Messages and News 2014

September 3, 2014

Katherine BeckerWe are pleased to announce that Katherine Becker, MHA, MBA, has been appointed Administrator for the School of Nursing. In her new role, Ms. Becker will assist with planning, forecasting and implementing all budgetary and operational matters for the SON.

Ms. Becker brings more than 24 years of experience in staff and management positions with academic health care institutions to her new position.

Previously, she served as the Senior Administrative Manager for UTMB's Center for Addiction Research (CAR), overseeing the day-to-day operations of this academic research center and performing duties related to human resources, financial oversight, staff management, managing space and endowment administration. One of Ms. Becker's top achievements in this position was integrating the center into the Galveston community. For her efforts and CAR's drug awareness activities within the community, the City of Galveston has honored the center with proclamations for the past three years. She received the Center for Addiction Research - Community Outreach and Engagement Award.

Other positions held by Ms. Becker include Senior Faculty Advisor and Program Manager for Faculty Academic Affairs with MD Anderson Cancer Center and Office Administrator with CHRISTUS Health. She completed her double masters in Health Care and Business Administration while working here at UTMB with the School of Medicine.

Ms. Becker is a lifelong Galvestonian and is engaged in our community outside of UTMB. She is an adjunct professor at Galveston College with the Health Care Administration program, volunteers with the Galveston Historical Foundation and serves as a Volunteer Chairman for Dickens on the Strand and the Historical Homes Tour.

Please join us in congratulating Ms. Becker on her new role.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair
PW_sig
Pamela G. Watson, RN, ScD
Vice President of Education and
Dean,School of Nursing
Rebecca Sealy Distinguished Centennial Chair

 

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August 28, 2014

Rex McCallum, Ph.D.I am delighted to share that Dr. Rex McCallum has been appointed Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs for our university's Academic Enterprise.

This appointment solidifies Dr. McCallum's duties and recognizes his important responsibilities as we strive to deliver the very best in patient care while improving efficiency and decreasing costs. He will work with our Health System colleagues regarding all professional practices and operations. For example, he will partner with Ann O'Connell, MS, MSN, RN, Vice President for Ambulatory Operations, to oversee operations for all of our UTMB Health Clinics. Dr. McCallum will work to help us make sure that patient quality is "job one" while we compete based on providing the best service.

Coordinating with chairs on all clinical matters, Dr. McCallum will work to optimize productivity while maintaining the highest level of professionalism among faculty members. He will manage the clinical liaisons who support referring physicians and providers. He also will administer the MSRDP and support recruiting and faculty retention efforts.

Dr. McCallum's other responsibilities include working with various departments on the matters of payor strategy and tactics, optimizing billing and collections, ensuring billing compliance and improving Epic. His efforts also will support professional quality and government programs, such as Meaningful Use and Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO).

Please join me in thanking Dr. McCallum and congratulating him on this new recognition.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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August 15, 2014

Alan Barrett, Ph.D.I am very pleased to inform you that our Sealy Center for Vaccine Development has been named a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Vaccine Research, Evaluation and Training on Emerging Infectious Diseases. UTMB is only the second university in the Western Hemisphere and the seventh in the world to receive this designation from the World Health Organization (WHO).

UTMB’s vaccine development team will join a select network of other international experts to help facilitate vaccine research and development against important infectious diseases. The other collaborating centers are the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Geneva, University of Zurich, and University of Lausanne in Switzerland, the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai and the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

The UTMB WHO Collaborating Center will track and provide analysis of the vaccine pipeline against emerging infectious diseases; conduct research on the development, evaluation and use of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases of public health importance; and provide education and training for future investigators in the field of vaccinology.

Alan D. Barrett, Ph.D., Director of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development and Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology & Immunology, will serve as Director of our WHO Collaborating Center. David Beasley, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, will serve as Associate Director.

Dr. Barrett has worked with the WHO extensively over the past decade, including as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Vaccine Research for Dengue and Other Flaviviruses and as a member of various committees, such as the Pan American Health Organization expert committee of yellow fever adverse events following immunization. He has lent his in-depth knowledge to working groups developing treatments for Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever and dengue. Dr. Barrett holds the John D. Stobo, M.D., Distinguished Chair and is a member of our Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases and Institute for Human Infections and Immunity.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Alan Barrett, Dr. David Beasley and colleagues in the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development on their wonderful accomplishment.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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August 13, 2014

AE2020 Next StepsI am pleased to announce that, after 13 months of hard work, we are ready to take the next steps towards implementing our vision for UTMB in 2020. The next stage of this project will begin shortly as we focus our attention on those objectives that were identified as immediate priorities.

I would like to thank everyone -- including the multidisciplinary Strategic Management Task Force (SMTF), the Tactical Planning teams and the Academic Enterprise community-at-large, for the considerable time and energy spent on this formidable planning initiative. (Please note: A summary of the goals and objectives prioritization process is attached. In addition, a more detailed report in PowerPoint format is available upon request.)

The major activities included:

  • Collecting and collating more than 5,175 ideas and opinions from staff, faculty members and others as to what the future should look like for the Academic Enterprise;
  • Attending three meetings held in December 2013, and January and February 2014, where 150 members of 18 tactical planning teams helped to develop and refine the proposed objectives; and,
  • Regular meetings of the 25 members of our STMF over the past six months to assess and prioritize requests, integrating existing data and preliminarily identifying the resources that might be needed to be successful.

These efforts ultimately identified seven of the 18 objectives as those that should have the highest priority. These seven were presented to President Callender and the executive leadership team. They were to:

  • Implement a tactical planning, tracking and performance reporting platform for the AE
  • 2020 initiatives (onFocus Healthcare Inc.);
  • Refine methodology for selecting future clinical program priorities;
  • Develop succession plans for key leaders;
  • Increase philanthropic support for the Academic Enterprise;
  • Maintain 2012 research funding levels;
  • Review or revise program curricula to be competency based; and,
  • Evaluate and optimize or consolidate center and institute portfolios.

All seven were endorsed and recommended for implementation as soon as possible. In my opinion, although the process by which the objective priorities were identified was certainly rigorous (e.g., it incorporated best practices as regards to soliciting feedback from the faculty and staff members and is an exemplar for crowdsourcing), it is very reassuring that the seven objectives seem internally valid and “feel right.” It is also important to note that, after discussion, it was apparent that some of the resource requirements for the recommended objectives were already included in our institution’s budgetary plans for FY2015 and beyond, either in whole or in part.

This is a significant accomplishment. With your input and advice and, in no small part, because of your hard work, we have developed, refined and prioritized the objectives that will guide our efforts starting this September and continuing over the next several years. A lot of the background preparation work needed for us to launch the next phase has already been completed or is well underway. Look for more information coming soon (and, on a regular basis!) summarizing our current activities and future plans. 

Again, thank you for your efforts and for your support.

Excelsior,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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August 11, 2014

Claire DonovanI am saddened to share the news that Claire Donovan passed away on July 13th, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Ms. Donovan worked for UTMB for 28 years, serving in administrative roles in the President’s office, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science and the School of Medicine Dean’s office, where she spent more than two decades. Upon her retirement, UTMB faculty and staff established the Claire Donovan Medical Education Scholarship Fund.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Harvey Bunce III, who is a former Chair of the UTMB Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health and Senior Associate Dean for Administration.

I know you will join me in extending our sympathy to Ms. Donovan’s family, friends and colleagues.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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August 6, 2014

Cameron SlocumIt is with a mixture of pride and sadness that I announce that Mr. Cameron Slocum will be leaving UTMB next month to assume the position of Chief Operating Officer at our sister institution, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas. He will be reporting to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dean of UT Southwestern Medical School, with a shared reporting relationship to the Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs and Executive Vice President for Business Affairs. 

Cameron has been with UTMB since 1998 and has been responsible for financial, operational and strategic functions within the Academic Enterprise and Faculty Group Practice. He has served as the Principal Business Officer of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and all Academic Support functions. Cameron also coordinated all of the institution’s business-related disaster recovery efforts with FEMA and other related agencies after Hurricane Ike.

During his tenure, he also held positions such as Senior Financial Analyst for Hospitals and Clinics, Director of Finance for Institutional Finance and Vice President for Finance and Administration, as well as finance legislative liaison in the Office of Finance. Additional responsibilities have included the institutional capital budget, debt management and oversight of UTMB’s endowments held by the UT System.

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Slocum on his new appointment and wishing him the best in all of his future endeavors!

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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August 1, 2014

Dr_Douglas_S_TylerAfter a national search, I am pleased to announce that Douglas S. Tyler, M.D., has agreed to join us as Chair of our Department of Surgery. He will start his tenure on or about October 1, 2014.

Dr. Tyler received his M.D. with honors from Dartmouth Medical School in 1985, and went on to complete his postdoctoral training as Chief Resident in Surgery at Duke University Medical Center and a Surgical Oncology Fellow at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Tyler currently serves as a Professor of Surgery with tenure and Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology within the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. Previously he served as Chief of the Section of Surgical Oncology at Duke. He also is a Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Surgical Services at Durham VA Medical Center. 

Dr. Tyler’s clinical practice focuses on GI cancers and melanoma. Since 1997, he has been a member of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. He serves as Director of the Melanoma Program within the Duke Cancer Institute. Recently, he has been involved in organizing the Oncology Services for Duke Health System and was appointed Associate Director of strategic planning within the Cancer Institute.
           
A national leader in his field, Dr. Tyler runs one of the largest regional chemotherapy treatment and clinical research programs in the country. He is the principal investigator on several Phase I regional therapy trials in melanoma.

Author of more than 200 published works including peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, Dr. Tyler reviews for prestigious periodicals such as the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research, the Journal of Surgical Oncology and the British Journal of Cancer. He is a member of the editorial boards for the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.

Included on Castle Connolly’s America's Top Doctors list for several years in a row, Dr. Tyler’s other accolades include the David C. Sabiston, Jr. Teaching Award for excellence in resident education, the Durham VA Medical Center “Partners in Care” Nursing Service Excellence Award and the Duke Surgery Excellence in Simulation Teaching Award for providing exemplary service in skills training to residents in the surgical education and activities lab. As a Director for the American Board of Surgery, he is an elected representative to the Society of Surgical Oncology.

As always, I’d like to thank the search committee for their hard work. Thank you Dr. Bernard Godley, as Chair, along with Mr. Bernard Cherry, Mr. David Connaughton, Dr. Casey Duncan, Dr. Guillermo Gomez, Dr. James Goodwin, Dr. Gary Hankins, Dr. Aristides Koutrouvelis, Dr. Steven Lieberman, Ms. Deborah McGrew, Dr. Massoud Motamedi, Dr. David Niesel, Dr. Donald Prough, Dr. Vicente Resto, Dr. Rebecca Saavedra and Dr. Randall Urban. I’d also like to thank Mr. Victor Moreno for his contributions.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Douglas Tyler to our UTMB family!

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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July 30, 2014

Lawrence C. Sowers, Ph.D.

I am pleased to announce that Lawrence C. Sowers, Ph.D., and Kangling Zhang, Ph.D., have been awarded a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health to study DNA modification and damage repair pathways in order to better understand genetic changes that drive cancer etiology.

Dr. Sowers, John Sealy Distinguished Chair for MD/PhD Combined Degree Studies in Honor of Dr. Truman G. Blocker, Chair and Professor for the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Director of the MD-PhD Combined Degree Program and Dr. Zhang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, are principal investigators for the project, “Oxidation of 5-Methylcytosine: DNA Damage and Epigenetic Reprogramming.” They will work with co-investigators Marxa Figueiredo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor for the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Ping Wu, M.D., Ph.D., John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Neurological Recovery and Professor for the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology.

Kangling Zhang, Ph.D. Marxa Figueiredo, Ph.D. Ping Wu, M.D., Ph.D.

The team will examine 5hmC and its related DNA demethylation pathway in human neural stem cells, mouse embryonic stem cells and in a series of human cancer stem cells and established cell lines. Information gleaned from this study could provide new insights into novel targeted chemotherapy.

Congratulations Dr. Lawrence Sowers, Dr. Kangling Zhang, Dr. Marxa Figueiredo and Dr. Ping Wu on this grant award!

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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July 28, 2014

Dr. Alvin LeBlancAs many of you know, Dr. Alvin LeBlanc passed away on July 21st. I wanted to write about Dr. LeBlanc’s tremendous contributions to UTMB, the community and society-at-large, but decided that it would be hard to improve upon the attached message, shared by Thomas A. Blackwell, M.D., F.A.C.P, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education.

I know you will join me in extending our deepest sympathy to Dr. LeBlanc’s family, colleagues and friends.

 

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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July 23, 2014

Paul Bristol, MBAI am pleased to announce that Paul Bristol, MBA, will be joining us as Administrator for Primary Care Services in early August.

Mr. Bristol brings leadership experience and a wealth of expertise to his new role, with a background that encompasses finance, human resources, IT, facility management and faculty support.

He comes to UTMB from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he has worked for more than a decade in various departments, most recently as Administrator of the Vascular Surgery Section and Diagnostic Vascular Labs (DVUs) at multiple sites such as the University of Michigan Hospital, North Campus Research Complex (NCRC), Briarwood Health Associates (DVU), Cardiovascular Center (Clinical/Surgical/DVU), Dominos Farm (DVU) and remote Vein Clinics. In this role, he oversaw clinical, surgical and research operations; organized community outreach; managed space; increased revenue and market share while improving patient care; and supervised management staff.

As Administrator for the Cell and Developmental Biology Department, Mr. Bristol implemented both a new financial system to track project activity and a shared services model to support departmental accounting, and he helped develop the Basic Sciences Medical School incentive plan to reward faculty with greater than 50% salary coverage on sponsored funds. Other positions held by Mr. Bristol include Business and Human Resources Manager for the Chemistry Department and Senior Budget Analyst for the Dean’s Office, College of Literature, Science and Arts. While at the University of Michigan, he participated in such groups as the Wound Care Clinic Steering Committee, Medical School Post Award Modernization and the LSA Human Resource Classification Committee.

Mr. Bristol previously worked as a Manager, Financial Analyses and Recurring Revenue for Creative Solutions in Dexter, Michigan, and Project Controller for Deloitte & Touche in Dallas, Texas. He holds a certificate in Lean Healthcare Training, a BA in Communications from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Finance from Keller Graduate School in Atlanta, Georgia.

Please join me in welcoming Mr. Bristol!

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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July 23, 2014

Dr. Bukreyev I am pleased to announce that Alexander Bukreyev, PhD, Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology & Immunology, has been awarded roles on multiple five-year grants funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Defense Treaty Reduction Agency (DTRA) and totaling more than $6.58 million. Through these projects, Dr. Bukreyev will work to develop antibodies and small molecules to treat Ebola and Marburg infections, investigate their pathogenetic mechanisms and study the innate immunity that allows bats to harbor these viruses.

The grants are administered through the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Dr. Chris Basler). In one grant, Dr. Bukreyev will work on testing and developing drugs to treat these viruses as principal investigator of Project 3, “Therapeutics Targeting Filoviral Interferon-antagonist and Replication Functions: Small Molecules Disabling Dephosphorylation of Ebola and Marburg" ($1,081,253) and principal investigator of Core B “Therapeutics Targeting Filoviral Interferon-antagonist and Replication Function” ($2,469,571). In another grant, Dr. Bukreyev will investigate immune responses caused by the Ebola and Marburg viruses as principal investigator of Project 2, "Mechanisms of ‘Immune Paralysis’ Caused by Filoviruses,” for $1,707,254.

Dr. Bukreyev also will receive $1,320,028 as co-investigator and principal investigator of the UTMB subcontract “Comparative Immunology of Rousettus Aegyptiacus Reservoir of Filovirus” funded by the DTRA.

Before joining UTMB in 2010, Dr. Bukreyev worked as a Research Fellow and Staff Scientist at the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID, garnering honors including the Performance Award in Recognition of Special Achievement in Support of the Mission of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases several years in a row. This year, he served on both the Organizing Committee of the 6th International Symposium on Filoviruses and on the NIH Vaccines Against Microbial Diseases (VMD) Study Section. He is a member of UTMB’s Galveston National Laboratory, the UTMB Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases and the UTMB Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, as well as a Senior Scientist for UTMB’s Sealy Center for Vaccine Development.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Bukreyev on his grant awards.

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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News from 2013

June 30, 2014

Susan McCammom, MD, MBACongratulations to the new William Osler Scholars, Susan Dixon McCammon, MFA, MD, and Patricia A. Rogers, MD, FAAP! The John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine recognizes individuals who exemplify Sir William Osler’s ideals of humane, compassionate, scientifically sound, patient-centered care and teaching.

Dr. McCammon is Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical Operations for the Department of Otolaryngology, and serves as the Co-Director of the Center for Cancers of the Head and Neck. She is holder of the Jehu Matthew Robison Distinguished Professorship in Otolaryngology, Chair of the Ethics Committee for the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery/Foundation (AAO-HNS/F), and is continuing her education as a PhD candidate in the Institute for Medical Humanities.

Dr. Patricia RogersA Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Rogers is a member of the Academy of Master Teachers and is active with state and national organizations including the Texas Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her other honors include the Unsung Hero In Healthcare Award presented by the Galveston NAACP and induction to The University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education.

At the 13th annual Osler Oration on July 11, the John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine will honor Dr. McCammon and Dr. Rogers, as well as these other outstanding UTMB members:

  • The John P. McGovern Lifetime Achievement Award in Oslerian Medicine: Leonard E. Swischuk, MD
  • Excellence in Clinical Teaching Awards: Loretta Lee Grumbles, MD, Hanan Hussein, MD,
  • Michael H. Malloy, MD, and Robert Glenn Smith, MD, PhD
  • The John P. McGovern Student Awards in Oslerian Medicine: Mary Elizabeth Murphy, Angie Hamouie, Taylor Baumann and Candace Bailey
  • The John D. and Mary Ann Stobo Award: Jacqueline Stout
  • The John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine Student Award: William Green
  • Practice of Medicine 1 Essay Award in Oslerian Medicine: Jillian Patton
  • Practice of Medicine 3 Essay Award in Oslerian Medicine: Mary R. Goodrich and Michelle H. Parmley

Congratulations to all the awardees!

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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June 27, 2014

James Blankenship, PhDWelcome our new Student Ombudsman, James E. Blankenship, PhD! As Student Ombudsman beginning July 1st, Dr. Blankenship will provide confidential and informal assistance to UTMB students. Acting as a neutral party and champion for fair processes, he will facilitate the resolution of concerns and conflicts for students and academic leadership and make recommendations to improve communication at all academic levels.

For roughly four decades, Dr. Blankenship served at UTMB in positions including Ashbel Smith Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology (NCB); Director, Neuroscience Graduate Program; Associate Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS); Director, MD-PhD Combined Degree Program and Member, Marine Biomedical Institute. He received his PhD in Physiology from Yale University Medical School, and stayed at Yale as a Graduate Fellow for the National Science Foundation before completing postdoctoral fellowships at New York University School of Medicine and the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. Blankenship’s research focused on the neural control of locomotory behaviors and the neural and hormonal control of reproductive activity in the marine mollusk Aplysia, a well-known model preparation for studies of neurobiology at the cellular and molecular levels. His work earned him honors such as the Research Career Development Award from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke; The John G. Sinclair Sigma Xi Award for Humanity, Scholarship and Research for the UTMB Sigma Xi Chapter; the Gender Equity Award from the University of Texas Medical School medical student branch of the American Medical Women’s Association; as well as the Distinguished Teaching Award, Excellence in Teaching Award and Distinguished Faculty Service Award from the GSBS.

His commitment to service, prior professional experiences and accomplishments, as well as his dynamic approach to teaching and leadership development make Dr. Blankenship uniquely qualified to succeed as Student Ombudsman.  

Visit Dr. Blankenship during his office hours:

  • Lee Hage Jamail Student Center, conference room 2.110
    Tuesday, 10 to 11 a.m.
    Thursday, 12 to 1 p.m.
               
    Students also may contact Dr. Blankenship at jeblanke@utmb.edu, or reach him through Jill Patterson in Student Services, (409) 747-9055.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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June 27, 2014

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act (Open Payments), a part of the Affordable Care Act, is requiring domestic drug and device manufacturers to report any payments made to physicians or academic medical centers to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), with certain exceptions.

As of June 1st, UTMB clinicians may begin registering with CMS so that they may review their payment information that will be made available for individual review on July 1st, and publicly available in September 2014. It is important that physicians review their data starting in July to ensure the accuracy of data reported on CMS’s website.  UTMB’s Conflicts of Interest office will be providing online materials and in-person training sessions to help faculty members understand their responsibilities under the regulations.  Find a walkthrough of the physician registration process here.

The implementation of Open Payments is an important step towards greater transparency in the provision of health care services. I encourage each of you to familiarize yourself with the regulations and to register with CMS, which enables you to review data reported regarding your activities.

If you have any specific questions regarding Open Payments or would like to request an in-person training session, please contact the COI office at coi.in@utmb.edu.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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June 20, 2014

AAALAC International site visit: The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) will be visiting animal research areas on campus from June 23 through June 25.  

AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. UTMB’s animal care program has been accredited since 1995. We look forward to working with our visitors to ensure the continued success of our animal program. 

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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June 19, 2014

UTMB has been named the Texas Medical Association Medical Student Section (TMA-MSS) Chapter of the Year. The award was presented during TMA’s annual meeting in Fort Worth. The annual Chapter of the Year award began in 1998 to recognize the chapter that excels in furthering TMA-MSS’s goals and policies, and demonstrates leadership, dedication and service to TMA and the American Medical Association (AMA).

UTMB chapter members have been involved with the Galveston community to promote good health and disease prevention, including making presentations to more than 1,200 elementary and middle school students about the dangers of tobacco use. Medical and allied health professions students from UTMB also participated in the local Grandkids Festival to promote healthy living and active play.

Special recognition goes to the students that comprise chapter leadership: president Taylor Baumann, past president Nick Burns, AMA delegate Robert Good and TMA delegate Alexi Bulloch, as well as to faculty advisor, Ben Raimer, MD, MA, FAAP.

Please join me in congratulating them on this honor!

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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June 17, 2014

UTMB is pleased to announce the launch of our new Office of Faculty Affairs website. A result of a joint effort across all four schools (School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Health Professions and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences), as well as the Academy of Research Mentors, Academy of Master Teachers and the Faculty Senate, this tool will serve as a central resource for faculty information. Illuminating the processes for appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure, the site provides guidelines, checklists, timelines and review criteria. Additionally, details on campus events including training and teaching activities, upcoming seminars and mentoring opportunities will be posted. 

http://www.utmb.edu/facultyaffairs/

Featured sections include:

  • Appointment, Promotion and Tenure
  • Benefits and Compensation
  • Event Calendar
  • Clinical Activities
  • Faculty Development
  • Mentoring
  • Organizations and Committees
  • Research and Grants
  • Residents and Fellows (GME)
  • UTMB Living, Communities and Schools

With this new support, current and future faculty at UTMB will have easy access to an array of crucial information regarding personal growth and development. Should you have any questions, or if you have upcoming events or news of interest to all faculty, please contact Mary Schlobohm at 409-772-2673.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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May 28, 2014

Congratulations to Drs. Rebecca Blue and James Vanderploeg in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health (PMCH)! Both recently received major honors during the 2014 meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association.

Dr. BlueDr. Blue, PMCH aerospace medicine physician and Aerospace Medicine Residency and MPH program graduate, received the Julian E. Ward Memorial Award.  This award as established by the Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons in memory of its first member to lose his life in an aircraft accident, and to honor all flight surgeons whose lives have been lost in flying activities related to the practice of aerospace medicine. The annual award is for superior performance and/or outstanding achievement in the art and science of aerospace medicine during residency training.

 

 

Dr. VanderploegDr. Vanderploeg, PMCH faculty and Director of the Clinical Preventive Medicine Division, received the Louis H. Bauer Founders Award.  This award was established to honor Louis H. Bauer, M.D., founder of the Aerospace Medical Association. It is given annually for the most significant contribution in aerospace medicine.

In addition to these faculty honors, three UTMB Aerospace Medicine residents received awards.

 

 

Dr. Chough       Dr. Pattarini      Dr. Mulcahy
Dr. Chough       Dr. Pattarini      Dr. Mulcahy

Dr. Natacha Chough was awarded the Aerospace Medical Association Jeffrey R. Davis, MD, Endowed Scholarship and the Society of NASA Flight Surgeons Outstanding Student Award.

Dr. James Pattarini received the Aerospace Medical Association Jeffrey R. Davis, MD, Endowed Scholarship and the Space Medicine Association Wyle Scholarship.

Dr. Robert Mulcahy was selected from among more than 200 competitors for the Jeff Myers Young Investigator Award.  

The team of Drs. Chough, Pattarini, and Mulcahy also won the RAM Bowl, a quiz competition among teams from Aerospace Medicine Residency programs.

These are wonderful recognitions for our faculty members and residents in PMCH and Aerospace Medicine.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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May 28, 2014

On behalf of Dr. Cornelis Elferink, Director, Sealy Center for Environmental Health and Medicine, please join us as we congratulate the following individuals for recently receiving CET NIEHS Pilot Project funding for the following projects:

  • Allan R. Brasier, MDEMT-induced reprogramming of innate immune response pathways
  • Marxa Figueiredo, PhDRole of environmental contaminants in Prostate tumor promotion by Mesenchymal/stromal stem cells
  • Deepthi Kolli, PhDRole of H2S in Environmental Tobacco Smoke-mediated Lung Inflammation
  • Terumi Midoro-Horiuti, MD, PhDEarly exposure to an environmental estrogen promotes allergic asthma by altering innate immune cells These one-year pilot projects have been awarded $50,000 each through the NIEHS Center in Environmental Toxicology at UTMB to support pilot studies designed to improve environmentally-linked human health through basic and translational research endeavors.  Congratulations Drs. Brasier, Figueiredo, Kolli and Midoro-Horiuti!

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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May 21, 2014

Jessica Peck, DNP, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNLPlease join me in congratulating Jessica Peck, DNP, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, the Will Dean Bivens Singleton Professor of Pediatric Nursing and Associate Professor in our School of Nursing, for being nominated and selected as an Outstanding Nurse honoree for this year’s Houston Chronicle Salute to Nurses. 

The Houston Chronicle recognized Dr. Peck during the Salute to Nurses Luncheon Thursday, May 8 and in the paper Sunday, May 11, when the Salute to Nurses special section was published. 

Dr. Peck was recognized by patients or coworkers as someone who has made a tangible, positive impact in the nursing community. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Peck for a well-deserved achievement!

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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May 19, 2014

UTMB is pleased to announce the launch of the ePerformance tool. The institution has adopted this tool to streamline our process for conducting employee evaluations; all managers and employees (except for Graduate Assistants and Residents) are expected to use ePerformance to complete their FY14 annual reviews.

What is ePerformance?
ePerformance is a module in the PeopleSoft HCM system that provides a standardized approach for documenting, measuring, and tracking employee performance. The tool is now available for use through Manager Self Service and Employee Self Service, and it should replace all other performance appraisal practices and applications.  Please note the PMP system was discontinued effective April 30, 2014, and is only accessible for viewing historical documents.

What’s new with ePerformance?
The ePerformance tool offers a number of new features and enhancements:

  • Paperless – Managers and employees can now create, approve, and maintain performance review documents electronically, eliminating the need for paper files.
  • Automatic routing and email notifications – ePerformance provides automatic routing and email notifications to help keep you up to date on the status of your evaluation.
  • Performance notes – The performance notes feature allows managers and employees to document performance at any time during the review period.
  • Three-point performance rating scale – A rating scale is used to indicate an employee’s level of performance, and UTMB has moved from a five-point to a three-point rating scale.
  • Action planning – Action planning is a key component of the ePerformance review process, and a development or performance improvement action plan will now be required for every employee. 

What training will be provided?
All employees are invited to attend an overview presentation to learn more about the ePerformance tool and their role in the evaluation process.

Please see below for the available presentation dates.

Presentation Date

Time

Location

Tuesday, May 20

3 to 4 p.m.

Levin Hall North (Room 2.220)

Thursday, May 22

3 to 4 p.m.

Clinical Sciences Auditorium (Room 362)

Thursday, May 29

9 to 10 a.m.

Levin Hall North (Room 2.220)

Friday, June 13

9 to 10 a.m.

Clinical Sciences Auditorium (Room 362)

Monday, June 23

9 to 10 a.m.

Clinical Sciences Auditorium (Room 362)

Thursday, July 10

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Levin Hall South (Room 2.222)

To register for one of the presentations, go to the My Training class schedule, select PeopleSoft – HCM from the Course drop-down menu, and click on your preferred ePerformance – Employee Overview date. 

The following items have also been prepared to assist you with accessing and using ePerformance.

Should you have any questions about the ePerformance tool or the FY14 annual review cycle, please contact your manger or HR ePerformance.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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May 8, 2014

We’re less than a month away from our School of Medicine Commencement which will take place on Saturday, May 31st at 10 am in the Moody Gardens Convention Center.  This year’s graduation promises to be another exciting and memorable occasion.  As a reminder, faculty members who plan to participate (and I expect a record turn-out again this year) should sign-up to reserve a place in the procession and a seat, via email to Valerie Carmichael at vcarmich@utmb.edu  or Lori Kocian DeWillis at lakocian@utmb.edu.

I would like to point out that we are expecting 216 students to cross the stage this year.  In addition, there has been great interest in our keynote speaker, Scott E. Parazynski, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Director for our Center for Polar Medical Operations.  In order to comfortably accommodate the families and friends of our graduates, we will be contacting each department for advance ticket ordering. 

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding of our seating limitations. 

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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May 7, 2014

Dr. Slobodan PaesslerIt is my great pleasure to report that Dr. Slobodan Paessler, Professor of Pathology at UTMB is the co-principal investigator of a $4.4 million dollar grant (R01AI111364, MPI) announced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In partnership with Etubics Corporation, a Seattle based clinical stage biotechnology company, the grant is aimed at addressing the lack of cross-reactive protection observed in present-day influenza vaccines and could enable the development of a universal influenza vaccine.

The grant will support the necessary pre-clinical experiments that allow the construction and production of a multivalent vaccine that induces both protective cell-mediated immunity and antibody responses.

These studies will support the development of a broadly cross-reactive influenza vaccine designed to protect humans against a wide range of influenza viruses, ultimately leading to an IND application to the FDA and advancement to clinical trials.

According to Dr. Paessler, "Successful work over the last several years combined with the support from the Institute for Human Infections & Immunity at UTMB, is becoming nationally and internationally recognized.  This project will enhance our visibility in the area of vaccine development against influenza A and B. I wish to extend my thanks to Drs. Nadezhda Yun and Magda Miller for their support on this project."

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Paessler and colleagues on this very significant accomplishment!

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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May 2, 2014

Dr. Garcia-BlancoIt is with great pleasure that I announce that Mariano A. Garcia-Blanco MD, PhD has agreed to join us as chair of our Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB).  Dr. Garcia-Blanco will start his tenure with us later this year.  As chair of BMB, Dr. Garcia-Blanco will lead efforts to further excellence in research, education, mentoring, and scholarship that have broad fundamental, translational and clinical impact.

Dr. Garcia-Blanco will join us after 24 years at Duke University, where he is currently the Charles D. Watts Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Duke Center for RNA Biology.  He also is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore.  Dr. Garcia-Blanco was born in Puerto Rico and lived there until he was accepted into Harvard College in 1973.  Subsequently, he received his MD as well as a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University.  He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Phillip Sharp, Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Dr. Sharp joined MIT’s Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute) in 1974 and earned the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Dr. Garcia-Blanco has made seminal contributions to the study of RNA biology and virology. His studies on mRNA have improved our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate splicing during disease, and introduced a new type of RNA based therapy. Dr. Garcia-Blanco and his team pioneered imaging of alternative splicing events in vivo, visualizing splicing changes that accompany phenotypic transitions among metastatic cancer cells in living animals and in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Over the last ten years, Dr. Garcia-Blanco has focused his RNA expertise on pathogenic flaviviruses, which threaten both US and global public health and for which there are no approved therapies.

Dr. Garcia-Blanco’s research efforts have been tremendously successful securing peer-reviewed funding.  He has published over 120 research articles, reviews or book chapters. He was recognized as a Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation Scholar between 1997 - 2002.  He was elected to the Association of American Physicians in 2011, recognized as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011, and as a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2013.  Dr. Garcia-Blanco has served on the editorial boards of Molecular and Cellular Biology, RNA and Scientific Reports.  He was permanent member and chair of the NIH’s Study Section on Biochemistry and then served as a member of the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council. 
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Mariano A. Garcia-Blanco to our UTMB family!

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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April 29, 2014

Dr. David Herndon, Professor of Surgery and holder of the Jessie H. Jones Chair in Burn Surgery at our Institution who is also Chief of Staff and Director of Research at the Shriners Hospital for Children in GalvestonJust in case you missed the recent announcement in our Impact Online Newsletter, I wanted everyone to know that Dr. David Herndon, Professor of Surgery and holder of the Jessie H. Jones Chair in Burn Surgery at our Institution who is also Chief of Staff and Director of Research at the Shriners Hospital for Children here in Galveston, was awarded the prestigious Medallion for Scientific Achievement by the American Surgical Association during its 130th annual meeting earlier this month. The American Surgical Association, whose fellows are selected competitively, is our Country’s oldest surgical society. The Medallion for Scientific Achievement is the American Surgical Society’s highest honor. The award, established in 1970, is given to recognize seminal research contributions. Only twenty-six members have received this recognition including such renowned surgeons such as Dr. Michael DeBakey and Dr. Herndon’s mentor, Dr. Basil Pruitt. Dr. Herndon received the Flance-Karl Award from the American Surgical Association in 2006 in recognition of his seminal contributions in basic laboratory research that have improved patient care.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Herndon for this extraordinary recognition of his efforts that have improved the care of burn patients around the world.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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Linda G. Phillips, M.D., Professor and Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery and holder of the Truman G. Blocker, Jr., M.D., Distinguished Professor of Surgery ProfessorshipI would like to remind faculty members that our School of Medicine Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 31st at 10 am in the Moody Gardens Convention Center. Please join us for this proud and memorable occasion for our students.  I am expecting a record turn-out this year compared to previous participation.  To sign up to join the faculty procession, please contact Valerie Carmichael at vcarmich@utmb.edu.

Each year a distinguished member of the faculty is chosen as Senior Faculty Marshal to carry the university mace during the Commencement ceremony.  I am very pleased to announce that Linda G. Phillips, M.D., Professor and Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery and holder of the Truman G. Blocker, Jr., M.D., Distinguished Professor of Surgery Professorship, has been selected as this year’s Senior Faculty Marshal, and will lead the procession of faculty.  The mace bearer is an honored position given to a faculty member in recognition of his/her outstanding service and contributions, and is a testament to the high esteem in which they are held by the UTMB community.

Dr. Phillips received her medical degree from the University of Chicago.  She completed her general surgery residency at Northwestern University and her plastic surgery residency at Wayne State University in Detroit.  She began her professional career as an Instructor of Surgery at Northwestern University and was appointed Director of the Burn Center at Wayne State University.  In 1988, Dr. Phillips joined our faculty and she was appointed Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery in 1994. 

Dr. Phillips is well known nationally in the field of plastic surgery and serves as a member of multiple scientific and professional societies.  She is an ad hoc reviewer for numerous editorial/review boards, invited participant on many NIH panels/workshops and has been a visiting professor/invited speaker for numerous national and international locations.  In addition to her clinical, research and teaching responsibilities at UTMB, Dr. Phillips has served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Chair of the former Faculty Women’s Advisory Committee; Chair of the Faculty Senate; Plastic Surgery Residency Program Director; past President of the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation and American Board of Plastic Surgery; and, as a member of the University of Texas Faculty Advisory Council. 

Please join me in congratulating her on this well-deserved honor.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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April 18, 2014

MyPOWER LoginmyPOWER has been updated with the latest March performance data! Faculty can login at http://aebizprodweb.utmb.edu/ProvostWebPortal/Login to access their individual reports.

As a reminder, myPOWER is a web-based faculty portal which allows faculty members to view their productivity, measure their performance, and forecast their performance-based incentives or adjustments under the Faculty Compensation Plan. myPOWER provides reports for actual performance for past periods and also allows some faculty to perform what-if and trend analysis by manipulating effort and productivity to see their projected impact on compensation. Only faculty who are eligible for the faculty compensation and incentive plan will be able to log in to myPOWER.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Patriarca, Associate Director of Business Operations and Productivity Management, at extension 2-5138.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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April 14, 2014

New R01 awarded to Drs. Massoud Motamedi and Gracie Vargas

Massoud Motamedi, PhDMassoud Motamedi, PhD., Professor, in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Gracie Vargas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, have been awarded a multi-PI grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop novel image-based methods to assess mucosal responses to non-vaccine biomedical prevention products aimed at blocking the transmission of HIV. This R01 award is a $1.8 million grant for three years with an option for an additional 4th year following achievement of a stated go/no go milestone, for a total $2.4 million.

The multi-disciplinary research project entitled “Development of novel quantitative methods for the in vivo assessment of mucosal irritation” aims at developing a quantitative panel of methods to assess the mucosal microenvironment, including barrier function and immunological responses in an animal model, to serve as tools in the safety assessment of emerging non-vaccine biomedical prevention products. The project is a collaborative effort among Drs. Motamedi and Vargas with expertise in bioengineering and imaging, Dr. Kathleen Vincent, a clinical investigator with expertise in advanced endoscopic imaging and translational research, Drs. Nigel Bourne and Gregg Milligan with expertise in Microbiology and Immunology, and Dr. Erik Rytting with expertise in nanomedicine and drug delivery.

Gracie Vargas, PhDDr.  Motamedi has been a UTMB faculty member since 1991.  He currently serves as Director for the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.  Dr. Motamedi’s research has been focused on the development and applications of novel imaging techniques for visualization and assessment of physiology, pathology and cellular processes in living tissue.

Dr. Vargas has been a UTMB faculty member since 2003.  She is recognized for her work in biomedical optics and imaging.  Her laboratory develops non-invasive image-based methods for the assessment of tissue injury and early cancer detection using advanced microscopy methods such as confocal microendoscopy, nonlinear optical microscopy and spectroscopy.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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April 11, 2014

Dr. Laura RudkinLaura Rudkin, Ph.D., recently began a two-year term as the elected President of the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR). Dr. Rudkin is Professor and Centennial Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health.

Established in 1942, APTR is the national membership organization for faculty members and academic institutions involved in educating physicians and other health professionals in prevention and population health. The association develops curricular resources, professional development programs, and teaching tools for its members and the prevention community. APTR’s mission is to lead innovation in population health and prevention education, enhancing the training of all health professionals . Through cooperative agreements with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, APTR provides training opportunities in public health and preventive medicine to medical students and residents and other health professions students.

Dr. Rudkin earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from Princeton University in 1992 and joined the UTMB faculty in 1993. Dr. Rudkin is Project Director for a $1.48 million Health Resources and Services Administration Primary Care Training Enhancement grant to provide public health training to medical and physician assistant students. She is an elected member of the University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education, a UT System Distinguished Teaching Professor, and a 2013 recipient of the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. Dr. Rudkin represents preventive medicine departments on the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Faculty and Academic Societies. She is an invited member of the Primary Care and Public Health Collaborative Workforce Committee of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She also serves as an invited member on the Health in All Professions Expert Panel of the Association for Schools and Programs in Public Health.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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April 11, 2014

It is with great pleasure that I share that Drs. Nisha Garg and Taylor Riall have both been accepted into the 2014-2015 class of fellows in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program. ELAM participants undergo a year-long in-depth mentoring program focused on leadership. They will each work on an action project that will address a need or priority for our Institution.

Dr. Nisha GargDr. Nisha Garg joined UTMB in 2000 and currently serves as Professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Pathology, Director of Global Health Policy, Epidemics, International Organization in the Coordinating Center for Global Health, and Associate Director of the Center for Tropical Diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston. A world renowned expert in parasitology, Dr. Garg has made substantial contributions as an investigator, teacher and mentor. She has conducted pioneering research on developing strategies to protect against neglected infectious diseases that afflict millions of people. In addition to her scientific achievements, Dr. Garg has an outstanding track record as a mentor, and works on initiatives to promote the careers of women in science. Dr. Garg’s research program has been consistently funded by extramural sources.  She has two NIH R01 research grants and is a collaborator on a number of NIH small grants. She has authored or co-authored 60 papers in peer-reviewed refereed journals, including the Journal of Immunology, Infection and Immunity, American Journal of Pathology, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and International Journal of Cardiology.

Dr. Taylor RiallDr. Taylor Riall joined UTMB in 2005 and is Professor of Surgery and Director of the Center for Comparative Effectiveness and Cancer Outcomes. Dr. Riall is holder of the John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Clinical Research and Associate Director of the Clinical Sciences Graduate Program. She is an outstanding academic surgeon and is an international expert in pancreatobiliary disease and pancreatic surgery outcomes research.   A skilled and caring surgeon, Dr. Riall was listed in the SLD Industries, Inc. Guide to America’s Top Surgeons in 2010 and as a Top Doctor by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. from 2008-2012 and by US News and World Report in 2012. She serves on the editorial board for the Annals of Surgery and the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery and has published over 115 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Riall has earned plaudits for her teaching excellence that include the UTMB Resident Teaching Award in 2006.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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April 7, 2014

Slobodan Paessler, DVM, PhDUTMB is participating in a multi-institutional project as a subcontractor to Inhibikase Therpaeutics, Inc. to evaluate kinase inhibitors for their ability to mitigate certain viral infections.  The subcontract, worth just over $1 million during year one, is titled "Multi-pathogen Antiviral Medical Countermeasure Deploying FDA Approved Drug Against Orthopoxvirus." As part of the subcontract, UTMB will perform testing of kinase inhibitors in  multiple experimental models. The goal is to obtain data about efficacy of some of the FDA approved drugs against Ebola and Marburg virus. Upon successful completion of the first year, an option year may be exercised with additional funding.

Principal Investigator for the UTMB subcontract, Slobodan Paessler, D.V.M., PhD, Professor in our Pathology Department, stated  "complex projects like this one require team effort across the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology and Immunology as well as assistance from Regulatory Scientists and high containment specialists from the Galveston National Laboratory. None of this work could be accomplished without an active collaboration with many other UTMB investigators and I am very proud to have an excellent team behind me on this project. Drs. Nadezhda Yun, Barry Rockx, Chad Mire, Tom Geisbert and Trevor Brasel are highly experienced scientist that are actively supporting this contract and these scientists are absolutely essential to our success."

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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April 2, 2014

I am highly encouraged by the responses provided thus far for our AE 2020 community at-large survey. I am hoping that we'll ultimately have over 60% participation. We're on our way but still more responses.

Pie chart

I again ask for 5 minutes of your time to complete the anonymous, on-line survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/UTMBAEStratRefreshGandOprioritization

It's not too late to get involved - - share your opinion and help guide our future! I'm looking forward to seeing these response numbers double and triple this week!.

Sincerely yours,

DOJ_sig
Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS
Executive Vice President, Provost and
Dean of the School of Medicine
Thomas N. & Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

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January 7, 2014 - Dr. Scott Weaver - $1.2 million, five-year grant award entitled, "Development of a Multivalen Chikungunya/Dengue Virus Vaccine"

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