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June 10, 2011
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UW Medicine celebrates service and accomplishments of students, alumni, faculty, staff
Late spring is a time of celebration at UW Medicine. Many activities at this time of year highlight our commitment to improving health through excellence in our teaching, research and clinical programs. Over the last weeks, these activities included the UW School of Medicine graduation ceremony for our senior medical students, the All-School Celebration for alumni, and the announcement of annual awards to students, faculty and staff for exceptional teaching, research mentorship and service.
This spring has been an especially satisfying time of celebration. On May 31, I had the pleasure of attending the Al Shifa Dinner and Auction. The Al Shifa Resource Center, started by UW medical students in 2006, is the product of a vision to create a primary-care, student-run clinic for underserved populations in King County. The fund-raising event was an enormous success and highlighted the exceptional talent and commitment to service among UW Medicine students, staff, and faculty.
On June 4, we celebrated the graduation of our senior class. Those in attendance heard Associate Professor of Family Medicine Raye Maestas’ stirring commencement address in which she reflected on the Class of 2011 and all they have accomplished.
That evening, the All-School Celebration brought together UW School of Medicine alumni from throughout the nation and world to celebrate and reflect on their training and careers. A description of that event and this year’s alumni award recipients will be covered in the June 24 issue of Online News.
We have a remarkable community. Students are more than a voice of the future; they are also a voice of the present. They create opportunities to combine their training with service for those in need. Four years ago, 10 volunteer medical students initiated Al Shifa. Since then, the organization has grown dramatically and now includes nearly 500 volunteer students and community members—from non-medical undergraduates to medical students to professional students across many disciplines.
Projects underway within the Al Shifa umbrella organization include: health screening and education activities at the Casa Latina clinic; Education Transforming Community Health (ETCH), a collaborative project that teaches many of Seattle’s homeless men and women how to make health-conscious decisions while living on the streets; the Refugee Women's Alliance (ReWA), a multi-ethnic, community-based organization that provides comprehensive culturally and linguistically appropriate services to refugee and immigrant communities throughout King and Snohomish Counties; and participation in similar programs and activities.
The Al Shifa auction, held at the Burke Museum, was the third annual fund-raising event to support Al Shifa services. The first auction had fewer than 50 guests and raised $2,000; the most recent sold-out event, attended by 160 guests, raised $32,000 to support Al Shifa’s service activities.
A number of our students, faculty and others played key roles in making this wonderful event a success. Third-year medical student Amy Cheney and her mother, Joyce Cheney, were prime movers. Al Shifa board members and medical students Justin Kopa and Juan Ortiz guided gift procurement and audience development, respectively. Eriberto Michel, medical director for Casa Latina, was involved in all aspects of the event. Other individuals who were central to the effort included Alisa Becker-Byquist, education director for Al Shifa, Ana Torvie, one of this year’s recipients of the Rosenblatt Community Service Award, and Ellie Casey, a UW graduate.
What drives students to take on these major endeavors while pursuing demanding studies? Raye Maestas (photo, left) reflected on this exceptional level of commitment in her commencement remarks. I urge you to read her address which speaks to the motivation and power of our students to make a difference. I also urge you to read more about our students’ service activities at the UW School of Medicine student service website.
Raye described the many ways in which our students work to meet the world’s needs—locally, regionally, and globally—through service. She talked of how special each graduating student is and challenged the students as they move forward to maintain sight of how important each person they encounter is, regardless of role, credentials or social status.
Raye’s comments were about many things, including what is timeless in our work: commitment to improving health. Her remarks and the examples of our students who have made service a priority speak to what makes UW Medicine a very special place. Thank you for your diverse roles in training the next generation of health professionals and your commitment to creating a better world. Each of you has an important, powerful and lasting impact.
Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
Joseph Mougous, UW assistant professor of microbiology, is one of 10 recipients of the 2011 Burroughs Wellcome Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases Award.
The award provides $500,000 over five years for accomplished investigators at the assistant professor level to study pathogenesis, with a focus on the intersection of human and microbial biology. The program is intended to shed light on the overarching issues of how human hosts handle infectious challenge.
Mougous studies how to breach the barrier to infection with type VI secretion. A major focus of his lab is to understand the mechanisms and functions of the type VI protein secretion system.
As a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley, Mougous studied the biosynthesis and role in virulence of sulfated glycolipids produced by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. As a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, he studied protein secretion in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The awards provide recipients the freedom and flexibility to pursue new avenues of inquiry and high-risk research projects that hold potential for advancing significantly the biochemical, pharmacological, immunological, and molecular biological understanding of how infectious agents and the human body interact.
“These questions at the intersection of microbes and their hosts are complex and fascinating,” said Burroughs Wellcome Foundation President John Burris. “These investigators are opening up new ground for understanding how we interact with these amazing organisms."
Warren Ladiges, UW professor of comparative medicine, has become chief editor of a new journal, Pathobiology of Aging & Age Related Diseases. The journal is a venue for scientists from a variety of disciplines to communicate findings about the physiological function of aging in mammals, as models for human aging.
In his inaugural editorial, “An Old Problem Gets a New Look,”, Ladiges described the journal’s approach: “Aging is indeed an ‘old’ problem and is being studied in a variety of ways that use mammalian model systems to identify mechanistic pathways that can be targeted to maintain healthy living. In this regard, we are providing a ‘new’ venue for disseminating information that specifically focuses on the pathobiological aspects of aging and the chronic diseases directly associated with aging. There will be a commitment to publishing manuscripts that meet the highest standard of science, but the nature of the journal will allow highly detailed and image intensive descriptions of the pathology of aging and diseases associated with aging.”
In his research, Ladiges investigates the biology of aging and age-related diseases. He is working on improving mouse models for diseases of aging, including cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s. Ladiges, a veterinarian and veterinary pathologist, directs the Comparative Mouse Genome Center at UW Medicine. He is a member of the Genetic Instability and Mutagenesis Program run by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the UW.
Denny Liggitt, chair of comparative medicine at the UW, is one of several co-editors of the journal.
Access the journal at Pathobiology of Aging & Age-Related Diseases.
On May 15, Airlift Northwest hosted an open house in Juneau, Alaska, to showcase the newest addition to its fleet of medical aircraft and introduce ALNW crews to residents in the area.
The new jet, the Learjet 31A, requires a shorter runway than the previously used Learjet 35, allowing Airlift Northwest to bring critical care medicine to destinations previously uncovered by air ambulance service.
“We were not able to land the Lear 35 in Klawock or Haines,” said Chris Martin, ALNW executive director. “Now we will be able to service both of those. We have much more ability to service most of Southeast Alaska.”
The Learjet 31A is loaded with all the equipment medical personnel need to treat and transfer critically ill or injured patients between Juneau, Seattle, Anchorage and Sitka and other locations in the state.
The Learjet 31A is provided under contract to Airlift Northwest by Aero Air.
Read more about Airlift Northwest in the Juneau Empire.
The following is excerpted from an article by Stephen Emmons, UW clinical assistant professor of family medicine, that was published April 4 by the Journal Media Group. Emmons is a family medicine physician and travel medicine specialist at the UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinic in Woodinville.
Travel to developing countries is increasingly common. But along with the access to exotic locations, people are coming into much closer contact with the risks of travel. They face unfamiliar illnesses without the facilities and medical care that they depend on at home. If you are planning a trip to Central or South America, Asia, or Africa, consult a travel specialist before you leave home. You can make an appointment with a travel medicine doctor even if you receive primary care elsewhere.
Read the original article.
Jacob Bobman, a UW senior in biochemistry and mathematics, received one of two the 2011 President’s Medal at the UW Awards of Excellence ceremony June 9.
The President’s Medal is awarded to two graduating seniors who have achieved the most distinguished academic records, not limited to grade-point average. The honor is given to one student who has completed at least three-fourths of his or her degree requirements at the UW; the other is given to a student who entered the UW from a Washington state community college.
Bobman, the four-year medalist, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and will graduate summa cum laude. A graduate of Mercer Island High School, Bobman is a Washington State Scholar, for which he received a four-year full tuition scholarship. He has worked in the laboratory of a UW professor since 2009, conducting neuroscience research. He also has been writing an honors master’s thesis on cryptography research. He has been a volunteer at Nova High School, an alternative school in Seattle for students who have not had success in a traditional classroom setting.
Bobman plans a career in academic medicine, combining his interests in patient care and research.
Quyen Nguyen, a senior in biochemistry, was named the transfer President’s Medalist. She entered the UW from Seattle Central Community College and plans a career as a pharmacist.
Each medalist receives $5,000 to be used toward future academic expenses.
Estell Williams, a second-year UW medical student, will receive the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation’s 2011 Minority Scholars Award. She is one of 13 medical students, out of more than 110 nominees, to be awarded a $10,000 scholarship. The scholarship recognizes the student’s academic achievement and commitment to improving minority health.
Despite growing up in the underserved community of South Oakland, Calif. and having few role models and mentors to guide her in her educational path, Williams became the first in her family to go to college, attending Xavier University of Louisiana. Displaced by Hurricane Katrina, she eventually transferred to the University of San Francisco. Williams never forgot the health disparities she witnessed during the storm’s aftermath. A committed mentor of other minority students, Williams often shares her story to motivate and inspire others toward success. Williams is co-president of the Washington Chapter of the Student National Medical Association and helped establish the Alliance for Equal Representation of Minorities, a new organization aimed at enhancing diversity of students and faculty in the School of Medicine.
The Minority Scholars Award, given in collaboration with the AMA Minority Affairs Consortium, with support from Pfizer Inc., promotes diversity in the medical profession and helps defray the cost of medical education. The awards recognize scholastic achievement, financial need and commitment to improving minority health among first- or second-year medical students in groups defined as historically underrepresented (African American/Black, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, and Hispanic/Latino) in the medical profession.
“This program not only provides high impact scholarships to alleviate soaring medical student debt, it also recognizes outstanding individuals who excel in academics, community service and leadership,” said AMA Foundation president Barney Maynard. “Ms. Williams has made the commitment to pursue the elimination of healthcare disparities, and she will be on the forefront of this issue as we seek solutions to health inequalities.”
Visit AMA Foundation website to learn more.
Nearly a thousand people — students, family, faculty, and staff — crowded Meany Theater May 27 to watch 201 second-year medical students receive their white coats. The White Coat Ceremony (also known as the Clinical Transition Ceremony) marks the students’ transition from classroom learning to the clinical phase of their studies.
Paul Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine, remarked on the significance of the event as students move from the classroom setting into locations throughout the WWAMI region to receive clinical training. Ramsey said the move signifies the maturation of being a student to being a “member of the healthcare team.”
Keynote speaker Steve McGee, UW professor of medicine based at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, advised students to “take everything you’ve learned and turn it into something of value for your patients.”
McGee used Paul Beeson as an exemplary model of the effective clinician. Beeson was a distinguished physician at Seattle VA Medical Center from 1974 to 1979, and a celebrated teacher and researcher, who exemplified scholarliness, compassion and integrity.
Paraphrasing Beeson, McGee told the students to: “Be inquisitive about your patients and employ careful observation. Listen, ask the right questions, and take care of your patient’s concerns. Always be visible and accessible. Be kind, fair-minded, and humble.”
UW School of Medicine Alumni Association President Trish Raymer read the names of the students as they walked across the stage to receive a congratulatory handshake from Ramsey and to receive their white coats.
Dressed in knee-length white coats, six faculty who head the Colleges program that pairs medical students with faculty mentors presented white jackets to students in their respective colleges.
Ramsey concluded the ceremony by reciting the Physicians Oath to the students and directing them to put on their white coats.
The UW Medicine Alumni Association and the School of Medicine's Academic Affairs Office sponsored the ceremony.
More than 70 physicians and four physician assistants participated in a faculty development conference on the Washington State University (WSU) Riverpoint campus last month.
Ken Roberts, WSU associate professor and director of the WWAMI Spokane first-year program, received a grant from the Empire Health Foundation to develop and deliver faculty development for medical educators in the Spokane and Eastern Washington region. The purpose of the conference was to provide basic teaching skills, augment existing teaching skills and create a community of physician educators to provide ongoing faculty development. Physicians from Spokane, Wenatchee, Moses Lake, the TriCities and Walla Walla participated. The audience was energetic, interactive and engaged.
Roberts and George Novan, UW clinical professor of medicine and coordinator of Spokane’s WWAMI internal medicine clerkship, began the conference with an overview of WWAMI Spokane’s history and plans for its future. They also presented results from a survey of Spokane physicians on why physicians choose to teach.
Henry Mroch, clinical assistant professor of medicine and a Spokane nephrologist, spoke about how to teach in the private practice setting without affecting productivity. Anne Eacker, UW associate professor of medicine demonstrated how to give students feedback. A panel of four third-year medical students gave their views on what makes a good preceptor and answered the audience’s questions on various issues related to teaching in the clinical setting. Finally, Matt Hollon, UW clinicl associate professor and faculty member at the internal medicine residency in Spokane, gave a primer on how to use the UW Library System’s HealthLinks to find answers to clinical questions.
More faculty development activities are being planned for the coming academic year. For more information about future development activities in Spokane, contact Ken Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a listing of some upcoming events that may be of interest to the UW Medicine community. Additional events are listed on the UW Medicine events calendar.
Proteomics and Aging Workshop, June 17 – 18
This workshop will feature proteomic technologies for the study of the biology of aging in vertebrate and invertebrate models. Topics will include detection of oxidative modifications of proteins in aging, proteome half-life and turnover estimates, mitochondrial protein expression in aging, and differences in proteomes of long- vs. short-lived strains. Speakers include Bryan Fonslow, Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Brad Gibson, Buck Institute for Research on Aging; John Hart, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Ursula Jakob, University of Michigan, Irwin Kurland, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Rena A.S. Robinson, University of Pittsburgh; and Michael MacCoss, UW. Registration is open to all students, post- doctoral students and faculty of academic and research institutions. There is no registration fee. Those who plan to attend should send their name and contact information to Kathy Fawthrop (email@example.com) and Peter Rabinovitch (firstname.lastname@example.org). Posters are welcome. Visit the Basic Biology of Aging website for more information.
Wednesday Evenings at the Genome, July 6 – 27
The Department of Genome Sciences hosts a free summer lecture series designed for a general audience with no background knowledge in genetics and provides opportunities to chat with presenters:
July 6: Recent adventures in human evolution by John Akey, UW assistant professor of genome sciences; July 13: Confessions of the genome: solving rare disease mysteries by Mike Bamshad, UW professor of pediatrics and adjunct professor of genome sciences; July 20: Meet your tenants: A genomic tour of your inner microbial zoo by Elhanan Borenstein, UW assistant professor of genome sciences; and July 27: Paleovirology: Ghosts and gifts from ancient infections by Harmit Malik, affiliate UW assistant professor of genome sciences, and associate member of Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Presentations begin at 7 p.m., W.H. Foege Building Auditorium (S-060), followed by refreshments at 8 p.m. Contact Carlene Cross at email@example.com or 206.221.5374 for more information, or visit the Genome Sciences website.
Algae and Human Health Symposium, July 15
Algae and Human Health Symposium, 8:30 a.m. - noon, July 15, Kane Hall. Health professionals and biomedical scientists interested in algal toxins or the nutritional benefits of algae can register to attend speaker sessions in the morning and paper sessions in the afternoon. Speakers represent the University of Miami and European Centre for Environmental and Human Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and a general practice physician and author. Registration is $80. The symposium is a special session at the combined Phycological Society of America and International Society of Protistologists 2011 annual meeting this summer in Seattle. For more information, contact Patricia Tester, 252.728.8792; Susan Brawley, 207.581.2973; or Gaile Moe at 206.281.2238.
Ethical considerations in research collaborations conference, Sept. 22 – 23
The Ethical Considerations in Research Collaborations conference will bring together nationally recognized speakers for a discussion of ethical challenges in three areas: university to industry collaboration, researcher to researcher collaboration, and international collaboration. Among the objectives of the conference are to create a summary document of best practices for sharing primary data and biological samples, including maintaining and building research repositories; and to create and share an executive summary of the discussion of shared definitions, regulatory requirements and common practices among researchers in the university and industry sectors. Participants will take home suggested best practices and educational materials, and will create new networks for industry and cross-cultural collaborations. The conference is sponsored by the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity. Visit the conference website for more information or to register.
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