Thanks to a $7.5 million gift from MBNA America Bank, Emory specialists
in neurology, neurosurgery, neurocritical care, neuroradiology, and
stroke research have created a consortium of services for stroke patients,
the Emory-MBNA Stroke Center. "We want Emory to be the place where all
stroke patients come, whatever their needs may be," says the center's
director, Dr. Daniel Barrow. The gift will fund start-up
operations and development costs of the center, an endowed chair of
neurosurgery, and the hiring of a second neurointensivist. (Emory currently
has Georgia's only neurointensivist, Dr. Owen Samuels,
a specialist in neurocritical care.) The center will also educate patients
and future doctors about the many risk factors for stroke and conduct
research to advance the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.
grants from the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Trust will help ensure access
to care for Georgia patients needing transplants. Wachovia Bank, the
Mason Trust's trustee, has awarded the Emory Transplant Center a two-year
grant of $1 million to support the Access to Transplant Care Project,
created in 2000 to reach underserved Georgians and support their evaluation
and treatment. The new award will build on the existing project by providing
even greater access to care, enhancing services offered throughout the
transplant process, and increasing the number of transplants at Emory
by recruiting more living organ donors.
A second grant from the Mason Trust, $118,000 in bridge funding, will
help support the Emory Eye Center's pediatric cornea transplant program,
the only such program in the state. Even though cornea transplantation
has a very high success rate, follow-up care is difficult to manage
in children, and insurance rarely pays for this care. The funding will
help the Eye Center continue to provide follow-up care.
Check out the
airy new design of the Whitehead Biomedical Research Building (WBRB),
which will be dedicated on April 2 at 11:30 am. The WBRB embodies the
"center without walls" concept, enabling researchers from several disciplines
to collaborate in 325,000 square feet of laboratory and office space,
90% with natural lighting. Three basic science departmentsCell Biology,
Physiology, and Human Geneticscall the building home. Most of one floor
is dedicated to the Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, bringing
together scientists from Neurology, Neurosurgery, Pathology and Laboratory
Medicine, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Department of Medicine
researchers in pulmonary medicine and digestive diseases and the Department
of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine occupy other floors. The Center
for Medical Genomics has the most advanced equipment available for rapid
DNA analysis to examine the link between genes and disease.
One of only 13 "green" facilities in the United States, the WBRB is an environmentally
progressive building with special heat-recovery wheels projected to
save $100,000 in energy costs per year. Condensation-recovery units
will save an estimated 2.5 million gallons of water per year, and storm
water from the roof and plaza is being collected and reused for irrigation.
The building cost $81.3 million ($1.5 million under budget) and has
eight floors (two below ground), including a 50,000-square-foot vivarium,
a robotic cage-washing system, and seven labs classified at biosafety
Next time you
see our latest crop of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society
inductees, give them a pat on the back. The following M4 students will
be honored at the 2002 AOA induction banquet on March 20: Jamie
Bower, Beau Bruce, Betsey Chambers,
Pierre de Delva, Jennifer Filip, Ryan Ford,
Eric Handley, Eric Jarandeh, Joe Johnson, Sarah Keene, Jennifer McDougal,
Lacey Moore, Rachel Nisbet, Sara Shahid-Saless, Kelly Skelton, Joel
Trambley, Corrie Van Exel, and Tom Wallace.
M3 students John Abbott, Jr., Meena Agarwal, Whitney Walter
Brown, Mariya Fishman, Ben Jessie, Todd Lancaster, Oren Levy, Jaime
Noonan, Jason Reingold, and Marla Sammer will
be recognized this year. House staff honorees will include Drs.
Jason Bailey, Zvonimir Milas, and Antoinina Watkins.
Faculty inductees will be Drs. April Barbour and Michael
Lubin, and alumni honorees will be Drs. Lorenzo DiFrancesco
and James Valentine. Emory alumnus Dr. William
Waters III, a leading clinical internist and nephrologist and
SOM clinical professor, will give the keynote address. Dr. Jonas
Shulman is Acting Faculty Councillor, and Dr. Whit
Sewell is the Faculty Adviser for the Emory Chapter of AOA.
The AOA marks its centennial this year.
Emory endocrinologists at Grady Hospital have become the first in the nation
to use an FDA-approved computerized decision-support protocol, the Intelligent
Dosing System (IDS), to treat and manage diabetes. Data from 190 patients
show that the IDS, built on a Palm Pilot platform, provides safer, more
effective, and more economical drug treatment by individualizing medications
prescribed for diabetic patients. "This technology should help us eliminate
much of the guesswork in adjusting diabetes medications," says Dr.
Curtiss Cook, Associate Professor of Medicine and one of the
first physicians to use the IDS for diabetes treatment.
The National Board
of Medical Examiners (NBME) will pilot-test a new program to evaluate
the clinical skills of graduating medical students in Atlanta. Next
fall, the NBME will test M4s from Georgia's four medical schools on
their communication skills and other clinical techniques during encounters
with 10 standardized patients. The results will be used to develop and
standardize a nationwide clinical test. They also will provide evidence
to help enhance clinical skills training for future classes and remedy
inadequacies that students may show in this project. The Objective Structured
Clinical Examination portion of the US Medical Licensing Examination
will be introduced to all medical students in 2004 or 2005 and will
be required for licensure.
In case you missed "Interviewing
Skills for Scientists," offered by Science magazine and hosted
by the Office of Postdoctoral Education, here are some highlights. Geared
to young scientistsgrad students to junior facultythe workshop
provided interviewing skills for scientists interested in nonacademic
careers and information about the current economy in the biotech industry.
Some tips: Don't send your résumé only to human resources;
find a scientist who can help. The best times to seek positions are
in the first and second quarters of the fiscal year. And it's okay to
exclude from your résumé an adviser with whom you have
a difficult relationship. Just have a positive response for why that
person is not on your list of references. For more information, go to
There's a new website that
describes the relationship between Emory and the Georgia Research Alliance
(GRA). Since its founding in 1990, the GRA has advanced economic development
in biotechnology through partnerships with government, industry, and
six Georgia universities, including Emory.
Visit the new site at www.emory.edu/WHSC/HSNEWS/GRA.
You can also read about "Our GRA Connection" in the latest issue of
Momentum magazine at www.emory.
this issue is "Lives on the Line," which describes the mammoth efforts
at Emory to protect patients enrolled in clinical trials. Never has
this responsibility been greater. In recent years, the tragic deaths
of patients enrolled in clinical trials at Johns Hopkins and Penn and
the temporary suspension of research at Duke have prompted medical research
institutions around the country to be even more vigilant. All of us
at Emory work very hard to meet and exceed federal standards governing
clinical trials. "We've got a process we take considerable pride in,"
notes Dr. Robert Rich, one of several SOM administrators
and faculty members featured in the article. Please take a few moments
to read the article in Momentum.
Thomas J. Lawley, MD