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  MAY 2017  

Shelly Abramowicz (oral and maxillofacial surgery) received the inaugural Elaine A. Stuebner Scholar Award from the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Rafi Ahmed will be presenting at the 2017 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine—“Regulating Immunity: Fc Receptor Biology” at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City on June 5.

Walter Curran Jr., Winship Cancer Institute’s executive director, was named the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus in Professional Achievement by the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, where he was a 1982 graduate.

Hicham Drissi (orthopaedics and cell biology) has been named vice chair for research in orthopaedics.

Robert Guyton (cardiothoracic surgery) received the 2017 Presidential Citation from the American College of Cardiology 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Alex Isakov (emergency medicine), director of Emory’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), is one of 10 experts selected to engage the EMS community in creating a vision for the future of the nation's EMS system. 

Douglas Morris (cardiology) will receive the 2017 Georgia Hospital Association Lifetime Achievement award in November. He is director of the Emory Medicine Professional Leadership Enrichment and Development Program, a partnership with Goizueta Business School. Read bio.

Oluseun Olufade (orthopaedics) is the new president of the Johns Creek Healthcare Association.

Charles Raison has been appointed director of research in spiritual health at the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Raison recently served as co-chair of the 2016 U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress, is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Usona Institute, and is the mental health expert for CNN.com.

Amy Simone PA-C has been elected to serve as president of the Association of Physician Assistants in Cardiology. Simone, who will take office in June, works in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown as the coordinator of the structural heart and valve program.

Perry Sprawls Jr., distinguished emeritus professor of radiology, received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the Clemson Alumni Association.

Winners of the 2017 Synergy II Awards

Stephen Traynelis (pharmacology) and Sookyong Koh (pediatrics), “Role of gain of function and loss of function GRIN2A mutations in neuronal excitability and epileptic encephalopathy.”

Renhao Li (pediatrics) and Eric Ortland (biochemistry) “Structural Basis for the Autoinhibition of von Willebrand Factor.”

Haian Fu (pharmacology) and investigators in hem/onc and pathology (Taofeek Owonikoko, Gabriel Sica, Yuhong Du, Suresh Ramalingam, Wei Zhou, Rebecca Pentz), “Development of cancer patient–derived organoid system for high throughput therapeutic screening and precision oncology.”

Zhexing Wen (psychiatry) and Michael Gambello (human genetics and pediatrics)Gary Bassel (cell biology), “Modeling autism spectrum disorder and translating for therapeutics with TSC patient derived 3-D cerebral organoids.”


May 19: Association for Women in Science (AWIS) National Atlanta Chapter Meeting, 2-3 p.m., Atwood Chemistry Center, Room 360. Become a founding charter member of the National AWIS Atlanta Chapter. Participants are invited from various STEM departments at Emory and other institutions. Membership is open to faculty, staff, postdoctoral trainees, and students regardless of gender. RSVP.For questions, contact kolive3@emory.edu.

May 22: An Open Dialogue with President Sterk, 5 p.m., SOM 110. All SOM faculty are invited.

June 8: Stages of Dementia—The Journey with Alzheimer's and Other Dementias, June 8, noon–1:30 p.m., Claudia Nance Rollins Building, 1000.  More info.

June 9: Southeastern Pediatric Research Conference, "Big Data for Better Care," Atlanta Aquarium. Registration deadline is June 2. The conference is free, and lunch is provided.

June 1: 10th Annual Emory Quality Conference, 1-7 p.m. Poster presentations from 2-4 p.m. at SOM and Cox Hall; main speakers from 4:30 -7 p.m in Cox Hall.


SOM Commencement 2017


On the cool, sunny spring morning of May 8, Class of 2017 medical school graduates and faculty chatted in small groups on the lawn of Glenn Memorial, exchanging hugs and posing for cell phone photos as their proud families looked on.

Bill Foege  

The SOM class had 134 MD graduates, including 33 dual-degree recipients. Also receiving degrees were 71 doctor of physical therapy, 50 medical imaging, and nine genetic counseling graduates.

"None of you are quite the same person as when you arrived at the door," said Interim Dean David Stephens. "Remember your classmates and your mentors, remember those who inspired you, remember your years at Emory."

Pioneering physician-epidemiologist and former CDC and Carter Center director Bill Foege gave the valedictory address. Foege is a former senior medical adviser for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Emeritus Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health at Rollins, and author of the recent book House on Fire, about the eradication of smallpox worldwide and his role in it.

Papageorge awardee Barbara Pettitt  

“I graduated from medical school 60 years ago this year,” Foege told the graduates. “I do feel joy for you and a tinge of envy. I wish I could see what your next 60 years will hold.”

He advised the new doctors to hold onto their curiosity, to be a "generalist and a specialist" simultaneously, to remember that "your bosses are your patients," that more patients are killed by errors of omission than commission, and to always remember that the single largest determinant of health is poverty. "Use your voices," he said. "Learn from the past. Be humble, but don't settle for mediocrity."

"You can't possibly know what opportunities will come your way in the future," he said. "Instead of spending time on a life plan, spend time on a life philosophy." And, he added, "Home is not where you are from, it is where you are needed. I hope you all find your way home."

Executive Associate Dean Bill Eley presented the Evangeline T. Papageorge Distinguished Faculty Award to Professor of Surgery Barbara Pettitt. "She urges us beyond our own expectations," said one student nominator. The Honorary Class Member was June Eddingfield of the Office of Medical Education and Student Affairs. Former SOM Dean Christian Larsen, who served as dean for much of this class's four years, was thanked by Stephens, to warm applause.

The Emory Williams Teaching Award recipient was Zoher Kapasi, director and associate professor in the Division of Physical Therapy.

Class speaker Rachel Pocock urged her fellow class members to keep in mind that there is no single path to making an impact, and sometimes the smallest acts of kindness and thoughtfulness are the most significant: "Let us never forget the power of our own little ways," she said.

As is traditional, the graduates together recited the Oath of Hippocrates, and then were off to their residencies, at Emory and elsewhere.


Winship Cancer Institute Gains Comprehensive Cancer Center Designation


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has named Winship Cancer Institute a Comprehensive Cancer Center, placing it in the top 1% of all cancer centers in the country.

This NCI designation means that Winship has demonstrated that its programs are reducing the cancer burden in Georgia through research conducted in its laboratories, its clinical trial program, and through population-based science.

"Through outstanding research discoveries and patient care," says director Wally Curran, "Winship is leading the way in ending cancer as we know it here in Georgia and around the world."

Winship is the only institution of its kind in the state, says Executive VP for Health Affairs Jon Lewin. "It has become Georgia's epicenter of cancer research, education, and care," he says. "Winship is a gateway to clinical trial enrollment for metro Atlanta and beyond, importantly including our historically underserved populations."

For more about Winship's new designation, go here.

CFAR funding renewed


The NIH gave the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) at Emory a five-year, $10 million award to continue its work decreasing incidences of AIDS and improving the lives of individuals living with the disease. The center is co-directed by Hubert Professor and chair of the Department of Global Health Carlos del Rio (infectious diseases), Rollins Dean Jim Curran, and Eric Hunter (pathology and laboratory medicine).

New Hidden Gem: William Shafer, Co-Director of the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center

gem video emory

Can Bill Shafer (microbiology and immunology) help save the world? The researcher's focus is on how bacteria resist antibiotics—a looming health crisis that already kills about 23,000 people in the US each year and is expected to get worse as resistance spreads. "I think science can cure this, but it's going to take a lot of money, political will, and education," he says. He also finds time to teach Emory students about the possible post-antibiotic era. View video here.

Emory Is in Top 10 Globally in Research Articles


The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) placed Emory in the Top 10 globally in seven subject areas based on the number of research articles in top-tier journals over the last 10 years. The CWUR rankings feature the top global universities in 227 subjects covering all academic disciplines in the sciences and social sciences. Emory achieved Top-10 rankings in cardiac and cardiovascular systems (10); immunology (8); microbiology (6); pathology (10); social sciences, biomedical (10); virology (6); and women’s studies (10).

New Provost and EVP of Academic Affairs Begins July 1

Dwight A. McBride  

Dwight McBride will serve as Emory's chief academic officer, directing and collaborating with deans from Emory's nine schools and colleges. He will oversee Emory's strategic planning, global strategies, budgeting, and other matters related to academic affairs. Read more.

Lunch with the Dean

The Office of Faculty Development and Interim SOM Dean David Stephens will host a monthly Lunch with the Dean event to benefit junior faculty members. Lunches are by invitation only, and space is limited. Participants will receive an invitation via email. If you are interested in participating, complete this interest form.

SOM Mentoring Award

The Faculty Appreciation Committee is accepting nominations for the Emory School of Medicine Mentoring Award, which recognizes SOM faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding mentoring in the domains of education, service, and/or research to trainees or early career faculty during the past year. Award details, eligibility, and required nomination materials can be found here.

Send all nominations to somfde@emory.edu by June 16.

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