StandPoint Update: Thank You, Faculty!

This fall, we asked faculty to participate in the 2018 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) StandPoint Faculty Engagement Survey. After the survey closed last month, I was extremely pleased to see the tremendous participation rate of 79 percent. This was an increase from our 2015 rate (74 percent) and well above the 2018 AAMC cohort average (64 percent). Thank you, faculty, for responding! And thanks to all of our department chairs, who played a big role in encouraging faculty to participate.

You spoke and we heard. The next step is to act. This winter, the AAMC will analyze the survey, prepare reports, and deliver results to us in mid-January. On Jan. 30, they will come to the School of Medicine to meet with chairs, department administrators, SOM faculty senators, the StandPoint Taskforce, and the Dean’s cabinet to review and discussion action-planning and next steps.

We will use your feedback to better understand faculty needs and how we can better be of service. I am particularly interested in the responses to the custom questions in the survey, specifically the items related to faculty wellness and resilience. Burnout and work-life balance are challenges at UVA and for faculty across the nation. In addition to the departmental reports, we will have survey results by service line, which is new to the survey this year. The data you provided will drive the action for a better, healthier work environment for us all.

If you have any questions about the survey between now and when the AAMC arrives in late January, please reach out to me or Troy Buer, PhD, Director of Faculty Development & Special Projects.

Thank you again for your participation and support of the StandPoint initiative.

Susan M. Pollart, MD, MS
Walter M. Seward Professor and Chair (interim) of Family Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development

THRIV Holds 1st Annual Clinical Research Symposium

2nd-Year THRIV Scholars Jessica Keim-Malpass, PhD, RN; Kathleen A. McManus, MD, MSCR; and Brynne A. Sullivan, MD

Last month, the Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia (THRIV) held the 1st Annual THRIV Scholars Clinical Translational Research Symposium. THRIV was established in January 2017 as the cornerstone of our Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program application; a mechanism to promote excellence in clinical and translational research across UVA. One of the first major milestones was to create a mentored career-development program to support training for junior faculty, which we wrote about here (“THRIV Hits Milestone with Inaugural Class of Scholars”) and here (“THRIV Welcomes Second Class of Scholars”).

Karen C. Johnston, MD, MSc; Christopher P. Austin, MD; and Sandra G. Burks, RN, BSN, CCRC

At our research symposium, Christopher Austin, MD, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) delivered the keynote address for research, “Catalyzing Translation Innovation.” Philip Bourne, PhD, Stephenson Chair of Data Science; Director of the Data Science Institute; and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, delivered the keynote presentation focusing on careers in translational research.

Philip E. Bourne, PhD

Dr. Austin was impressed with our team science, saying it showed in the Scholars’ presentations and in the conversations with THRIV leadership. Leveraging the expertise of the UVA Data Science Institute is invaluable in training the Scholars. This aspect of our program is a differentiator from other mentored career-development programs in the CTSA national network.

This was our first public-facing event to highlight work of the THRIV Scholars and it was a tremendous success.

Presentations from our second-year THRIV Scholars included:

  • Pulse Oximetry Cardiorespiratory Scores to Predict Adverse Events and Outcomes in Premature Infants” (Brynne Sullivan, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine)
  • “Affordable Care Act’s effects on persons living with HIV (PLWH) in Virginia” (Kathleen McManus, MD, MSCR, Assistant Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine)
  • “A pragmatic clinical trial evaluating impact of continuous predictive monitoring on nurse-driven outcomes in a dynamic intensive care setting” (Jessica Keim-Malpass, PhD, RN, School of Nursing)
  • “Bioengineered Hydrogels to Facilitate 3D neural Stem Cell Survival and Growth in a Stroke Environment” (Kyle Lampe, PhD, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)

The first-year Scholars began their projects this summer, and they provided brief introductions to their research as well:

  • “Application of a Ketogenic Diet in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis” (J. Nicholas Brenton, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, School of Medicine)
  • “Predicting injury risk after motor vehicle collisions using occupant and vehicle telemetry data” (Thomas Hartka, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine)
  • “Use of an Internet-based intervention to prevent cognitive decline in older adults with mild cognitive impairment” (Meghan Mattos, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor of Acute and Specialty Care, School of Nursing)
  • “Computational Modeling of Intestinal Mucosa: Image Analysis and Multiomics” (Sana Syed, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine)

(l-r) Nicole A. Chiota-McCollum, MD, MEd; Karen C. Johnston, MD, MSc; Sana Syed, MD, MS; Meghan K. Mattos, PhD, RN, CNL; J. Nicholas (Nick) Brenton, MD; Thomas R. Hartka, MD, MS; Kathleen A. McManus, MD, MSCR; Brynne A. Sullivan, MD; and Jessica Keim-Malpass, PhD, RN

Dean David S. Wilkes, MD, and Christopher P. Austin, MD

Several second-year Scholars have already begun to receive extramural funding for their work. Watching this group of junior faculty from diverse backgrounds and with very different research programs — pediatrics, data science, microbiome, nursing, neurology, and more — build this strong community of learning has been wonderful. I am thrilled by the program’s emphasis on team-science and data-science training for clinical-translational researchers, and look forward to the impact on our research programs across Grounds in future years.

Applications are now open for the next cohort of THRIV scholars. Visit the website for more details or contact Sandra Burks with questions. The THRIV Scholars program is open to all junior faculty from across Grounds at UVA who are pursuing careers in clinical or translational science.

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

Highlights: November MAC Meeting

The School of Medicine’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) met on Nov. 11, 2018, 4-5 p.m., in the Medical Education Building’s Learning Studio. Here are highlights from that meeting:

Opening Comments
David S. Wilkes, MD
Dr. Wilkes acknowledged the work that the chairs and center directors have done to increase diversity and build an environment of inclusiveness. The creation of diversity plans and appointment of diversity liaisons have made a difference, resulting in the School of Medicine being awarded the 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. Only 35 schools in the health professions get this recognition, and this is the seventh year in a row that we have received it! Congratulations, and thank you for your contributions. 

The work of Dr. Jose Oberholzer, Director of the Charles O. Strickler Transplant Center, was featured on the cover Nature Biomedical Engineering. Congratulations to him for this accomplishment. 

The department annual reviews (DARs) have been concluded and Dean Wilkes thanked the chairs and their teams for their participation. At the third year point of holding these reviews, he observed that there is a lot of positive momentum and chairs have embraced and moved forward on institutional initiatives that will distinguish UVA. In addition to diversity, mentioned above, there was impressive progressive in moving active learning to the goal of 80% active learning. Other common themes include greater collaboration among the departments and centers and more diversity in the research portfolio. Across the board, everyone is struggling with burnout, and in the clinical departments, a challenge is supporting high salaries for high RVU specialties while trying to provide salary increases for critical, but lower RVU, services. 

 The dean’s cabinet held its annual retreat after the DARs and identified four goals for the coming year: 

  • Create a work environment that enables excellence. 
  • Improve organizational structures and processes. 
  • Build external relationships and enhance development. 
  • Enhance the education experience. 

Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign
Elizabeth Shifflett
Ms. Shifflett, Pediatrics Department Administrator, is one of the executive sponsors of the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC). The goal is to have 400 SOM faculty and staff contribute this year at whatever level they can afford. She pointed out that a small contribution of even $2 a pay period can make a big impact. And most of the money contributed stays in our community. The red envelope campaign is open through December 15 and the online campaign continues through December 26. Go here to donate online.

BIMS PhD+ Dual Degree Partnership with McIntire School of Commerce
Amy Bouton, PhD, Associate Dean for Graduate and Medical Scientist Programs
Dr. Bouton gave an overview of the dual degree pilot program established in partnership with the McIntire School of Commerce. The goal of the program is to provide BIMS PhD students with knowledge, skills, training, and credentials in commercialization, entrepreneurship, management, and leadership in the biomedical sciences arena. Students will earn an MS in Commerce in addition to the PhD. While the exceptional scientific training that students acquire in our BIMS-affiliated PhD programs will always provide the cornerstone of their professional portfolios, students who elect to participate in the sequential PhD/MS in Commerce program will gain additional training and credentials that will set them apart from the hundreds of other recent PhD graduates who have aspirations to pursue careers in pharma, biotech, commercialization, policy, etc. Given that approximately 60% of biomedical PhD graduates will not go into academic research, this program will differentiate UVA by providing expanded career opportunities to our students. 

BIMS PhD students will apply to McIntire during year 4 or 5, when they are less than a year from graduation. Once admitted to the MS in Commerce program, a SOM committee will accept up to two candidates for the dual degree “fellowship.” They must complete their PhD by August of the year in which they apply, after which they will begin the 10-month MS program in Commerce. We are running a three-year pilot and then will evaluate the results and the sustainability of the program. 

Business Intelligence
Kappu Ramasubramanian
The Business Intelligence (BI) program supports the achievement of our strategic objectives by delivering information to the end users more dynamically, reducing bottlenecks, making data actionable, and enabling the use of trusted information to understand and analyze organizational performance against set goals, make better and faster decisions, gain new insights, and optimize business processes. 

BI supports the program vision by 

  • Building an integrated data warehouse that hosts data from multiple systems 
  • Enabling the users to go to a single place to get their metrics 
  • Providing self-service analytics 
  • Documenting and surfacing consistent data definitions 

The first phase of the BI program focuses on providing administrative dashboards that will help both SOM and UPG by surfacing metrics that are directly connected to the mission drivers. 

BI governance includes three groups: the Steering Committee, the Governance Leadership Group, and the Operations Group. 

The BI Steering Committee is charged with executive level decision making, developing guiding principles, setting priorities for projects, and approving data definitions, standards, policies, and timelines. The guiding principles are: 

  • Focus on mission value. 
  • Treat data as an organizational asset. 
  • BI governance will promote transparency, trust, and accountability. 
  • The data warehouse is treats as the “trusted source of truth.” 
  • Promote a data-driven organization. 

The BI Governance Leadership Group provides strategic and tactical direction. It develops standards, policies, and data definitions to recommend to the BI Steering Committee for approval. 

The BI Operations Group includes domain-specific data stewards, subject matter experts, and others. The group validates data and improves the data quality and processes. 

BI recently completed its first project — the Academic Funds Available report, which will allow clinical departments to see a consolidated accounting of all their academic funds, regardless of where they are held. BI has three projects in process: budget variance (clinical affairs), research efforts and salary coverage (research), and underrepresented in medicine (education and faculty affairs). Three projects are in the queue: clinical productivity, space and funding, and EPA metrics. 

Bias Reduction in Internal Medicine (BRIM)
Mitchell Rosner, MD, Chair of Internal Medicine
The BRIM initiative is funded through the NIH and is a multi-site grant that includes twelve departments of internal medicine, with Molly Carnes, PI, from the University of Wisconsin. The BRIM Initiative offers the opportunity to help faculty overcome the bias habit and align their judgments and behaviors with their explicit commitments to be fair and objective. 

Over a two-year period, all divisions in the department will be offered a three-hour interactive workshop with three modules: 

  • Implicit bias as a habit. 
  • Becoming bias literate. (If you can name it, you can tame it.) 
  • Evidence-based strategies to break the bias habit. 

Divisions are randomized to receiving training or not. Surveys assess divisional climate, attitude, and engagement and changes in bias over time. The BRIM Initiative draws on decades of research on behavioral change in approaching stereotype-based bias as a “habit of mind” that can be changed by increasing awareness, motivation, and self-efficacy to practice evidence-based strategies. In three years, the divisions will be unblinded and the remaining divisions will be trained. 

Dr. Rosner said that Medicine has trained twelve high-level faculty and staff facilitators through the BRIMS Initiative. In the next six months, they may be available to train other departments, and he asked that you contact him regarding their capacity to meet your training needs. 

The next meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, in the MEB Learning Studio.

Learning Communities Capitalize on Relationship-Based Learning

Deans of Student Affairs (l-r): Dr. John Densmore, Dr. Meg Keeley, Dr. Sean Reed, and Dr. Christine Peterson

Eight years ago, we instituted a new curriculum for the School of Medicine (SOM). With that, we also created learning communities, longitudinal-support, mentoring and curricular structures to help our students be successful. The four learning communities, called Colleges (Dunglison, Hunter, Pinn, Reed), each have their own Dean of Student Affairs (Drs. Meg Keeley, John Densmore, Christine Peterson, Sean Reed, respectively). All students are placed in one of the Colleges at matriculation. Each College is divided into groups of six, with each group assigned a physician coach and a non-physician co-mentor, such as a nurse, pharmacist, basic scientist, or chaplain. The small groups meet weekly in the two years for their clinical skills course. Coaches meet with students individually four times a year to monitor and foster their clinical and professional development.

Students find community within their class year, within their College, with those who share medical interests, and within their small groups. A Big Sibling program provides an opportunity for upper-class students to advise and encourage more junior students. And, to ensure this all goes according to plan, there is a feedback loop of communication from the frontline coaches to the deans.

School of Medicine Field Day

Dividing the students into Colleges (or, as the students see it, “teams”) stirred their natural competitive spirit and they’ve gone into full Harry Potter mode. We used to have a simple Field Day competition during orientation. Now, all year long, the Colleges vie for the gift from the Class of 2015 — the College Cup — which they can win for their College by earning points via intramurals or academic challenges. They have College T-shirts, lanyards, and the Class of 2018 even knitted Harry Potter scarves for their Deans as a Match Day gift.

(l-r) Dr. Meg Keeley, Dr. Sean Reed, Dr. Christine Peterson, and Dr. John Densmore.

What started as an advising structure has evolved into a framework for several functions. Success with the learning-communities framework has allowed us to do other things, like pairing all medical students with a patient whom each student follows through several years of medical school. This is being done via the Patient Student Partnership program, which we posted about here.

Dr. Meg Keeley with Dr. Ron Arky, receiving the Learning Committee Institute’s Ron Arky Award.

For her hard work and continued efforts in developing learning communities, not only at the School of Medicine but across the country, Meg Keeley, MD, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs (Dunglison), Professor of Pediatrics, and Director of the Fourth Year Program, recently received The Ron Arky Award from the Learning Communities Institute (LCI). This award was created in honor of Dr. Arky, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Francis Peabody Society at Harvard Medical School, and is given to luminaries in the field “for significant contributions to the development of learning communities in medical education.”

Meg says, “The learning-community movement has really taken off. We know this because the LCME [Liaison Committee on Medical Education] now asks about it on their surveys!” This award was not only a huge honor for her, but extra special as during Dr. Arky’s internship he worked with her late grandfather, a general practitioner, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Small world, is it not?

The LCI has a student council within the institute. I am incredibly proud to share that, for three years in a row, a UVA student was elected to be the national co-chair of that student council; first Eve Privman (MSTP18), then Meredith Johnson (SMD19), and now Chris Kaperak (SMD20). (Also, of note: Former UVA medical student Kendall Brooks (SMD15), now a surgeon, designed the LCI logo.)

Wearing their College’s colors: Dunglison, Hunter, Pinn, and Reed students at Field Day.

We are frequently contacted by other schools and asked to present at national meetings about the development of our learning communities. How have we created, supported, and sustained these learning communities? Our framework is particularly unique as our students rotate through their clerkship year as a College which has extended the model of relationship-based learning into clinical training. Our peers are impressed with our success with this aspect and it sets us apart as a national model.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Keeley for her award and in accepting my gratitude to all faculty and staff who make the School of Medicine a learning community.

R.J. Canterbury, MD, MS, DLFAPA
Wilford W. Spradlin Professor
Senior Associate Dean for Education

2018 Endowed Chair Electees & Faculty Awards

Dr. Randy Canterbury, Senior Associate Dean for Education presents a Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching to Dr. Winston Gwathmey, Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Congratulations to the faculty listed below who were newly elected to these endowed chairs and who received these School of Medicine faculty awards. On Nov. 8, a ceremony and reception were held to celebrate these honors. Below are some photos from the event.

2018 Endowed Chair Electees

  • James D. Bergin, MD, Edward W. and Betty Knight Scripps Professor of Internal Medicine
    Department of Medicine
  • Leslie J. Blackhall, MD, Tussi and John Kluge Associate Professor of Palliative Medicine
    Department of Medicine
  • Irving L. Kron, MD, William H. Muller Professor of Surgery
    (former holder of the S. Hurt Watts Professorship in Surgery)
    Department of Surgery
  • Christine L. Lau, MD, George R. Minor Professor of General Thoracic Surgery
    Department of Surgery
  • Lawrence G. Lum, MD, Marion McNulty Weaver and Malvin C. Weaver Professor of Oncology
    Department of Medicine
  • Eugene D. McGahren, MD, Maurice L. LeBauer Professor of Surgery
    Department of Surgery
  • Imre Noth, MD, Dudley F. Rochester Professor of Medicine
    Department of Medicine
  • Josef Oberholzer, MD, Strickler Family Professor of Transplant Surgery
    Department of Surgery
  • Robert E. O’Connor, MD, Marcus L. Martin Distinguished Professor of Emergency Medicine
    Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Stephen S. Park, MD, G. Slaughter Fitz-Hugh Professor of Otolaryngology
    Department of Otolaryngology
  • Arturo P. Saavedra, MD, PhD, Kenneth E. Greer, M.D. Professor of Dermatology
    Department of Dermatology
  • James M. Scheiman, MD, David D. Stone Professor of Medicine
    Department of Medicine
  • Yun Michael Shim, MD, John L. Guerrant Associate Professor of Medicine
    Department of Medicine
  • Lukas K. Tamm, PhD, Andrew P. Somlyo Distinguished Professor of Molecular Physiology
    (former holder of the Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professorship in Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics)
    Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics
  • Kenneth Walsh, PhD, Lockhart B. McGuire Professor of Internal Medicine
    Department of Medicine
  • Mark Yeager, MD, PhD, Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics
    (former holder of the Andrew P. Somlyo Distinguished Professorship in Molecular Physiology)
    Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics
  • Martha A. Zeiger, MD, S. Hurt Watts Professor of Surgery
    Department of Surgery

2018 UVa School of Medicine Faculty Awards

Sharon L. Hostler Women in Medicine Leadership Award

  • Victoria F. Norwood, MD, Professor of Pediatrics

Robert J. Kadner Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching

  • Jeffrey S. Smith, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

  • Molly A. Hughes, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine

University of Virginia School of Medicine Master Clinician Award

  • Ted M. Burns, MD, Professor of Neurology
  • Francis H. Shen, MD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Medical Center Master Educator Award for Graduate Medical Education

  • Anne M. Mills, MD, Assistant Professor of Pathology
  • Worthington (Sandy) G. Schenk III, MD, Professor of Surgery

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

  • Vaia T. Abatzis, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
  • Barbie K. Ganser-Pornillos, PhD, Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics
  • F. Winston Gwathmey, MD, Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • David G. Moyer, DC, Assistant Professor of Medical Education
  • Amita Sudhir, MD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dean’s Award for Clinical Excellence

  • J. Nicholas Brenton, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology
  • Elizabeth M. Gaughan, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Timothy N. Showalter, MD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology
  • Siobhan M. Statuta, MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine
  • David B. Weiss, MD, Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and Team Science
Junior Faculty Award

  • James A. Platts-Mills, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine

Senior Faculty Award

  • Peter I. Lobo, MD, Professor of Medicine


David S. Wilkes, MD
Dean, UVA School of Medicine
James Carroll Flippin Professor of Medical Science

One of this year’s recipients of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Dr. David Moyer, Assistant Professor of Medical Education.

Dr. Marcia Childress, Associate Professor of Medical Education in Medical Humanities and Director for Programs in Humanities presents this year’s Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award to Dr. Molly Hughes, Associate Professor of Medicine.

Senior Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Peggy Shupnik, presents the Dean’s Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Research to Dr. Peter Lobo, Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Siobhan Statuta, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, received one of this year’s Dean’s Awards for Clinical Excellence.

Dr. Tim Bender, Chair of the Kadner Award Selection Committee, presents this year’s Robert J. Kadner Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching to Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics.

Dr. Barbie Ganser-Pornillos, Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, is one of this year’s recipients of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dean’s Award for Clinical Excellence recipient, Dr. Timothy Showalter, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, being congratulated by Dr. Susan Pollart, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development.

Dr. Victoria Norwood, Professor of Pediatrics, received this year’s Sharon L. Hostler Women in Medicine Leadership Award!

Photos: Mini-Med Graduates the Mini-Class of 2018

On Lab Night, Mini-Medical School participants receive their laboratory tour “Match Day” letters and await the moment where they find out if they have matched to their preferred laboratory for a tour.

I am continually in awe of the dedication and commitment of our faculty. I see it every day, across all mission areas, but the most recent example is the completion of another successful year of our Mini Medical School. This is an annual, free community program held for seven consecutive Wednesdays in September and October. Led by Program Director Dr. Sean Reed, with the help of Cathy Bowers, Colleen Kiernan, Daisy Hutcherson, and Elizabeth Graham, it’s taught by volunteer School of Medicine faculty and over 60 medical school students.

Mini-Med allows us to raise health literacy within our community. As Sean says, we can do some of this at the bedside but we can further our reach by engaging the population outside of the formal confines of a healthcare system.

A medical student volunteer demonstrates the cranial nerve exam on a willing Mini-Medical School participant.

Our work empowers participants in the program to be effective partners in receiving healthcare services. We do this by teaching them about the medical interview process and clinical reasoning — which gives them better insights and context into the healthcare process — but we also teach them real-life skills, like how to check blood pressure, assess the signs and symptoms of stroke, know the importance of nutrition, and how to understand the value of the healthcare they are receiving. It helps community members as individuals and has a halo effect of helping those around them at home, work, school, or church. We’re a public resource and, as such, Mini-Med is an opportunity to bring information to the public directly about important topics like new screening measures, MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) education, or new-to-market vaccines.

Mini-Med dedicates an entire evening to biomedical research. The classes are divided into small groups (done via a mock Match Day process, which is fun) and they each visit one of our labs. Here they learn about the connection between basic science and clinical research, and the medicine they ultimately may receive as a patient. For many of our participants, this is their first exposure to the continuum of how medicine is developed and delivered.

Naturally, no proper schooling would be complete without field trips. Participants can come early on some evenings to learn about our services through tours of facilities such as the Interventional Radiology suite, the Simulation Center and the rare books library collection. Just like our own medical students, participants are exposed to active learning techniques and small-group discussions, and are taught physical exam skills in the Clinical Skills Center.

This is a long-winded way of saying thank you. Thank you to our faculty. Thank you to our staff. Thank you to our students who recently helped graduate the MMS18 (Mini-Med School Class of 2018). The feedback we receive on this program is staggeringly positive. Without your efforts, this program would not be possible.

R.J. Canterbury, MD, MS, DLFAPA
Wilford W. Spradlin Professor
Senior Associate Dean for Education

During Pediatric Oncology Night at the UVA Children’s Hospital Battle Building, Mini-Medical School participants get a chance to practice extracting bone marrow from chicken bones. Participants also practiced pediatric lumbar punctures on models, and listened to presentations on pediatric cancer research.

Medical student volunteer Haley Podeschi, SMD19, demonstrates the cranial nerve exam on a Mini-Medical School participant, as others watch.

Medical student volunteer Franck Azobou-Tonleu, SMD19, teaches the bones of the skull to a participant group in the Learning Studio during Anatomy Night.

Medical student volunteer Daniel Akyeampong, SMD21, teaches the cranial nerve exam to Mini-Medical School participants during Anatomy Night.

A Mini-Medical School participant get an opportunity to handle a human brain during Lab Night in the Lukens Laboratory. This tour — one of 12 research tours provided —was given by John Lukens, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, whose research seeks to explore how the interaction between the immune and nervous systems will lead to improved understanding of complex neurological disorders in humans and will help to identify novel and promising therapeutic targets to treat Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), CNS injury, and autism.

On night one, medical student volunteers (in orange Tshirts) share their medical school experiences and get to know the participants while waiting for class to begin. Part of this evening involves a blood pressure skill training session conducted by the Medical Student Volunteers in small participants groups.

Participants celebrate the “Match Day” experience on Lab Night.

Dr. Sean Reed engages in an ethics discussion with Mini-Medical School participants and a medical student volunteer.

Part of the curriculum for this night, “Hepatitis C: A Case Study,” involved discussions abound the ethics of rationing healthcare. Here, UVA medical student volunteers (in orange T-shirts) facilitate small group discussions with Mini-Medical School participants at tables in the Claude Moore Medical Education Building Learning Studio.

Share Your Story of Community Engagement

The School of Medicine faculty have always been engaged with our community in meaningful ways. Through the Engaged UVA website, a product of the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Research, faculty can share information about their community outreach work. The website is a repository of stories of research and teaching in partnership with communities in pursuit of the public good.

It is important to note that, in this context, “community” is used broadly and can mean local to Charlottesville or refer to the other side of the world. The site has a fantastic mapping function, “Where We Work,” that is a powerful reminder of the University’s global reach. I’m eager to see how the maps fill out as faculty add their work to the site.

The criteria for including projects on the website are:

  • a UVA faculty member must be involved
  • a community partner must be involved
  • the initiative or project must run at least two semesters

Many School of Medicine faculty projects meet these criteria. I would love for the SOM to be well-represented in this showcase. Scrolling through the site today, I see Dr. Becca Dillingham and the Center for Global Health; Dr. David Burt and the UVA-Guatemala Initiative; Ruth Gaare Bernheim and the Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life; and Maurice Apprey and the “Impact of Civil Engagement.”

Visit to learn more. If your work meets the above guidelines, please reach out to Mary Allen at She will assist in gathering the requisite information.

Susan M. Pollart, MD, MS
Ruth E. Murdaugh Professor and Chair (interim) of Family Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development

3 Cavaliers Funds First Round of Projects

It was only a little over three months ago when we were discussing the launch of the new rapid seed-funding initiative, 3 Cavaliers. Developed by the Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR), 3 Cavaliers unites three faculty members around a new research idea and provides seed funding of $15,000 or $60,000. I am pleased to report that the first round of funding has been completed and the projects are intriguing.

There was faculty participation from all 11 of UVA’s schools, the library on the academic side, and the three pan-University institutes. Funding was provided by the Strategic Investment Fund to the VPR for this project, and by the participating institutes and schools, including the School of Medicine. Overall, 114 project ideas were submitted and $4,530,000 in seed funding was awarded to 77 of those submissions. Twenty of the projects are led by School of Medicine faculty (see below) and an additional 35 have SOM faculty as participants in projects led by other schools. Each one of those projects represents a trio of multi- and cross-disciplinary faculty excellence. This is an outstanding illustration of our faculty’s willingness and ability to collaborate on new ideas.

There will be a symposium (tentatively in December 2019) for faculty members to present these funded projects, and to discuss the outcomes and external funding obtained from this opportunity.

In addition to being a funding mechanism, 3 Cavaliers also maintains a faculty database ( which anyone can use to help find research collaborators at UVA. Bookmark the web page and use it as a resource.

Thank you to all faculty who participated. I look forward to seeing the results.

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

SOM-led projects and associated faculty

“Brain Mechanisms of Pain Fear Acquisition and Extinction in Humans”

  • Jeff Liu (Neurosurgery), Per Benjamin Sederberg (Psychology), Jeff Elias (Neurosurgery)

“Modeling cerebral reperfusion injury using photoacoustic microscopy and oxygen-sensing nanoparticles”

  • Yashar Kalani (Neurosurgery), Song Hu (Biomedical Engineering), Shayn Peirce-Cottler (Biomedical Engineering)

“Genetically-Encoded Norepinephrine Sensors”

  • Jun Zhu (Pharmacology), B. Jill Venton (Chemistry), Wendy Lynch (Psychiatry and Neurobehaviorial Sciences)

“Effects of perturbation of mRNA export pathways on neuron function”

  • Marie-Louise Hammarskjold (Microbiology), George S. Bloom (Biology), David Rekosh (Microbiology)

“Generation and characterization of a preclinical models to study DDX3X disorder”

  • Sanchita Bhatnagar (Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics), Michael Wormington (Biology), Howard P. Goodkin (Neurology)

“Building an in vitro Model for Neural Tube Defects”

  • Christine I. Thisse (Cell Biology), Raymond E. Keller (Biology), Xiaowei Lu (Cell Biology)

“Role of innate immunity in impaired neurodevelopment during zika virus infection”

  • Young S. Hahn (Microbiology), Kevin A. Janes (Biomedical Engineering), Chia-Yi Kuan (Neuroscience)

“Neuromuscular pedicle for improved functional outcome of novel muscle regeneration scaffolds”

  • Patrick S. Cottler (Pastic Surgery), Chris Highley (Biomedical Engineering), George Joseph Christ (Biomedical Engineering)

“Extracellular life style of an intracellular pathogen”

  • Herve F. Agaisse (Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics), Andreas Gahlmann (Chemistry), Huiwang Ai (Microbiology)

“Development of Smart Algorithm for Cardiac Device Discrimination of Arrhythmias to Deliver Personalized Therapy”

  • Nishaki Mehta (Medicine), Nikolaos D. Sidiropoulos (Electrical and Computer Engineering), James Michael Mangrum (Medicine)

“Determination of Cardiac Reserve in Heart Failure using Pulse Wave Velocity Analysis”

  • Sula Mazimba (Medicine), John A. Hossack (Biomedical Engineering), Andrew D. Mihalek (Medicine)

“Quantitative MRI of body fat and risk of cardiometabolic diseases”

  • Weibin Shi (Radiology), Xiwei Tang (Statistics), Jiang He (Radiology)

“An engineered probiotic for diabetic health”

  • Mark Kester (Pharmacology), Steven L. Zeichner (Pediatrics), Keith Kozminski (Biology)

“Development of antibiotic resistance ‘in the wild’”

  • Jason A. Papin (Biomedical Engineering), Lisa Colosi Peterson (Engineering), Peter M. Kasson (Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics)

“Small molecule inhibitors of the CXXC domain, an epigenetic reader of DNA methylation”

  • John H. Bushweller (Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics), Steven Richard Caliari (Chemical Engineering), Francine Evalina Garrett-Bakelman (Medicine)

“Genetic modification of dietary effects on nutrient distribution and metabolism”

  • Susanna R. Keller (Medicine), Sibylle Kranz (Kinesiology), Mete Civelek (Biomedical Engineering)

“Big data approaches for analyzing genomic intervals”

  • Nathan Sheffield (Public Health Sciences), Haiying Shen (Computer Science), Donald E. Brown (Systems and Information Engineering)

“Engineering Cell-adhesive Microparticle Systems to Enable in vitro Modeling of Mammalian Neural Development”

  • Bernard V. Thisse (Cell Biology), Kyle J. Lampe (Chemical Engineering), Rachel Letteri (Chemical Engineering)

“Predicting Functional Deficits after Volumetric Muscle Loss in the Lower Extremity”

  • David B. Weiss (Orthopaedic Surgery), Susan A. Saliba (Kinesiology), Silvia S. Blemker (Biomedical Engineering)

“Scalable Microfluidic Devices for Controlled Manufacturing of Micro-encapsulated Islets for Transplantation”

  • Melur Ramasubramanian (Engineering and Applied Sciences), Yong Wang (Surgery), Jose Oberholzer (Surgery)

Academy of Distinguished Educators Is Evolving

Dr. Neeral Shah will serve as the leader of the academy’s transition.

The Academy of Distinguished Educators (ADE) soon will be known by a new (yet-to-be decided) name and will serve educators and trainees by providing an environment for collaboration in educational innovations and a program of educator professional development with a goal of furthering excellence in biomedical education. In addition to the name change, the program itself is evolving.

To provide some historical perspective, the UVA School of Medicine (SOM) ADE was founded in 2003 at a time when medical education and medical educators suffered from a lack of recognition and support in the School. The original academy, among the first five established in US medical schools, served as a powerful vehicle for recognition of excellence and innovation in the education mission of the SOM. Beginning with the process of curriculum reform in 2008, faculty development in medical education made huge strides. With the hiring of Dr. Casey White as Associate Dean for Medical Education Research and Instruction, new avenues for educator development were established. These changes occurred in parallel with the work of the ADE which continued its practice of recognizing outstanding teachers and celebrating the work of teaching with ADE membership and the annual Medical Education week.

Now, 15 years later, the ADE has an opportunity to join more closely with the work of the Office of Educational Affairs (OEA). As with educator academies across the country, the SOM investment in the academy can be leveraged to serve and support the core mission of trainee education.

What’s New, What’s Different?
Membership in the new program will be inclusive and open to all SOM educators. Membership will require a commitment to participation in the organization’s learning opportunities and a commitment of service to the group and the SOM. Faculty will have the opportunity to receive recognition as “distinguished members” for significant and sustained accomplishments and contributions in medical education.

Aside from membership, here are some other areas of for participation:

Medical Education Research: The academy will continue to support research and innovation in medical, biomedical science, and public health education by supporting faculty-driven projects. These projects will be centered on specific needs of the SOM training programs and applications will be accepted in response to an annual Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP will focus on targeted areas in the educational programs of the SOM and applicants will be encouraged to work in teams.

Medical Education Week: Support and format of this successful program will not alter.

Educator Training: The educator professional development offered by the OEA will serve as the foundational training for all educators enrolled in the program. Offerings of the Center for Teaching Excellence will supplement SOM OEA educational offerings. New programs will be developed based on the recommendations of a new executive board.

Recognition/Celebration Events: There will be an annual event for recognition of new distinguished members, celebration of the accomplishments of the members, and the traditional invited lecture by a recognized educator.

Leadership:An executive board of educators from the School of Medicine will work with leaders from the Office of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development (OFAFD) on the transition from the ADE to the new educators’ program.

The new program is supported by the Mary M. and Charles H. Henderson MD Endowment for Faculty Excellence, which provides financial resources for us to recruit, retain, and support exceptional teaching faculty and to advance the curricular priorities of the School of Medicine.

I would like to thank Neeral Shah, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, who will serve as the leader of this transition, as of November 1. Special thanks to the outgoing chairs of the ADE steering committee, Christine Peterson, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Timothy Bender, PhD, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology. Additionally, thank you to the ADE Task Force members for providing valuable recommendations, and to the many faculty who participated in focus groups for their insights regarding the transition.

Susan M. Pollart, MD, MS
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development
Ruth E. Murdaugh Professor and Chair (interim) of Family Medicine

Highlights: October MAC Meeting

The School of Medicine’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) met on Oct. 9, 2018, 4-5 p.m., in the Medical Education Building’s Learning Studio. Here are highlights from that meeting:

Opening Comments
David S. Wilkes, MD
Dr. Wilkes announced that Dr. Li Li is the incoming chair of the Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Li, who comes to us from Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, has research interests in cancer, molecular/genetic epidemiology, and disease prevention. He will start January 1, 2019. Dr. Wilkes thanked Dr. Susan Pollart for serving as interim chair while she continued to carry out her responsibilities as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development. 

Dr. Jonathan Kipnis’ article, “The Seventh Sense,” regarding his discovery that the immune system is crucial to the brain’s functioning, was featured on the August 2018 cover of Scientific American. Dr. Kipnis received an ovation from his colleagues for being recognized with an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. 

StandPoint Survey
Susan M. Pollart, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development
At the end of the first week that the StandPoint Survey was open, the response rate was 20%, surpassing the AAMC week one average response of 16%. Dr. Pollart thanked the chairs for encouraging their faculty to participate. The survey will be open through November 9. 

Dr. Pollart stated that department chairs will have three institutional goals and one departmental aspirational goal as an outcome of the department annual reviews. One of the institutional goals is the chair’s encouragement of faculty participation in the survey and development of a robust action plan based on the survey results. 

Health System Board Update
A. Bobby Chhabra, MD Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr. Chhabra shared highlights from the September 2018 HSB meeting. The meeting was shortened considerably due to weather concerns, so the only topics to review were the year-end HS financials and results from the physician engagement survey. The results provide a baseline that will inform future surveys. 

Highlighting New Faculty
Anindya Dutta, PhD
Chair, Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics
Dr. Dutta provided an introduction to Hao Jiang, PhD, and Golam Mohi, PhD, both of whom are recent recruits in the area of cancer research. 

Dr. Jiang’s research interest is on the MLL complex in hematologic malignancies and differentiation. His research has shown that AKAP95 forming liquid condensates with appropriate dynamics is important for gene regulation and tumorigenesis. This offers an unconventional opportunity for cancer treatment by perturbing the material state of protein droplets. He comes from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. He brings to UVA an R01 and Scholar Awards from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society, and American Society of Hematology. 

Dr. Mohi’s research interests are in hematopoietic stem cell biology, cell signaling, and cancer, with a major focus on myeloproliferative neoplasms and breast cancer. He works on the JAK-STAT signal transducing pathway and on several tyrosing protein phosphatases important for these disorders. He comes from SUNY Upstate Medical University and brings an R01, two R21s, a Scholar Award from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and a Worldwide Cancer Research Award. 

Both recruits stated that the opportunity to collaborate with our outstanding faculty, particularly John Bushweller, PhD, and the multiple BMG faculty members interested in epigenetics and cancer was a factor in their decision to come to UVA. 

Highlighting New Faculty
James P. Nataro, MD, PhD, MBA
Chair, Pediatrics
In the last two years, Dr. Nataro recruited two physician-scientists into the Division of Hematology & Oncology to work with the core of excellent clinicians focused on patient care. Brian Belyea, MD, a member of the Child Health Research Center, is investigating cell type that lead to leukemia and works closely with Ariel Gomez, MD, and Maria Luisa Sequeira-Lopez, MD. The division was further enhanced with the recruitment of Daniel “Trey” Lee, MD, from the National Cancer Institute. He works with CAR T-cell therapy to battle treatment-resistant leukemia in children and also has been the first to use CAR T-cell therapy for pediatric brain cancer. 

Dr. Nataro has just recruited Michael Engel, MD, PhD, who will start November 1 as the division chief for Hematology & Oncology. His research focuses on the use of small molecules to repair the GFI1-LSD axis in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and he will have collaborations with Biochemistry. 

In 2016, Dr. Nataro recruited Sean Moore, MD, as a strategic hire into the Division of Gastroenterology & Nutrition. Dr. Moore’s major research interest is the influence of the intestinal microbiota in environmental enteropathy. His investigation into the use of intestinal organoids to understand diurnal variation in gut function is funded by the NIH, and he has Gates Foundation support to study gender differences in the response to under-nutrition. 

Sana Syed, MD, MS, was recruited from Harvard to join Dr. Moore’s research team. Dr. Syed very quickly acquired funding from the Gates Foundation, an NIH K award, and an iTHRIV award. Dr. Syed uses Big Data to understand the histopathologic features of environmental enteropathy among children in developing countries. She is a member of the Center for Global Health and holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. 

Patricio Ray, MD, is a strategic hire who joins the Division of Nephrology on November 1. Coming from Children’s National Health System, he brings five R01s to fund his work in HIV nephropathy. His group has developed new biomarkers and permeability assays to follow the outcome of HIV nephropathy, hemolytic uremic syndrome, and acute kidney injury in critically ill children or newborns with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. His interest in the unique susceptibility of African individuals to HIV nephropathy fits well with the focus of the Global Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Institute in Fairfax, where he will have a lab. 

Dr. Ray joins three other R01-funded pediatric nephrologists (R. Ariel Gomez, MD; Maria Luisa Sequeira-Lopez, MD; and Jennifer Charlton, MD) in the Child Health Research Center, making the center the largest pediatric nephrology research center in the world. 

The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 13, 2018, in the MEB Learning Studio.