Photos: BIMS Students Don Lab Coats for the First Time

The inaugural UVA Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) Lab Coat Ceremony was held on Feb. 8, 2019, in Sandridge Auditorium in McKim Hall. The event was attended by 32 first-year students moving to full-time bench research and the next phase of their graduate career. Seven Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) students who just completed their Step 1 exams, and will be transitioning to the lab, were also honored but unable to attend.

Speakers included Associate Dean of Graduate and Medical Scientist Programs Amy Bouton, PhD; Executive Director of the UVA Medical Alumni Association Barry Collins; Senior Associate Dean for Education Randolph Canterbury, MD; and Associate Professor, Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology David Kashatus, PhD. During the Presentation of Coats, each student received a personally embroidered lab coat as a gift from the UVA Medical Alumni Association.

To highlight the role of mentors in the BIMS program, faculty mentors coated their students and later joined students, along with their family and other guests, at the reception following the ceremony.

Below are photos from the event. Congrats to our BIMS students!

 

Connecting to the Waiting Patient: Solving a Supply Problem

The primary goal of the School of Medicine dean’s office is to make sure that our efforts enable the School’s tri-partite mission of education, research, and clinical care, and benefit the “waiting” patient. It is the patient who is waiting for a cure, the next generation of physicians, or an appointment with a physician who can deliver needed care.

The dean’s office employees are focused on improving administrative processes that support the faculty’s work. The Be Smart program creates a meaningful framework for us to utilize Lean methodology for process improvement, standard work, problem solving, and data-driven decision making. This allows us to be more efficient and put limited resources where they can best support our mission.

As our January example, below is a short video story about how a team’s decision to solve a problem in the ordering of the medical supplies in the Clinical Trials Office helped them feel better about the process and add precious moments to the patient needs in the clinical research units.

It’s exciting and inspiring to hear about the ways people have improved their processes, saved money, saved time, or otherwise contributed to our shared mission. What improvements have YOU made? I want to hear about them! Or, if you think you can improve something in your work, tell us about it. We want to hear, support you and celebrate it with you.

Thanks for listening! I’ll continue to share more stories with you.

Katherine L. Peck, MBA
Chief Operating Officer

Next Capital Campaign Is Off to a Great Start

Researchers, educators, clinicians, and students all benefit from philanthropic support.

At the October General Faculty Meeting, Karen Rendleman, Senior Associate Vice President for Health System Development and Executive Director of the UVA Health Foundation,shared that the next capital campaign, Honor the Future: The Campaign for the University of Virginia, is off to a great start. This campaign will officially launch in October 2019, but has been tallying gifts since the end of the last campaign four years ago. The overarching goal is to raise $5 billion by 2025, which will allow the University to bolster strategic objectives in service of the greater good.

The Health System’s portion of Honor the Future is called The Campaign for Health and has a $1 billion goal to support initiatives in patient care, research, and medical and nursing education across the Health System. While we’re still in the silent phase of the campaign, it’s impressive to know that $337 million in gifts, pledges, and philanthropic grants have come to the School of Medicine, Medical Center, and School of Nursing. This includes $72M in future support, which are bequest intentions or other planned gifts that will be realized in the future.

Also included in the new gifts are $114M in private philanthropic grants, which are investigator-initiated and are counted in the campaign totals as is standard industry practice.

What does this mean for our mission? Philanthropic support seeds novel projects, supports clinical trials, and helps advance research at all stages. We are able to attract and retain the best faculty and researchers through professorships and other endowments. Our students benefit from lower debt through scholarship support. And our patients thrive from initiatives that enhance the patient experience. The gifts and pledges of future support touch areas such as Cancer ($41M), Children’s Hospital ($19M), or Neurosciences/Neurology (nearly $15M), and extend across the entire Health System. Our benefactors give both outright expendable gifts and endowed gifts. More than $60M in endowed gifts have come in so far. These endowments support not only professorships, scholarships and fellowships, but also groundbreaking research.

It is important to remember that most of the dollars that come in via philanthropy are restricted and designated for a particular use. Donors give for a specific reason or to a particular cause. We appreciate any amount, and in any way, we receive support. As part of the campaign planning effort, we are working closely with Karen and her team on defining our School of Medicine priorities and goals around both restricted and unrestricted funds.

Who Gives? And Why?
To date, 30,051 donors have supported the School of Medicine and the Medical Center. Their particular reasons for giving are as singular as the individuals themselves, but the common theme is you.

Grateful patients give back in honor of the exemplary care they received at UVA; alumni give back to support an institution that prepared them for their careers; and friends, community members, and other University alumni see the exciting work we’re doing and want to be a part of it. All of our donors see a need and want to help. They are inspired by the skill, dedication, and compassion of our faculty and staff across the entire Health System. Here’s a breakdown of who has given so far:

  • 8,028 University alumni ($51.9M)
  • 112 family foundations ($9.6M)
  • 70 estates ($29.8M)
  • 19,519 friends ($52.9M)
  • 2,322 parents ($10.2M)
  • 2,534 corporations, foundations, and other organizations ($147.3M)

That’s a lot of numbers. Here are a couple of examples that illustrate philanthropy’s impact.

  • School of Medicine alumnus Allen Hogge and his wife, Joan, took advantage of the University’s Bicentennial Scholarship matching program to endow a scholarship. The Hogges both benefitted from scholarship support when they were in college and wanted to help the University recruit the best students. This type of private support is critical to reducing our students’ debt.
  • Family foundations, like the Ivy Foundation and the Manning Family Foundation, accelerate research discovery across the Health System. These two foundations alone provide more than $750,000 in annual support for research projects.

Thank you to our faculty and staff who make this important work possible. These gifts reflect your exceptional efforts and your partnership with our Development team. Special thanks to Karen and her team for helping us fund our missions.

If you have questions about philanthropy, or how you can help, please contact Anne Watkins, Assistant Vice President & Chief Development Officer, School of Medicine.

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

Looking for Ways to Improve Your NIH Grant Submission Success?

 

A new webinar series of six 90-minute, live classes to assist investigators in preparing and submitting a successful National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant proposal will be available in February and March. Thereafter it will be available as on-demand offerings for the next year. ResearchNet and iTHRIV (integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia) will be reserving rooms for group viewing of the live sessions.

Sessions will cover developing proposals, crafting robust specific aims, writing a strong research strategy section, preparing budget and other administrative components, responding to reviews, and learning about transitions and renewals. With this training, our researchers will be better prepared for success in securing competitive NIH grant funding.

As a joint training opportunity provided by iTHRIV and ResearchNet, these sessions are free to individual researchers. Going forward, we will gather metrics about participation to help inform planning future training opportunities.

Sessions will be led by M.S. (Peg) AtKisson, PhD, a highly acclaimed public speaker with a track record of helping faculty improve their competitiveness for funding and proposal development expert. A contract grant writer, she has worked with a many universities and health systems and has had success in helping a number of them secure Clinical Translational Science Awards.

Space is limited. Click here for details about the sessions. To register contact Becca Latimer, PhD (rtl6m@virginia.edu). If you have questions about the series, please contact Dr. Latimer or Sandra Burks (sgb2c@virginia.edu)

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

Highlights: December MAC Meeting

The School of Medicine’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) met on Dec. 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
Dean

Drs. DeSimone, Minor, and Tamm: Newly elected AAAS Fellows.

Dean Wilkes gave enthusiastic congratulations to Drs. James Nataro, Douglas DeSimone, Wladek Minor, and Lukas Tamm. The Latin American Congress of Microbiology held a special symposium in honor of Dr. Nataro for his work battling infectious diseases, such as E. coli and Shigella, in Latin America. Drs. DeSimone, Minor, and Tamm were elected as Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Each year the AAAS elects members whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.” 

December Health System Board Update
A. Bobby Chhabra, MD
Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr. Chhabra reviewed the Health System’s FY19 Scorecard and provided a summary of the FY19 first quarter financial report. 

The Health System Development (HSD) report showed that $67.7 million was brought in, exceeding the goal of $62 million. The grants and gifts include $17.6 million in investigator-initiated philanthropic grants, some of which were the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation ($9.4 million — Houpt, Moore, Petri, Nataro), the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation ($450,000 — Rutkowski), and the American Heart Association ($706,511 — Bilchick, Sun, McNamara). HSD is well on its way toward its FY19 goal of $100 million, with commitments that include $7.74 million for cancer research pilot projects, $1.62 million for clinical trials space, $1.25 million for biomedical research, and $2 million for a neurology fellowship and a general medicine professorship. 

Getting Ready for Workday
Julie Bird
UFirst Change Management Co-Lead
Ms. Bird reviewed key dates related to the January 7, 2019, launch of Workday, UVA’s new, cloud-based human resource and payroll system. Duo and the latest version of Internet Explorer or Google Chrome are required to access Workday. 

  • SOM monthly payrolls will be paid from the legacy system on December 31 and from Workday on February 1. 
  • SOM bi-weekly payrolls will be paid from the legacy system on December 28 and from Workday on January 11.
  • January 4 is the last day for time/absence entry and approval for the 12/14/18-1/6/19 time period. Those working that weekend will estimate their time for January 5 and 6 and, if necessary, make a correction the following time period.
  • W-2s for 2018 will be available through the legacy system.

If you have questions: 

Please see the Workday website, workday.hr.virginia.edu. 

Highlighting New Faculty
Jonathan Kipnis, PhD
Chair of Neuroscience
Dr. Chia-Yi (Alex) Kuan, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, received his MD from National Taiwan University (1989) and his PhD from Yale (1997). He is currently PI on three R01s and one R21. Dr. Kuan’s research interests are neonatal brain injury, stroke, and brain energetics. 

Dr. Ukpong Eyo, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, received his PhD (2012) from the University of Iowa. He did his postdoctoral research at Rutgers University and the Mayo Clinic, investigating microglial-neuronal physical interactions especially in the hyperactive brain using real-time two photon imaging. He has published numerous articles, including eleven as first author. His research is concentrated on the role of microglia in epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders. 

The next meeting will be Tuesday, January 8, 2018, in the BIMS Classroom.

Connecting to the Waiting Patient: Summer Research Internship Program Benefits from an A3 Workout

 

Every summer, the University of Virginia School of Medicine (SOM) welcomes a group of 30-35 enthusiastic undergraduate students from across the country to participate in our Summer Research Internship Program (SRIP). Over the course of the 10-week program, the selected trainees benefit from an immersive research experience mentored by a member of the program faculty, participate in a professional development series, and attend communication workshops.

The SRIP receives over 400 applications for these coveted positions each year. Trainee selections are made based on academic performance, personal statements, and letters of recommendation. Previously, students would apply online and provide personal statements, while their paper transcripts would arrive through the mail and letters of recommendation would arrive via email. Then began the painstaking process of scanning the paper transcripts and matching each individual’s application with the correct transcript and letters of recommendation — over 400 times! This process consumed weeksof nearly fulltime effort by the program coordinator to compile the application packets, causing the program to miss out on many strong applicants because offers went out later than competing programs.

There had to be a better way to collect and process these applications.

2017 SRIP class

Streamlining and Automating the Process
In May, the Program Director, Dr. Janet V. Cross, Assistant Dean for Graduate Research and Training, and the Summer Program Coordinator, Ms. Marya Johnson, undertook A3 problem-solving efforts. They formed a team that analyzed the current state of the process and identified opportunities to eliminate waste. As the team designed the future state, they saw an opportunity to leverage an existing resource. The prior year, the Biomedical Science (BIMS) Graduate Programs application had transitioned to the electronic platform, Slate. Recognizing the adaptability of Slate, the team worked with the Central Admission and Enterprise Application Admission teams to devise a complete application that will collect all the required information from the students as well as those providing recommendation letters, all through a secure, electronic platform.

The new-and-improved SRIP application went live on Sept. 1. A final assessment of the success of this Lean project must await the conclusion of the current admissions cycle in early spring. However, it is already clear that the new application platform will liberate weeks of work for Ms. Johnson and Dr. Cross, allowing them to focus on making offers earlier, attracting the best trainees to join our research teams, and developing educational programming for the participants. They anticipate that the streamlined process will also simplify the workload for potential applicants and improve the review process for the SOM faculty and BIMS students who participate in the admissions committee, allowing them to return to their research activities sooner. Overall, these improvements will enable us to continue educating the best and brightest students and setting them on the path toward contributing to the breakthrough discoveries of the future. Given that over 50 percent of our SRIP alumni go on to pursue PhDs, MDs, or combined degrees, the impact has the potential to be significant!

We thank Dr. Cross and Ms. Johnson for identifying the problem and undertaking the process improvement review, which led to such an elegant solution. We also thank Tracy Pettit and the members of her Central Admission team (Jacki Haney, Emillie Cobarrubias, and Alyssa Sellick) and the Enterprise Application Admission team (Briana Reid, Kristen Stanley and Jennifer Meyer) who worked with them to develop and ultimately build the new SRIP application. Finally, we thank the students, faculty, staff who support the SRIP in so many ways and allow us to provide a terrific experience for the trainees who are chosen to participate each summer.

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

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

Connecting to the Waiting Patient: Improving Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Interviewing Processes

MSTP students at the 2015 White Coat Ceremony.

The primary goal of the School of Medicine dean’s office is to make sure that our efforts enable the School’s tri-partite mission of education, research, and clinical care, and benefit the “waiting” patient. It is the patient who is waiting for a cure, the next generation of physicians, or an appointment with a physician who can deliver needed care.

The dean’s office employees are focused on improving administrative processes that support the faculty’s work. The Be Smart program creates a meaningful framework for us to utilize Lean methodology for process improvement, standard work, problem solving, and data-driven decision making. This allows us to be more efficient and put limited resources where they can best support our mission.

As an example, here’s a story about how improvements in our Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) interviewing processes help faculty decrease administrative burden.

Thanks for listening! I’ll continue to share more stories with you in the coming months.

Katherine L. Peck, MBA
Chief Operating Officer

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.

What Is the PhD+ Dual-Degree Program?

Being in close proximity to the other University of Virginia schools has benefits, the most recent being our new partnership with the McIntire School of Commerce to create the “Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) PhD+ Dual Degree Program.” It will provide a platform in which BIMS doctoral students can pursue a sequential BIMS PhD followed by an MS in Commerce.

This is a three-year pilot program in which BIMS doctoral students will gain scientific knowledge, skills, training, and credentials to become leaders in academia, biomedical research, industry, healthcare/science policy, and education. In addition, the MS portion of the degree will allow them to gain expertise in commercialization, entrepreneurship, management, and leadership in the biomedical arena.

While the exceptional scientific training that students acquire while 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 aspire to careers in pharma, biotech, commercialization, and policy. Given that approximately 60 percent of biomedical PhD graduates will not go into academic research, this program will differentiate UVA by providing expanded career opportunities to our students.

After earning a PhD in Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cell Biology, Experimental Pathology, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, or Physiology, students will spend 10 months (August to June) completing coursework and a Global Immersion Experience for the MS at the world-class McIntire School of Commerce. They will focus on one of three tracks: Business Analytics, Finance, or Marketing and Management. There will also be a three-week international experience where students will join McIntire faculty members visiting international sites, examining different companies and types of businesses.

We’ll be enrolling students in 2019, 2020, and 2021, with support for up to two students a year. After this first cohort is completed, we will have data on the pilot’s success (how valuable was the training, how useful was it to get into desired positions early in their careers, etc.) and I hope that we will have sustained support to make this a full-fledged component of our graduate program.

I love that we can take advantage of the strengths of the University of Virginia to provide our students with additional training and credentials to facilitate their career development. This is the first of many potential cross-Grounds partnerships. Stay tuned for news of collaborations with the Data Sciences Institute and with the Curry School of Education.

Thank you to all who worked so hard to move this program from dream to reality.

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