism.
Linda Teplin, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Psycho-Legal Studies Program at Feinberg, has a new $10 million NIH grant to study how disproportionate incarceration of racial/ethnic minorities – especially African Americans – affects health disparities in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. “It’s the deprivations suffered while people are incarcerated that result in their risk-taking behavior when they are released into the community,” she said.
January was a busy month for Nathaniel Soper, MD. The chair of the Department of Surgery was named “Top Doctor” by Chicago magazine. In addition, the Loyal and Edith Davis Professor of Surgery began serving on the American College of Surgeons, Board of Governor’s Committee on Surgical Infections and Environmental Risks, and was named to the American Board of Surgery’s Gastrointestinal Advisor Council.
Sandy Weintraub, PhD, was recently selected as president-elect of the International Neuropsychology Society, the world’s largest organization of neuropsychologists.
For her article, “Portraits of Persistence: Professional Development of Successful Directors of Clinical Education,” Alice Salzman, PT, EdD, assistant professor, received the Feitelberg Journal Founder’s Award from the American Physical Therapy Association during the Combined Sections Meeting Conference in February.
James Surmeier, Jr., MD, PhD, Nathan Smith Davis Professor and chair in the Department of Physiology, has been elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was elected by other members as part of the section on neuroscience and is among 531 newly selected fellows. See online extra for information about Dr. Surmeier’s work with Parkinson’s Disease.
For his work in developing palliative care curricula for hospitalists and medical students, Eytan Szmuilowicz, MD, received the 2010 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award in the early career physician category.
Warren G. Tourtellotte, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology, neurology and neuroscience at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, was recently appointed associate director of the medical school’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) — a premier biomedical research program that has trained more than 220 MD/PhD physician-scientists for careers in academic medicine, government, and the biotechnology-pharmaceutical industry.
The Association for Surgical Education has awarded Julia Corcoran, MD, assistant professor in the plastic surgery division, and MHPE clerkship director, the Outstanding Teacher Award. It is given annually to up to four individuals who are actively involved in surgical education and who are considered by their chair, peers, or resident/students to be outstanding teachers.
Preventing and Ameliorating Parkinson’s Disease
(Reprinted with permission from the Northwestern University Office for Research Annual Report 2009.)
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the United States, afflicting more than a million older Americans. Its cardinal symptoms are resting tremor, rigidity, and difficult, slow movement. Nothing is known to prevent the disease or slow its progression. In its early stages drugs can ameliorate symptoms, but for most patients these therapies are effective for only a relatively short period of time.
The research team of D. James Surmeier, physiology, at the Feinberg School of Medicine is moving rapidly toward therapeutic strategies that will prevent Parkinson’s disease and more effectively reduce its impact on those already in its grip. Surmeier is director of the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Research Center of Excellence at Northwestern University, one of a handful of such centers funded by the NIH to find better treatments for Parkinson’s disease. His work exemplifies the bench-to-bedside translational effort at Northwestern.
Using a combination of cutting-edge scientific approaches aimed at unlocking how specific types of neuron behave in their natural environment, Surmeier’s group discovered that the neurons most vulnerable to Parkinson’s disease share a common stressful “lifestyle” that can be largely corrected with a medication that is already approved for human use. Motivated by Surmeier’s pioneering studies, retrospective examination of patients taking this type of medication (for other reasons) have shown they have a much lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. A prospective multicenter clinical trial directed by Tanya Simuni, neurology, is now underway to see if this drug will slow progression in recently diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients. A collaborative effort also is being mounted with Richard Silverman, chemistry, to find a better, more potent neuroprotective drug.
In addition to his work on the origins of Parkinson’s disease, Surmeier’s team is pursuing how the brain adapts to the disease. These interdisciplinary studies are not only providing fundamental insights into the neural mechanisms underlying disease symptoms, they promise to provide a roadmap for new therapeutic strategies that could dramatically improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s disease patients.