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  July 2016  

Wendy Book (cardiology) is a leading author on the American Heart Association's 2016 scientific statement (published in Circulation) regarding chronic heart failure in congenital heart disease.

Richard Compans (microbiology and immunology) delivered the 2016 Dean's Distinguished Faculty Lecture at the SOM. He discussed his early work on the structure of influenza virus, its complex ecology, and the limitations of current flu vaccines. Michael Cassidy, president and CEO of the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), presented Compans with the GRA's Catalyst Award at the event. Compans is co-principal investigator of the NIH-supported Emory-UGA Center for Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance and has led research on vaccines based on non-infectious virus-like particles and microneedle patches for delivery.

Michael Davis (BME and cardiology) has been appointed associate chair for graduate studies at the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. Davis also is director of the Emory+Children's Heart Research and Outcomes Center.

Christine Dunham (biochemistry) has been awarded $500,000 over five years by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to investigate how some bacteria withstand antibiotic treatment. She is part of the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center. The grant was awarded to 10 early-career scientists under the Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease program. Dunham recently received the Margaret C. Etter Early Career Award from the American Crystallographic Society as well.

Lindsay Hatzenbuehler (pediatrics/infectious diseases), Henry Blumberg (infectious diseases), and Rollins public health colleague Dawn Comeau were recently in the country of Georgia as part of the Emory-Georgia TB Research Training Program and were interviewed by the Georgian station Pulsi TV.

William Lieppe (cardiology) was named the 26th recipient of Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital's annual E. Napier "Buck" Burson, Jr., MD Physician Award of Distinction. The award is ESJH's highest honor for physician service and is named for the late Burson, a leader in gastroenterology.

Tristram Parslow (pathology), William Patterson Timmie Professor and chair of pathology and laboratory medicine, was elected to a two-year term as president of the Association of Pathology Chairs.

Vin Tangpricha (medicine), director of the Endocrinology Fellowship Program, was honored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists with the Outstanding Service Award for the Promotion of Endocrine Health of an Underserved Population. Tangpricha is a sought-after speaker on transgender issues, having cared for more than 400 people with transgender and gender non-conforming identity. He serves on the board of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

Lary Walker (neurology), an affiliate scientist at Emory's Yerkes National Primate Research Center, received the Humboldt Research Award from the Germany-based Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which allows him to spend up to a year collaborating with colleagues at a research institution in Germany. Walker will work with Mathias Jucker at the University of Tübingen on new methods for studying Alzheimer's-like changes in human brains and animal models.


Sixth Annual Winship Win the Fight Walk/Run. Oct. 1, 8:30 a.m., McDonough Field. Atlanta Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz will serve as grand marshal. Register here.

World Congress on the Prevention of Diabetes and Its Complications. Dec. 2-4, Georgia World Congress Center. Conference details. Emory faculty and staff receive a 10% discount with promo code: Emory10.

A Community of Purpose

Summer is when many of us take some well-deserved time to replenish and have fun on vacations with family and friends. Somewhat paradoxically, the summer months are a few of the most active in our annual academic cycle.

Dean Christian Larsen  

One of the truly energizing aspects of academic medicine is that our community is revitalized each July. This summer, we welcome more than 700 new faces—more than 400 residents and fellows, 140 medical students, and 200 students in our physician assistant, physical therapy, medical genetics, medical imaging, and anesthesiology assistant programs.

As we introduce these new members into our school, departments, and hospitals, it is an appropriate time to reconnect with our core purpose: improving the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve.

We all contribute, be it through direct patient care, discoveries and innovations, preparing the next generation of care givers, researchers, educators, and leaders, maintaining our facilities, or supporting our missions in business, administrative, and service roles.

Achieving our mission is only possible by creating a working and learning environment and a culture that allows—no, empowers—each of us to contribute at our full potential.

Extraordinary patient care can be achieved not only because of the remarkable expertise of our care teams, but because of their compassion and kindness. Likewise, breakthrough discoveries are achieved when passionate researchers connect with one another.

Connection with both purpose and people creates a culture where we are challenged and where we flourish. I encourage you to linger for a bit in the new Kaldi's cafe in the SOM lobby (expected to open on Monday), meet a new student, have lunch with a colleague you haven't seen in awhile, ask an acquaintance about their latest project.

Let's go forth as friends and colleagues who support one another as we continue our important, life-saving work.

Top Docs


More than half the physicians recognized in the 2016 "Top Doctors" issue of Atlanta magazine are Emory School of Medicine faculty, Emory Healthcare doctors, or Emory Healthcare Network doctors.

This year, 319 Emory physicians are on the list, making up 51% of doctors recognized. They can be found at Emory Healthcare hospitals, throughout 200 provider locations, and within Emory's SOM.

We are extremely proud of all of our physicians and are deeply thankful for the outstanding care they provide to patients and their families every day across Emory Healthcare, at Grady, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Atlanta VA Medical Center. As our Emory Healthcare Network continues to expand, communities not just in metro-Atlanta but throughout Georgia have access to more of Emory's "top doctors." This allows patients to find the best physicians and the health care they need closer to home.

To compile the annual "Top Doctors" list, Castle Connolly uses a survey and research process involving tens of thousands of top doctors across America and the medical leadership of leading hospitals. Atlanta's top doctors are selected after peer nomination, extensive research, and review and screening by Castle Connolly's doctor-directed research team. Go to atlantamagazine.com/top-doctors for more.

Bridge Building


Last weekend saw the successful installation of the framework for the new two-story, steel and glass pedestrian bridge over Clifton Road, which will connect Emory University Hospital with its new J Wing.

Scheduled to open by next summer, the J Wing will feature nine levels, 210 patient beds, patient care units for cancer and transplants, ICU rooms, and diagnostic and treatment spaces. Once the new bridge is operational, the current pedestrian bridge will be torn down.

Additionally, the Clifton Streetscape project to improve access, safety, and aesthetics will continue until late spring/summer 2017. The extensive construction effort centers on Clifton Road from North Decatur Road to Haygood Drive/Eagle Row, and includes widening of the road and sidewalks, a bike lane, repaving of Clifton, new landscaping, and improved visibility at intersections.

A new right-turn lane will be added at Clifton and North Decatur roads for westbound traffic headed toward Emory Village, and a new traffic light and ingress/egress lanes also will be added at Healthgate Drive and North Decatur, where there is currently a gated, limited access entry near the North Decatur Building. This access point will be for use primarily by Emory University and Emory Healthcare faculty and staff who are accessing the parking decks along Gambrell Drive and is not intended for patients or through traffic.

The streetscaping will require extended, periodic lane closures, although much of the road regrading and resurfacing work will be done at night and on weekends.

To find out more specific details and updates, visit CliftonStreetscape.com.

New Hidden Gems video


Rachel Patzer (surgery), director of the Transplant Health Services and Outcomes Research Program, is the latest faculty member to be profiled in the SOM Hidden Gems video series. Patzer's research focuses on disparities in access to organ transplantation, and she led the team that developed Emory's free iCHOOSE Kidney iPad app, which provides an individualized comparison of mortality risk estimates for patients on dialysis vs. living or deceased donor kidney transplantation. To find out why her daughter wants to be "a research doctor like mommy," the reason the organ donor flag has personal meaning for her, and how she is working to increase organ transplant equity, view Patzer's Hidden Gems video at: bit.ly/Rachel-Patzer

Go PAs


Emory's Physician Assistant program was very well represented at this year's GAPA conference. They won the Volleyball tournament in a nail-biting finale against Mercer's PA program (who had won for the past three years) and also won the state challenge bowl, for the second time in a row, against teams from the other PA programs in Georgia.



The Emory Department of Emergency Medicine Medical Toxicology Section hosted 18 medical physicists from various countries in May to train them on the evaluation of patients contaminated with radioactive materials. The program was part of a week-long training offered at the CDC in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Argonne National Laboratory, and the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site. Emory faculty members developed an exercise that made use of the Center for Experiential Learning at the SOM, said Ziad Kazzi (emergency medicine).

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