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    November 26, 2012, UTMB receives funding from the NIAID to study inflammatory airway conditions

    UTMB is conducting a number of studies regarding complex disorders related to airway inflammation. To further our research in this area, I am pleased to announce that UTMB was recently awarded a five-year,7.6 million dollar program project grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The program entitled, "Signaling in Airway Inflammation," brings together a team of nationally and internationally recognized investigators in the field of airway inflammation and is jointly directed by Drs. Allan Brasier, Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, and Roberto Garofalo, Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. Other researchers are Dr. Antonella Casola, Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Istvan Boldogh, Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Dr. Sanjiv Sur, Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. This multidisciplinary translational research program involves three departments and was developed by leveraging resources in the Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine, Institute for Translational Sciences, NHLBI Proteomics Center and Sealy Center for Vaccine Development.

    The objective of the grant is to understand the molecular mechanism(s) by which reactive oxygen species (ROS) initiate and modulate signaling in the airway lining cells to induce inflammation. It is comprised of four synergistic, inter-related projects investigating the overall hypothesis that molecules generated by mucosal epithelial cells in response to ROS are master regulators of innate immune response pathway(s) producing airway inflammation:

  • Project (P)1 entitled, "Transcriptional elongation in NF-kappaB-mediated inflammation," led by Dr. Brasier;
  • P2 entitled, "Role of antioxidant responses in viral bronchiolitis," co-led by
    Drs. Casola and Garofalo;
  • P3 entitled, "Role of the DNA repair enzyme OGG1 in oxidative stress-induced innate inflammation," led by Dr. Boldogh; and
  • P4 entitled, "Innate regulation of pollen-oxidase induced inflammation,"
    led by Dr. Sur.
  • Allen Braiser, MD
    Allen
    Braiser MD

    Roberto Garofalo MD
    Roberto Garofalo MD

    Istvan <br />Boldogh MD
    Istvan
    Boldogh MD

    Sanjiv Sur MD
    Sanjiv
    Sur MD

    Antonella Casola MD
    Antonella Casola MD

    The projects function within an established collaborative, multidisciplinary environment, as evidenced by 52 multi-authored publications over the last five years, significant trainee involvement in asthma research (eight predoctoral and 14 postdoctoral fellows), and through support by UTMB’s NCATS-funded Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) and NHLBI-funded Center for Airway Inflammation. Collectively, these studies will help break new ground in the treatment of asthma and other inflammatory airway conditions.

    Please join me in congratulating our team of scientists on receiving this funding from the NIAID and on their interdisciplinary research achievements.

    Sincerely yours,

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

    ------------

    October 23, 2012

    It is my pleasure to announce that UTMB is one of five institutions to win the Award for Innovations in Research Training and Education from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The title of the winning abstract is "Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine (HPTM) Graduate Program: Building the Foundation for Translational Research." The major goal of this inaugural award is to identify bright spots in research training and education.

    The HPTM Graduate Program emphasizes collaboration between scientists and clinicians with the goal of benefiting patients' health. Specifically, students training to be researchers study side-by-side with medical students so that each group will better work together to conduct effective translational research. The program is a joint effort of the Institute for Translational Sciences, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) and the School of Medicine (SOM). The program fosters an active learning community lead by an interdisciplinary faculty team, who ensure alignment between the program's educational philosophy, inquiry-based instructional methods, assessment and mentorship.

    Mark Hellmich, PhD, Professor in the Department of Surgery and Graduate Program Director of the HPTM in the GSBS
    Dr. Hellmich

    Judith Aronson, MD, Professor in the Department of Pathology and Director of the Translational Medicine Track in the SOM
    Dr. Aronson

    Gustavo Valbuena, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Director of Curriculum Development for the HPTM Graduate Program
    Dr. Valbuena

    Christina Cestone, MA, Education and Program Coordinator for the HPTM Graduate Program
    Ms. Cestone

    The innovators receiving this award are Mark Hellmich, PhD, Professor in the Department of Surgery and Graduate Program Director of the HPTM in the GSBS, Judith Aronson, MD, Professor in the Department of Pathology and Director of the Translational Medicine Track in the SOM, Gustavo Valbuena, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Director of Curriculum Development for the HPTM Graduate Program, and Christina Cestone, MA, Education and Program Coordinator for the HPTM Graduate Program.

    Drs. Hellmich, Aronson, Valbuena, and Ms. Cestone have created a truly innovative approach that helps graduate students and medical students learn to work as a team from the very start of their professional education. The award was presented at the AAMC Graduate Research, Education and Training (GREAT) Group and Group on Research Advancement and Development (GRAND) Joint Annual Meeting in Nashville on Sept. 21, 2012. Read announcement from the AAMC.

    In addition to directing the HPTM Graduate Program, Dr. Hellmich facilitates problem based learning (PBL) sessions for the SOM Molecules, Cells and Tissues course, lectures and facilitates small group discussion on topics in cancer cell and molecular biology in the Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum (BBSC) within the GSBS, and mentors graduate student dissertation research projects. As the PI of an NIH T32 training grant in the Department of Surgery, Dr. Hellmich trains and mentors Surgery residents in the areas of basic and translation biomedical sciences during their two-year research fellowship.

    Dr. Aronson, Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Pathology, has continuously strived to improve medical student learning through the years as course director of Pathobiology and Host Defenses; Molecules, Cells, and Tissues; and Great Syndromes courses in the Integrated Medical Curriculum. She has introduced contemporary tools, such as virtual microscopy, into the problem solving learning experience. Among her contributions to our educational mission, Dr. Aronson teaches Pathology in small-group laboratory sessions and participates in elective courses for third-and fourth-year medical students, as well as an autopsy exercise course for fourth-year students. She serves as Director of the Autopsy Division and has greatly improved the quality of the autopsy service, and re-introduced the autopsy examination into medical education. Dr. Aronson is a full member of the Experimental Pathology Program in the GSBS.

    From the beginning, Dr. Valbuena has been an active participant in the planning and implementation of the HPTM Graduate Program, as well as the associated Translational Research Track in the SOM. He and his colleagues devoted many hours during a period of almost two years to planning a curriculum for the HPTM Graduate Program that is guided by the development of defined competencies and not exclusively by the content. This group is now dedicated to implementing the curriculum, a highly complex process that involves planning active learning sessions, directly facilitating the discussions, and evaluating both the students and curricular outcomes in order to rapidly apply necessary changes.

    Ms. Cestone joined the HPTM team at the beginning of the curriculum implementation. She brings a wealth of knowledge in organizational learning and in education. Much of the success of the HPTM Graduate Program is due to her vision and expertise. Ms. Cestone is preparing to defend her dissertation for a Doctorate in Educational Psychology with a subject involving the activities of the HPTM Graduate Program.

    We are excited about the HPTM Graduate Program and the opportunities it will offer to further strengthen translational research at UTMB. Please join me in congratulating Drs. Hellmich, Aronson, Valbuena, and Ms. Cestone on receiving this prestigious award.

    Sincerely yours,

    Danny O. Jacobs, MD, MPH
    Executive Vice President and Provost
    Dean of the School of Medicine

    Kershaw Patel (MS4) wins 1st place in statewide clinical vignette competition

    November 27, 2012

    It is my pleasure to announce that Kershaw Patel, a fourth year student in the School of Medicine, won first place in the Texas clinical vignette competition during the scientific meeting of the Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP) held earlier this month in Dallas. Mr. Patel will automatically advance to compete at the national level during the ACP annual meeting in the spring.

    The ACP sponsors local and national abstract competitions for medical students. Each year, students from all Texas medical schools are invited to submit abstracts of clinical vignettes. Following peer review, a select number of students are invited to present the abstracts as poster or podium presentations at the Texas Chapter of the ACP annual meeting. Presentations are judged by a panel of Texas internists, and the top student is selected to represent the state in the national competition at the ACP annual meeting. Mr. Patel was selected as the winner of this year’s oral abstract presentation. He serves as Vice President of Alliance in Internal Medicine (AIM), an internal medicine student interest group on our campus dedicated to educating medical students about the broad field of internal medicine and the specialties it encompasses.

    Please join me in congratulating Mr. Patel on winning the statewide competition and wishing him the best of luck in the upcoming ACP national competition.

    Student Testing Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
    Student Testing Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
    For more information, click here.

    Student Testing Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

    In another sign of recovery from the damage caused by Hurricane Ike in 2008, UTMB now has a state-of-the-art student testing center. The center, in an area that formerly housed some pediatric clinics and was the lobby for the Children's Hospital, was formally dedicated by UTMB officials in November, 2012.

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    Message Archive

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    Academy of Master Teachers
    Academy of Master Teachers
    Read more here

    The UTMB Academy of Master Teachers, established in 2007, is an honorary service organization to recognize Master Teachers and to provide an array of faculty development opportunities for all UTMB Faculty, including an annual Faculty Development Day, annual Education Symposium, education grand rounds, journal club, innovation grants, mentoring and consultations. Membership is by application and selection against a set of standards. Members serve three-year terms and may be honored with the designation as University of Texas Distinguished Teaching Professors.

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