More news briefs


EDs handle 28% of all acute care visits and half of all hospital admissions, says Emory’s Ricardo Martinez, advocating for better U.S. emergency care in the New England Journal of Medicine.

New PhD Options

Ora Strickland

This fall Emory is offering two new doctoral programs, in cancer biology and biomedical informatics. The interdisciplinary cancer biology program will allow students to address basic science areas in cancer or clinical aspects of cancer therapy and drug discovery, says the program’s founding director, Erwin Van Meir, of Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute. The biomedical informatics program will use information systems to improve care of patients, enhance performance of health care systems, and accelerate progress of biomedical research. The medical school also has created a new biomedical informatics department, chaired by Joel Saltz.

New CEO  

Ora Strickland

S. Wright Caughman was named CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chair of the board for Emory Healthcare, effective July 1. He served as director of The Emory Clinic and executive associate dean for clinical affairs in the medical school from 2007 to 2011. He joined the medical school faculty in 1990 and served as chair of dermatology from 1997 to 2007. He led a research program in cutaneous biology for many years and co-chaired the medical school’s research strategic plans in 1997 and 2003.

Emory completes hand transplant surgery

Ora Strickland

Emory became only the fourth institution in the country to successfully perform a hand transplant. The transplant team, headed by Linda Cendales, performed the operation in March. Yerkes National Primate Research Center collaborated in the preclinical work, helping develop the protocol for the procedure and allowing the transplant team to study the behavior of these tissues after transplant to minimize the process of rejection. Cendales was part of the team in Louisville, Ky., that performed the first U.S. hand transplant in 1999. To view a video on the surgery, go to

Emory is top contributor to drug discovery

drug discovery

Emory University is the fourth largest contributor in the nation to the discovery of new drugs and vaccines by public-sector institutions. The study, published Feb. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine, included federally funded universities, research hospitals, and federal laboratories. The researchers looked at 153 FDA-approved drugs and vaccines that were discovered at least in part by public-sector research institutions during the past 40 years. The top five contributors were the NIH (22), the University of California System (11), Memorial Sloan-Kettering (8), Emory University (7), and Yale University (6).

Flu vaccine protects expectant mothers

expectant mother

Women who are immunized with inactivated flu vaccine during pregnancy may reduce the likelihood of a premature birth, an Emory research team has found.

Babies born during the flu season from October through May to mothers who were vaccinated against the flu were less likely to be premature compared with infants of unvaccinated mothers born in the same period, with an adjusted odds ratio of .60, says Saad Omer, an Emory pediatrics researcher who headed up the team.

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Emory Medicine Fall 2011