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NIH rankings show steady progress.

The FY99 NIH rankings have placed Emory 24th in total NIH funding with $94.5 million, the same rank as last year but with more funding dollars ($79.9 million in FY98.) We ranked 17th in the number of grants, which says that we do better with individual grants (RO1s) than with program project grants (PO1s.) In dollars, 12 of our departments were ranked in the top 20 nationally -- Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Dermatology, Family & Preventive Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, Neurology, Gynecology & Obstetrics, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Pathology, and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. Six of our departments (Dermatology, Family & Preventive Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, Neurology, Ophthalmology, and Rehabilitation Medicine) were ranked in the top 10, which is where all our departments are aiming to be. Kudos to three departments who ranked in the top five -- Microbiology & Immunology, Neurology, and Rehabilitation Medicine.

It takes a lot of faculty effort and talent to put us up there along with our colleagues across Emory. In honor of the university's funding success, the Office of Research will hold a "Celebration of Excellence in Research & Scholarship" on April 24 to applaud surpassing the $200 million mark in sponsored research.

Match Day

March 16 marked an important day in the lives of M-4 students when they found out where they will do their residencies. Nationally, 93.9% of graduating medical students matched into a residency program, while 97% of our students matched. Of those, 61% matched with their 1st choice, 78% matched with their 1st or 2nd choice, 85% matched with their top three choices, and 90% matched with their top four. Nearly half the class (49%) will be going into primary care (internal medicine, pediatrics, or family practice), and 26% of the class will remain in our affiliated residency training programs. These figures tells us what we already knew -- that our faculty are superb teachers and our students are top-notch.

Cancer Institute receives $2.2 million

Avon has announced a $2.2 million award from the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade to benefit breast cancer research at the Winship Cancer Institute (WCI) and Grady Memorial Hospital. Dr. Jonathan Simons, the new director of the WCI, is PI and architect of the program that will focus on the identification of genes that cause breast cancer to occur and spread. Much of the research will be conducted by Emory clinical and basic science research faculty at Grady. Several hundred thousand dollars of the award are also dedicated to reimburse Grady for providing care to indigent patients with breast cancer. A significant portion of this funding will be used to attract and fund career development of junior female physician/scientists entering breast cancer research in the fields of surgical oncology, pathology, medical oncology, and molecular genetics as part of the Avon Scholars program created at Emory. Dr. Ruby Kochhar, a WCI medical oncologist who practices primarily at Grady, is Emory's first Avon Scholar.

Dr. Rich named FASEB president

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Bob Rich, executive associate dean/research and strategic initiatives, has been named president-elect of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), a coalition of scientific societies representing more than 60,000 biomedical scientists. This is one of the most important leadership positions in biomedical science and puts Emory's name in scientific news and at the forefront in Washington. His most important goal, he says, will be "to maintain the momentum for building the biomedical science enterprise established through the leadership of Congress and to articulate effectively how that money is being productively used and what the opportunities are for future development." You can read the complete FASEB announcement on their website at

New joint PhD degree

Beginning this fall, the Georgia Tech/Emory Department of Biomedical Engineering will offer a new joint PhD degree that is a unique combination of public and private education as well as medicine and engineering. Areas of concentration include cardiovascular mechanics and biology, cellular and tissue engineering, neurosciences/engineering, biomedical imaging, and biomedical modeling and computing. According to department chair Dr. Don P. Giddens, graduates will receive their degrees from both institutions and will be well qualified for teaching and research positions at educational and medical institutions and in industry, hospitals, and law and government regulatory agencies.

High achievers

Congratulations to the Physician Assistant Class of 1999, which achieved a 98% pass rate on the PA national board exam, with a national average class score at the 98th percentile. The class also achieved a 100% pass rate on the surgery PA national board, with a national average class score at the 93rd percentile.

Online access to health

The Health Sciences Center Library (HSCL) is leading a community project to ensure that more Atlantans have ready access to health information. The HSCL received $40,000 from the National Library of Medicine to train local librarians to help consumers search for health information online and develop a consumer health website. The Crawford Long Hospital Library, the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library (Southwest Regional Branch), and the Health Ministry of the Cascade United Methodist Church are collaborative partners in this effort, led by Sandra Franklin and Carolyn Brown of the HSCL and Rosalind Lett of Crawford Long. The National Library of Medicine is funding 49 electronic health information projects in 34 states to provide millions of Americans with Internet access to health information.

In Memoriam

The Emory medical community was saddened by the death of teacher and clinician Dr. Daniel Arensberg on March 5. Dr. Arensberg was director of the coronary care unit at Grady Memorial Hospital. A member of the Emory faculty since 1977 as well as a graduate of Emory's residency training program, Dr. Arensberg served in the Public Health Service during the Vietnam War era. According to Dr. Robert Schlant, fellow cardiologist at Grady, Dr. Arensberg was a meticulous investigator and a superb teacher who felt a strong commitment to helping underserved patients at Grady.

Lights, camera, action!

To view construction progress on the Whitehead Research Building, go to and click on the moving icon for the web camera. From this angle, you can view the back of the building looking east across the railroad tracks to the main campus. Workers currently are pouring the concrete frame and adding a new floor every 16-20 days until the building tops out at eight levels this summer. The completion date is November 2001. Whiting-Turner Construction Company is the contractor for the project, designed by Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum. And across the street a ways, architects Stanley, Beaman, and Sears of Atlanta and NBBJ of Ohio are proceeding with design development for the new Winship Cancer Institute building. Construction will start next January.

Call for nominations

The Medical Alumni Association (MAA) is calling for nominations for its two alumni awards, to be presented during reunion weekend this fall. The Award of Honor recognizes distinguished service to the MAA, the School of Medicine, or to the profession of medicine. The Distinguished Medical Achievement Award honors distinction in research, training, medical practice, or administration in an academic or public institution. Alumni, faculty, and the Dean's Office may submit nominations. Send letters of nomination by April 30 to Sally Millett, director of alumni relations/development, 116 WHSCAB.

Appointments and honors

We are pleased to announce the following:
  • Dr. Scott Boden participated in the Consensus Development Conference on Osteoporosis Prevention, Diagnosis, and Therapy at the NIH.
  • Dr. Leon Haley was selected for the 2000 Physician Leadership Institute for the National Association of Public Hospitals.
  • Dr. James Madara has been selected to serve as chair of the NIH General Medicine A Study Section (2), Center for Scientific Review.
  • Dr. Charles Nemeroff receives this month the 2000 William C. Menninger Memorial Award from the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.
  • Dr. Monica Parker, medical director of The Emory Clinic at Social Circle, received the Walton Tribune's Reader's Choice Award for the best health care provider.
  • Dr. Daniel Reines has been invited to serve on the editorial board of The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
  • Dr. Harriet Robinson has been named Asa Griggs Candler Chair of Microbiology and Immunology. She was also cited by Nature Medicine on the cover of its five-year anniversary issue.
  • Dr. Richard Rothenberg has been selected to serve as a member of the NIH AIDS Related Research Study Section (6), Center for Scientific Review.
  • Dr. Sandra Sexson received the 2000 E.B. Bowis Award from the American College of Psychiatrists.
  • Dr. Nanette Wenger receives this month the 2000 James D. Bruce Memorial Award from the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Thomas J. Lawley, MD

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