If this message displays incorrectly, please view the web page

  January 7, 2016  

Emory 1%

Congratulations to the 2015 SOM members of the Emory 1%, who received scores in the top 1 percentile on a grant proposal: Kathy Griendling (cardiology), Hanjoong Jo (BME), Hui Mao (radiology), Adam Marcus (hem/onc), Amir Rezvan (cardiology), Alejandra San Martin (cardiology), Raymond Schinazi (pediatrics), Stephen Traynelis (pharmacology), Lily Yang (surgery).

MilliPub Club

And here's to the 2015 SOM members of the MilliPub Club, which recognizes faculty who have published one or more papers in their careers that have garnered more than 1,000 citations: Rebecca Arnold (urology), Vasillis Babaliaros (cardiology), Allen Beck (ophthalmology), Tatiana Chernova (biochemistry), Cheryl Day (microbiology and immunology), William Dixon (radiology), Chris Gunter (pediatrics), Lian Li (pharmacology), Bernard Lassègue (cardiology), Zixu Mao (pharmacology/neurology), Ximei Qian (BME), Tim Read (infectious diseases), Mala Shanmugam (hem/onc), Dan Sorescu (cardiology), Shi-Yong Sun (hem/onc), Vinod Thourani (surgery), May Wang (BME), Lily Yang (surgery).


Otis Brawley
Keith Klugman

The National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, has elected Otis Brawley and Keith Klugman to its new class. Brawley (hematology/ oncology) is chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. Klugman (emeritus William H. Foege Professor of Global Health at Rollins) is director of pneumonia programs for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Allan Levey (neurology) director of the Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) and chair of neurology, received the inaugural Goizueta Foundation Endowed Chair for Alzheimer's Disease Research in October. This endowment is part of the transformational donation of $25 million given by the Goizueta Foundation earlier this year to the ADRC for research aimed at changing the way Alzheimer's disease is detected and treated.

Michael Miller, Jr., has been appointed director of the Division of Interventional Radiology and Image-Guided Medicine. Miller will oversee diagnostic and therapeutic interventional imaging services at Emory Healthcare, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Grady Memorial Hospital, while expanding related research and teaching programs. Miller, who received his medical degree from Hahnemann University, was recruited from Duke School of Medicine. Thanks to Roger Williams and William Torres, who served as interim directors for the division during the transition period.

Madeleine Hackney (geriatrics) was selected by the Fulbright Association Board of Directors and the Selma Jeanne Cohen Selection Committee as the Selma Jeanne Cohen Lecture Award 2015 awardee. Hackney will speak about her research on the use of adapted tango with patients who have Parkinson's disease.

Michael Frankel (neurology), director of the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center at Grady, received the 2015 Neurologist Pioneering Award from the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology.

Bryce Gartland, CEO of Emory University Hospital, was named one of the 100 Physician Leaders to Know for 2015 by Becker's Hospital Review.

Eric Sorscher (pediatrics), Hertz Professor in Cystic Fibrosis Research (above), Jeannetter Guarner (pathology), and Robert Taylor (medicine) were inducted into the American Clinical and Climatological Association.


Dean's Annual Address at Grady, Jan. 14, 5 p.m., Faculty Office Building 101, with reception to follow.

Third Annual Medical Education Day, March 21, noon to 4 p.m., Williams SOM building. The program will begin at noon with a keynote from Thomas Nasca, CEO of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Lunch will be provided for all pre-registrants. The theme is, "Educational Innovations to Improve Transitions Throughout Medical Education."


Realizing our full potential

Dean Christian Larsen  

As we begin the new year, it's a great time to take stock of where we are, and to celebrate the strength and vitality of the people and programs in the School of Medicine.

Last year, we hired 300-plus new faculty, and our research awards were up 15%. Emory Clinic saw 40,000 more new patients than the prior year. Our Emory Healthcare hospitals and Emory Clinic are fixtures in the top tier of quality rankings, and we are getting better every year—you drive that.

Clearly, the collective efforts that each of you made to our Emory Medicine strategic repositioning plan of 2014 and the investments we made in our future in 2015 have begun to bear fruit. This year, we are set to realize our full potential. Through the care we provide at Emory Healthcare, Grady, Children’s Healthcare, and the Atlanta VA Medical Center, there is no doubt that we have the opportunity to improve the health of more than 1 million people in metro Atlanta and we are a special resource for the more than 10 million residents of Georgia.

We have an ambitious mission. But we bring great strengths to bear to meet this demand: Brain Health Center initiatives, which stretch from Executive Park across Emory; Grady and EHC’s groundbreaking treatments for stroke, dementia, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and more; our Winship Cancer Institute, which provides care for more than 30% of new cancer patients in Georgia and offers more than 250 clinical trials annually; cardiovascular advances that have brought minimally invasive aortic valve replacement to well more than 1,000 patients and an extraordinary team funded by the CDC to define best practices for care of adults with congenital heart disease; a top 10 Transplant Center that performed nearly 500 transplants and ranked second nationally in heart-inspiring paired donor transplants; and scoring at the top in patient satisfaction for musculoskeletal treatments and surgeries.

We are also experiencing a resurgence in primary care at Emory, with 19,000 more new patients and three new care sites across Atlanta with three more on the way this year. We are working hard to provide access to patients who want Emory care. Some good news for the future: Nearly 30% of the medical student class has an interest in a career in primary care. 

Across our system we are challenged to meet the demand for care in our hospitals. Our emergency medicine teams handle  300,000 emergency visits annually, and our inpatient census runs at capacity, testing the ability of our teams and our system to provide highest quality, compassionate care.

In 2016 we will all need to work together to optimize our patient flow at all of our hospitals as we eagerly await the opening of the new J wing at Emory University Hospital and bring new beds online at Emory Midtown.

We welcome the good news that much needed investment in research is on the way through increased funding for the NIH, NSF, and CDC. Even in a challenging funding climate, however, our researchers attracted more funding than ever to support discovery in anti-microbial resistance, advances in structural biology, and to tame real-time Big Data for bedside decision-making. We are quietly becoming a powerhouse in health services research. And we are forging ahead in clinical research with more than 1,500 active trials, continuing our exciting work in drug discovery, biomarkers, and immunology.

Emory’s School of Medicine is an educational destination of choice for students and residents, our PA and PT programs rank in the top 10 nationally, our genetic counseling training program remains the only such program in the state, and our collaborative Atlanta Pipeline program for high school students just received an HHS $1.8 million grant to expand. We’ve held tuition flat to reduce our students’ crushing debt burden and focused on scholarships and teaching financial literacy.

I could go on talking about our amazing programs and contributions in vaccine and drug development, Ebola research, visual medical education—there are so many great stories to share, and I hope you continue to share them with me and with each other.

I also hope you have a sense of confidence, amazement, and pride about our institution and the people around you, as I do—as well as a healthy dissatisfaction as we continually search for new ways to lead, improve, and transform health care.

Reshaping medical education

The AMA announced that Emory's SOM and 19 other medical schools will join the 11 founding members of its Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium. Adding these new schools will enhance the consortium's work in reshaping medical education and in spreading innovations to medical schools throughout the country.

Selected by a national advisory panel from the more than 100 medical schools that applied, the new members will receive $75,000 over the next three years to build on the programs and curriculum models created by the 11 founding members.

Through a competitive grant process, the schools were selected from among 170 eligible U.S. medical schools by a national advisory panel, which sought proposals that would significantly redesign medical education.

Emory proposes a comprehensive curriculum in quality improvement and patient safety across the medical education continuum and emphasizes building real world skills with defined milestones and measurable outcomes. This involves a collaboration with Emory's partner health systems: Grady, Children's Healthcare, and the Atlanta VA Medical Center.

"This opportunity from the AMA helps us shape a cohesive vision and call on the tremendous talent we have in this field," says Nate Spell, associate professor of medicine, chief quality officer at Emory University Hospital, and co-principal investigator of the AMA grant. Bill Eley, executive associate dean for medical education and student affairs, is the principal investigator.

The list of selected schools, along with short descriptions of each school's project, can be found at changemeded.org.

Leader of the pack

An Emory video that features the work of Winship researcher Adam Marcus and graduate student Jessica Konen won first prize in a new AAMC video contest designed to highlight basic biomedical research taking place at member institutions.

The video was created by producer/videographer Damon Meharg and science writer Quinn Eastman, of Health Sciences Communications, with animation by Andy Matlock, of Visual Medical Education.

"We are always looking for new ways to call attention to and gain support for basic research," says Trish Haugaard, assistant dean for research administration. "This video did a fantastic job of capturing its importance in a dynamic, engaging, and creative way."

The AAMC Group on Research Advancement and Development (GRAND) selected the winners from more than two dozen entries received. It said the winning videos "illustrate the excitement and excellence of research, and highlight the researchers participating in discovery at the nation's medical schools and teaching hospitals."

Winning videos were submitted by Emory School of Medicine, the University of Minnesota Medical School, and the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. These videos are featured on the "Research Means Hope" Tumblr, which highlights research advances and the critical need for continued investment in medical research through the NIH.

View the award-winning video about chasing metastatic cancer cells here.

Step lightly, see brightly

The School of Medicine received a grant to install new LED lighting throughout the Williams Medical Education building to meet the SOM's goal of reducing our carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2050. This is a matching grant through the Grants to Green program from the Community Foundation of Atlanta and Southface Green Building Services. The school has been awarded $183,000 of the total $366,000 (the other funding is coming from the SOM budget). Expected savings from the lighting project is $30,000 per year going forward, which frees up funding to provide students with additional scholarships.

A chance to say "well done"

The second annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence on Oct. 14, held in the lobby of WHSCAB, was a lively collegial event.

To give recognition where recognition is due, the week of Oct. 12 to 16 was designated Emory Medicine Faculty Recognitions Week. Faculty accomplishments were highlighted throughout the week through emails, banners, and the second annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence on Oct. 14. To see more: storify.com/emoryhealthsci/2015

SOM café survey

Are you looking for a comfortable place to meet and collaborate with your School of Medicine colleagues? Have you missed the café in the School of Medicine? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you are in luck!

We are strongly considering reopening the café in the School of Medicine but need your help to ensure its success. Please complete this brief survey that will take less than 5 minutes of your time: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/somcafe

SOM Deans Letter Footer
past issues forward this newsletter contact us school of medicine