Archives for April 2016

Taking Off: SHI Brings in the First (of Many) Hires

We began the Strategic Hiring Initiative in early January with a target of 32 hires over the next five years. I am happy to announce our first hires:

  • Jayakrishna Ambati, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Vice Chair for Research, and Director of the Center for Advanced Vision Science
  • Andrew Gelman, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Scientific Director of the University of Virginia Organ Transplant Center
  • Sean Moore, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Gastroenterology Research

small_jayakrishna_ambati2Dr. Ambati comes to us from the University of Kentucky. His work focuses on macular degeneration in a way that brings together many areas, including developmental science, genomics, stem cells, regenerative medicine, and drug development and discovery. His efforts will cross the Departments of Ophthalmology, Microbiology, Pathology, the Immunology Center, and Biomedical Engineering. Of our new research themes, Dr. Ambati’s focus covers the areas of regenerative medicine and precision medicine.


small_GelmanA_267X400.ashxDr. Gelman was previously at Washington University School of Medicine. He is working on new models of lung transplant and the immunology of transplantation and rejection. His efforts will cross the Departments of Surgery, Medicine, and the Immunology Center, covering the new research themes of transplant and regenerative medicine.


small_2287f09c-1d09-485d-a1bf-73d05505a193Dr. Moore was recently on faculty at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Moore works on GI infections and the influence of nutrition and stem cells, as well as epigenetic modeling in GI disease. His efforts cross the Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, Global Health, and Microbiology, covering the new research themes of metabolic disorders and precision medicine.

This is an extremely promising start toward our goal of recruiting physician-scientists to build on our research excellence.

Margaret A. Shupnik, PhD
Gerald D. Aurbach Professor of Endocrinology
Professor of Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Research

Highlights: April MAC Meeting

Below are highlights from the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) meeting held on Tuesday, April 12, 2016:

Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA)

  • Dr. Maryellen Gusic discussed ensuring competence through authentic assessment and how EPAs will affect undergraduate medical education.
  • An “entrustable professional activity” is a task or responsibility that faculty entrust to a trainee to execute [without supervision {in Graduate Medical Education}], once adequate competence has been obtained.
  • Rationale for use of EPAs in UME include the importance of assessing readiness for transitions and to address existing gaps between residency director’s expectations and skills of entering residents.
  • Objective assessment is important for learners, teachers, the healthcare system, and, ultimately, for patients.
  • Dr. Gusic will be examining the current curriculum and investigating how to best teach and assess EPAs.

Pre-Submission Grant Review Program

  • Dr. Kodi Ravichandran discussed his department’s efforts in assisting junior faculty to gain funding. The recently hired junior faculty in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology (MIC) have all been successful in acquiring their first receive RO1 funding in the first three years.
  • Some steps MIC has taken to help include:
    • Encourage faculty to apply within their first year of recruitment/starting their new position.
    • Use a mentoring committee
    • Structure of the grant review process (meeting, writing, committee speaking with one voice, iterative editing phases)
    • Planning and timing: requires ~3-6 months lead time
    • Next steps? (read, encourage, and repeat the steps above …)
  • MIC’s current success rate with this process has also helped created camaraderie within the MIC and also promote interactions between junior and senior faculty.

Promotion & Tenure (P&T)

  • Dr. Susan Pollart discussed recommendations to look at P&T differently, reviewed issues related to P&T, shared qualitative comments from the Faculty Forward Engagement Survey, and examined the UVA Provost and SOM tenure and non-tenure policies
  • This is just the start of the conversation. Please contact Dr. Pollart with your question at

The next meeting will be Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in the BIMS classroom. (McKim first floor, across from Sandridge Auditorium)