The SOM has received $400,000 from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the first installment of a four-year grant award totaling $1.6 million to fund new core facilities for basic and clinical research. The grant will definitely help us move to the next tier in biomedical investigations. The three planned facilities will provide high-speed cell-surface analysis and sorting through flow cytometry, neuroscience imaging by positron emission tomography, and analysis of gene expression in normal subjects and in a variety of diseases using DNA microchip technology. Emory was among the 105 institutions that submitted grant proposals to HHMI's Biomedical Research Support Program for Medical Schools. HHMI already provides significant support to the university for biomedical research and education. Dr. Stephen Warren (Biochemistry), for instance, is one of 320 HHMI-funded investigators at 71 medical centers and universities nationwide and the only one in Georgia.
By all accounts, the January site visit by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) was a positive experience for everyone involved. We've been preparing for this visit for two years in conjunction with the teaching strategic planning process, which began in early 1998. The site visit itself was a mammoth task, involving more than 130 administrators, faculty members, students, and residents who prepared materials and met with the LCME survey team. LCME representatives included included Dr. William Peck of Washington University, team chairman; Dr. Barbara Barzansky of the American Medical Association, team secretary; Dr. Daniel Blazer of Duke University School of Medicine; Dr. Robert Kelch of the University of Iowa College of Medicine; and Dr. Leonard Weireter Jr., faculty fellow from Eastern Virginia Medical School. I want everyone in the SOM to know how much I appreciate their contributions to this important process. LCME will issue a final report on our accreditation status this spring.
The number of research grants awarded to faculty continues to climb. Dr. Mark Feinberg is principal investigator for an NIH program project grant to develop new vaccine strategies to prevent HIV infection. Over the next five years, the Emory Vaccine Center will receive approximately $7.5 million for "New Live Viral Vectors as Candidate AIDS Vaccines." The investigators hope to develop safe and effective vaccines to prevent HIV infection by adapting vaccines now used to prevent chicken pox, measles, and yellow fever. They also plan to develop improved HIV vaccines based on the vaccine for smallpox. The grant for this project is part of a new NIH program called "HIV Vaccine Research and Development Teams" (HIVRAD). Emory received the highest ranking by reviewers for applications submitted for this program. Working with Dr. Feinberg are Drs. Rafi Ahmed, Silvija Staprans, Jeff Safrit, John Altman, and researchers from the University of Zurich, the University of California at San Francisco, and the Pasteur Institute.
NIH has also approved funding for a new multidisciplinary grant focusing on the development of compounds that inactivate bacteria or viruses that cause sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Richard Compans, professor and chair of Microbiology and Immunology, is principal investigator for the project, and Dr. Igor Stojiljkovic is co-principal investigator. Their collaborative project involves researchers from Emory College, Yerkes Primate Research Center, and Georgia State University.
Congratulations to the five M2 students who earned top honors during the 45th Annual Medical Research Day on January 19. The winners are Telly Meadows, Helen Miller Award; Eric MacLeod, Dean's Award; Christine Law, Judge's Award; and Jill Jarrell and Shea Fleming, the American Foundation for Medical Research Award. Also, Dr. Tom Insel, director of the Center for Behavioral Medicine, delivered a provocative keynote address on "Sex in the Single Cell."
The Papageorge Award Committee seeks your help in honoring a faculty member for teaching excellence. Nominations for the Evangeline T. Papageorge Distinguished Teaching Award are due on March 31. Funded solely by alumni gifts, the $14,000 award is named for the former dean of students for the medical school and is announced each year during graduation. Alumni, faculty, current students, and house staff may submit nominations to: The Papageorge Award Committee, c/o the Office of Medical Alumni Affairs, 1440 Clifton Rd., #116, Atlanta, GA 30322 (116 WHSCAB on campus). You can also fax nominations to the same office at 727-2485. For more information, contact Sally Millett, director of alumni relations and development, at 727-0462.
I'd like to share some exciting news about three people in the SOM community. Dr. Bob Rich, executive associate dean for research and strategic initiatives, is part of a new advisory committee appointed by NIH to review the regulations placed on universities and scientists that receive federal funding. The committee fulfills a key recommendation of a 1999 report mandated by Congress to study the number of regulations that govern biomedical research. The Mahoney report - named for its author, former NIH official John Mahoney - advocates reducing regulations and costs that impede efficiency disproportionate to the level of protections sought. Regulations under study include financial conflict of interest, research integrity, human subjects protections, animal care and use, and hazardous waste disposal. Bob attended the first meeting of the NIH Advisory Panel on Regulatory Burdens in January.
The Emory Women's Center has named Dr. Claudia Adkison, executive associate dean for administration and faculty affairs, as the 2000 Unsung Heroine in the administrator category. She is one of five Unsung Heroines from across the university. As many of you know, Claudia was an anatomy faculty member for 22 years and has a long history of service to the university and the medical profession. She continued to teach while earning a law degree from Georgia State University in 1991. She then joined the law firm Kilpatrick & Cody, dealing with health care law and intellectual property. Four years later, she rejoined the SOM, taking an active role in enhancing the life of faculty. I can't imagine a better person to be named an Unsung Heroine!
Dr. Arthur Kellermann was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the prestigious organization that studies medical issues of national importance. Dr. Kellermann, chair of Emergency Medicine, is an expert on prevention of firearm-related injuries and death. He has also studied policy related to prehospital cardiac care, assessment of diagnostic technology, emergency health care for the poor, and other areas where emergency medicine and injury prevention impact health. Because of his expertise, Dr. Kellermann serves on the IOM Committee on Capitalizing on Social Science and Behavioral Research.
The Emory Medical Care Foundation Research Committee has awarded research grants to 11 faculty members. One-year grants of up to $25,000 are awarded quarterly to faculty who spend at least 50% of their time at Grady. New recipients are Drs. Rony Adam (Gynecology and Obstetrics); Charles Harper, Harold King, and Brita Lundberg (Medicine); Mario Mosunjac (Pathology); Athena Kourtis (Pediatrics); and Marietta Collins, Glenn Egan, Stephen McDaniel, Susan Reviere, and Geraldine Scheller-Gilkey (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences).
The Styloid Process, the SOM's literary and art magazine, welcomes submissions from the SOM and Emory Healthcare communities for its next edition. The magazine publishes fiction and nonfiction, poetry, prose, essays, photography, paintings, and drawings. M2 student Scott Terranella asks that all items be placed in his mailbox on the first floor of WHSCAB by February 14. Written works must be in MS Word for Windows and may be sent by e-mail. Be sure to include your name, contact information, and a five-line biography. You can reach Scott at (404) 377-4945 or
We are pleased to announce the following:
- Dr. James Bennett (Urology) is featured in the book The Best Medicine (St. Martin's Press, 1999), which presents personal histories of doctors and patients who have worked together to face health challenges.
- Dr. Sheryl Heron (Emergency Medicine) is serving on a new Institute of Medicine committee that will focus on the training needs of health professionals in the detection and referral of victims of family or acquaintance violence. She also received continued fellowship support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Minority Medical Faculty Development Program.
- Dr. Lisa Lepine (Gynecology and Obstetrics) is one of 20 scholars selected for the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics/Solvay Pharmaceuticals Educational Scholars Development Program. This program helps participants become better teachers and leaders in women's health.
- The American Association of Physicists in Medicine has honored Dr. Perry Sprawls (Radiology) with the 1999 National Achievement Award in Medical Physics for his contributions to the field and his work to improve medical imaging diagnosis in developing countries.
- SOM Fellow Daiana Weiss is one of 12 research scientists to receive the Fifth Annual AstraZeneca Cardiovascular Young Investigators' Award. Dr. Weiss won the award for a basic science presentation.
- Atlanta Women in Law and Medicine presented its Shining Star Award to Dr. Nanette Wenger for her contributions to cardiology and women's health issues. The Council on Clinical Cardiology also selected Dr. Wenger as the first recipient of its Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award.
Thomas J. Lawley, MD