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  AUGUST 2017  

New Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Erin Mitchell Richeson started Aug. 1 as the director of Organizational Equity and Inclusion at the SOM. In this role, she serves as the key leader for comprehensive initiatives to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion across all missions within the SOM, and in alignment with the SOM's executive committee on diversity and inclusion, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and Emory University. Richeson joins the SOM from MarketSource in Alpharetta, where she was manager of diversity and inclusion. Richeson has a degree in political science from Spelman College and a law degree from University of Georgia.

New Communications Director

Jennifer King is the new director of communications for the SOM. Working closely with Health Sciences Communications and Dean's Office leadership, King will plan and lead an overall communications strategy for the school, including branding, content development, digital communications, and web. King comes to Emory from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she managed system and service-line communications and marketing, and most recently served as project manager for the Office of Research and Academic Administration. King attended the University of Virginia.

Sivan Ben-Moshe (geriatrics) and Marissa Shams (pulmonology) were named to the Atlanta Jewish Times' "40 under 40" list.

Max Cooper (pathology and laboratory medicine), who identified B cells and their role in human disease, was selected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. The Royal Society is a fellowship of many of the world's most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

Michael Halkos (surgery) was named chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Halkos has been with the Department of Surgery since 2009 and did his CT surgery residency at Emory.

Alex Isakov (emergency medicine) was one of 10 experts selected to create a vision for the future of the nation’s EMS system.

Dorian Lamis (psychiatry) was recently selected to the UGA Alumni Association 40 Under 40.

Charles Moore (otolaryngology), co-director of Emory’s Urban Health Initiative and founder of the HEALing Community Center, won the 2017 Georgia Hospital Association’s Distinguished Service Award.

Douglas Taylor (pathology) was selected to AAALAC’s Council on Accreditation. The council conducts the site visits and program evaluations that determine which institutions are awarded AAALAC accreditation.

Peter Wilson (cardiology) received the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography's 2017 Arthur S. Agatston Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Award. Read more.


Oct. 14: 7th annual Winship Win the Fight 5K, Atlanta Hawks star Dominique Wilkins will serve as grand marshal. More info.

Welcome to New Members of the SOM Community


August is upon us and, with it, hundreds of new additions to our community.

David Stephens  

This summer we welcome 143 new medical students to the Class of 2021, as well as 1,292 residents and fellows, and more than 500 students in our physician assistant, physical therapy, genetic counselor training, medical imaging, and anesthesiology assistant programs.

Also, many of our 365 new faculty members filled the SOM lobby during orientation earlier this month.

Please take a moment to greet these new faces in our school, departments, hospitals, and clinics, as we educate and mentor the next generation of doctors, allied health providers, researchers, and health leaders.

Animal Labs Gain Continued Accreditation


The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International conferred continued full accreditation to Emory University’s Division of Animal Resources and Yerkes National Primate Research Center until 2020. Such accreditation demonstrates a commitment to setting, achieving, and maintaining high standards for animal care and use. The recent accreditation followed site visits including a comprehensive and rigorous review of animal research activities.

"This achievement speaks to a long history of engaged and supportive senior leadership at the university and School of Medicine levels, most recently that of Michael Zwick and David Wynes," says Michael Huerkamp, director of Emory's Division of Animal Resources (DAR) and Emory's institutional contact with AAALAC International.

Huerkamp says the accreditation also recognizes the considerable investment that has been put into DAR facilities and technology that promotes consistency in care; the leadership of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) chaired by Sam Speck; a talented and committed DAR team; and productive relationships among DAR, the IACUC, facilities management, occupational health, safety and medicine specialists, and the research community being served.

Huerkamp characterized AAALAC International as comparable to the joint commission accrediting health care organizations and programs.

Yerkes director R. Paul Johnson adds, "We are very proud to receive full accreditation from AAALAC, the organization that sets the worldwide standards for animal care. The accreditation serves as a strong validation of our unwavering commitment to animal care at Yerkes, as well as the exceptional dedication and expertise of our employees."

New Hidden Gem Video

Oguchi Nwosu (family and preventive medicine) completed medical school in Nigeria, then gained experience in obstetrics and gynecology in the United Kingdom and in family medicine in New York. "Deliveries are a special part of what I do," he says.

He now sees patients as a family medicine doctor at Emory at Dunwoody Family Medicine. "I love to teach, both in inpatient and outpatient settings. The best way to teach residents a good bedside manner—which includes compassion, listening, touching—is to demonstrate it," he says. "The center of the tripartite mission of teaching, research, and being a clinician is the patient. If you start with the patient, you can get all of these things accomplished."

Ted Johnson, chair of the Family and Preventive Medicine Department, says "Guch Nwosu engages learners in a compelling manner and helps them focus on seeing and treating the whole patient."

Nwosu's research interest is the prevention of cervical cancer, especially through increasing HPV vaccination rates. "Even with the HPV vaccine being readily available, the vaccination rate is less than 50% in many states," he says. "I think we can do better than that."

View Nwosu’s video here.

Grant Built on Foundation of Discovery

gem video emory

When Thota Ganesh (pharmacology) received his notice of an award from NIH for a project to develop a new anti-inflammatory treatment to prevent Alzheimer's, or treat its very early development, it was the culmination of a long series of events.

This is one of the projects that was made possible by the Chemical Biology Discovery Center, says Ray Dingledine (pharmacology). "Briefly, in 2009-2010 my lab collaborated with center investigators to screen 262,000 compounds for activity against the EP2 receptor for prostaglandin E2. We were successful, and Thota as a medicinal chemist then joined the project to create novel compounds," Dingledine says. "This is a good example of the value created by our chemical biology center, which allowed one of our young investigators to develop a sustained competitive advantage recognized by NIH."

Some of these novel compounds proved to have properties suitable for testing in animal models.  Ganesh and Dingledine are exploring the use of these EP2 antagonists in animal models of epilepsy, and Ganesh's grant is focused on the use of EP2 antagonists in animal models of Alzheimer's disease.

Many efforts over the past decade to delay or prevent Alzheimer's have focused exclusively on anti-amyloid (Ab) therapies, Ganesh says. "It is time we pay serious attention to neuro-inflammation as a target for Alzheimer's drug discovery."

Funky Glasses Day

Eclipse viewers donned safe eyewear on the SOM lawn to take in the celestial sights on the afternoon of Aug. 21.
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