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  JUNE 2017  

Koch Award

The Robert Koch Foundation is jointly awarding the 2017 Robert Koch Award, with prize money of 120,000 euros, to Rafi Ahmed (microbiology and immunology), Emory Vaccine Center, and Antonio Lanzavecchia, Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, and ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The award recognizes the two immunologists' pioneering research on regulation of the immune system and their ground-breaking contributions on the development of new vaccines and immunotherapies.

Susan Margulies has been named the Wallace H. Coulter Chair of the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in injury biomechanics. Her appointments are effective August 1. Read more.

Jon Lewin (radiology and biomedical engineering), executive VP for health affairs, is one of two recipients of this year's Radiology Leadership Institute Leadership Luminary Award. He was also named among the nation’s top 50 most influential physician executives/leaders for 2017 by Modern Healthcare, and among Atlanta’s "Power 100" by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Ami Klin (above) and Warren Jones (both pediatrics) gave a keynote speech at the International Meeting for Autism Research, an honor that is the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.

Douglas Murphy (cardiothoracic surgery) received the E. Napier "Buck" Burson Jr., MD Physician Award of Distinction, Emory Saint Joseph’s highest honor for physician service. The award is named for the late Buck Burson, former chief of staff at Emory Saint Joseph’s and a leader in gastroenterology.


Aug. 10: Applying Collaborative Big Data Science for Predictive Health. Part of the Think Big Symposium Series. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. RSPH, CNR Bldg. More info.

Aug. 17: New Faculty Orientation and Resource Fair, SOM 130, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. More Information here. Register here.

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


What Do Half of Atlanta Magazine's Top Docs Have in Common? Emory.

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Emory physicians are well represented in the 2017 "Top Doctors" issue of Atlanta magazine. SOM faculty, Emory Healthcare physicians, Emory Healthcare Network physicians, and Emory medical staff physicians make up 50% of the "Top Doctors" listed this year in the July issue, with 358 Emory physicians among the 720 earning recognition in the publication. The issue has multiple covers featuring various top docs—such as Hui-Kuo Shu (radiation oncology), above.

"We are proud of our physicians, nominated for this honor by their peers because of their excellent clinical skills and care and concern they give to their patients," says Jonathan Lewin, president, CEO, and chair of Emory Healthcare. "As Emory Healthcare and its network of physicians continue to grow, our goal is to provide extraordinary health care, via our 'Top Doctors' and beyond, in all reaches of our state."

Patients can find these expert doctors at Emory Healthcare hospitals and in clinics throughout 200 provider locations in Georgia, emry.link/physiciansfinder.

New Hidden Gem: Lena Ting

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Find out what goes on behind the scenes in Lena Ting's (rehabilitation medicine, biomedical engineering) neuromechanics lab as she studies "useful movements" like balance control and walking. Discover how studying insect movements helped to develop six-legged robots able to move across complex surfaces, how being multilingual has helped Ting bridge disparate disciplines, and how personal robots might help in rehabilitation efforts in the future. View video here.

Newman Gives Dean's Distinguished Faculty Lecture

Interim Dean David Stephens and Nancy Newman, who holds the LeoDelle Jolley Chair of Ophthalmology  

Nancy Newman (ophthalmology, neurology), director of the neuro-ophthalmology service at the Emory Eye Center, received the Dean's Distinguished Faculty Lecture and Award for 2017. Her May 16 lecture was on "Mitochondrial Blindness: An Emory Story," and it chronicled the bench-to-bedside research underlying the progress of the last three decades in understanding Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), a blinding disorder preferentially affecting otherwise healthy young men, and other mitochondrial diseases with visual manifestations. Newman is currently the international PI of the first gene therapy trial in humans for LHON. Emory is one of three U.S. sites participating in the trial, with four other sites in Europe.

During her 28-year career at Emory, Newman has figured prominently in expanding clinical knowledge of mitochondrial disorders and developing innovative new therapies. During her talk, she stressed the importance of continuous mentoring, facilitating, and collaborating for a successful career in academia. Fittingly, among the attendees at the lecture was Thomas Aaberg Sr., chair of ophthalmology and director of the Emory Eye Center when Newman joined the Emory faculty in 1989. A link to the Dean's Award lecture can be found on the Emory Eye Center website: emry.link/newmanlecture.

Earlier this spring, Newman gave the prestigious H. Houston Merritt Lecture during the American Academy of Neurology's (AAN) annual meeting. Her Merritt lecture, "Ophthalmoscopy in the 21st Century," chronicled a series of clinical trials known as the FOTO-ED (Fundus Photography vs. Ophthalmoscopy Trial Outcomes in the Emergency Department) studies, a collaborative, NIH-sponsored effort involving the Neuro-Ophthalmology Service and Emory's Department of Emergency Medicine.—Leigh DeLozier

Medical Texts for Mozambique

Four of the six residents in the first intern class at the Hospital Central de Maputo in Mozambique. L-R: Dr. Maria Augosta Mutombene, Dr. Ezio Massinga, Dr. Brito Gulela, Dr. Dino Lopes.

Ranked by GDP, Mozambique is 158th out of 180 countries. General physicians are paid less than $1,000 per month, and basic medicines and resources are often in short supply, while rates of malaria and HIV rank among the worst in the world. Textbooks are precious and hard to come by.

So the four boxes of medical textbooks recently received by residents at the Hospital Central de Maputo—a gift from physicians at the Emory Department of Emergency Medicine—were greeted with excitement, amazement, and pride. As the residents opened the cartons, a senior surgeon stopped by and, learning that all the books were a gift to the fledgling Emergency Medicine residency, shook his head in disbelief. "When we started surgery, we had only one book," he said. "I have never seen a residency start like this.” As they unpacked, the residents wrote "Emory University" inside the cover of each and every book.

The founder of the residency program is Abigail Hankin-Wei (emergency medicine), who is on leave of absence in Mozambique.

Patient-Centered Transplant Care

Emory Transplant Center is the first in the nation to earn Patient-Centered Specialty Practice Level 3 Recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)—the highest level of recognition a practice can receive. After developing the Patient-Centered Medical Home model for primary care, the committee extended the medical home concept to specialists, building on teamwork and IT to improve care and the patient experience. "We are so proud of this major accomplishment by the Emory transplant team," says Thomas Pearson (surgery), executive director of the Emory Transplant Center. "Delivering patient-centered care has always been our mission, so to receive the highest level of recognition from the NCQA is especially rewarding."

Elvis Would Approve

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Anatomy of the Male Pelvis App

Check out the new Visual Medical Education (VME) website, med.emory.edu/VME, for illustration, animation, virtual models, apps, and more. "Emory VME teaches medicine visually, so it's important to have a website that reflects this," says team leader Michael Konomos. "The heart of our new site is the gallery, which showcases our best work. When people think of medical illustration, they often think of images in textbooks. Our gallery demonstrates that so much more is possible in the 21st century."

Michael Konomos, VME  

Recently, the VME team has worked with the Carlos and Davis Center for Surgical Anatomy and Technique to create the Anatomy of the Male Pelvis, which provides surgical residents a new way to learn complex 3D spacial relationships before they assist in procedures.

Other recent VME team projects:

• Patient education guides for Emory Healthcare, so patients can be more fully informed and prepared for surgical and transplant procedures and experience a speedier recovery.

• Medical illustrations to accompany articles in Emory Medicine and other Emory publications, portraying deep brain stimulation, sleep apnea, the EXIT procedure, osteoarthritis, and other ailments and surgical procedures.

• Animations to educate neurology residents around the country.

• A multimedia tool developed in partnership with the SOM to teach students about fragile X syndrome. It includes more than an hour of animations and videos, which will be used in classes and published nationwide this fall.

• A cognitive assessment app for the groundbreaking Healthy Aging Study.

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