Message from Christopher R. McCartney MD, Endocrinology and Metabolism Interim Division Chief
The endocrine division continued to face several challenges in 2022—primarily related to reduced clinician capacity—although we’re happy to report a number of recent hires. We’re also approaching the conclusion of a national search for a permanent division chief: the candidates we’ve hosted have been extraordinary, and I’m highly optimistic that our next chief will be an outstanding addition to our division. (As a group, our divisional faculty, staff, etc., have been exceptionally supportive of me as interim division chief, and they’ll have my unremitting gratitude.) The past year has also been marked by early-/mid-career faculty success with milestone grant funding (e.g., three career-development awards, a first R01). As with last year, I employ this edition of Medicine Matters to honor my fellow division members, who have significantly contributed to our various missions. My very best wishes for a happy and healthy 2023!
~ Christopher R. McCartney, MD, Interim Division Chief
2022 Updates on Faculty Activities
Samina Afreen, MD, is our newest faculty member, joining us in September 2022. Dr. Afreen graduated from Calcutta Medical College of Medicine (India) in 2009. She completed her internship and residency at Howard University and her endocrinology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. From 2019 to 2022, she worked as an endocrinologist at the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Health, Allegheny Clinic, in Erie, PA; she was also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Drexel College of Medicine. Dr. Afreen is a general endocrinologist with a special interest in metabolic bone disease, obesity, and diabetes technology. She is certified by both ABIM and the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Dr. Afreen is a member of the Obesity Medicine Association’s Adult Obesity Algorithm Committee, CME Overview Committee, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology’s Diabetes, Cardiometabolic, and Lipid Disease State Network Committee.
Eugene Barrett, MD, PhD, retired at the end of November 2022 after a long and remarkably productive career. Our tribute to Dr. Barrett can be found elsewhere in this newsletter.
Ananda Basu, MD, is a clinician-investigator and diabetologist who co-directs the Integrated Carbohydrate Physiology and Translation Laboratory. His areas of research interest include automated insulin delivery systems, glucagon kinetics, etc. Dr. Basu’s 2022 research was funded by R01 DK085516 (A Basu PI – “Integrated Approaches to Close the Loop in Type 1 Diabetes”). He also served as an essential Co-Investigator for two R01s and several industry-sponsored trials. Dr. Basu had at least six peer-reviewed publications in 2022. He also served on the DSMB for the RADIANT study (NIH/NIDDK) and delivered a presentation at the International Diabetes Summit (Chellaram Diabetes Institute, Pune, India). Dr. Basu now directs our newly renewed T32 grant (“Research Training in Neuroendocrinology and Metabolism”).
Rita Basu, MD, is a clinical researcher who co-directs the Integrated Carbohydrate Physiology and Translation Laboratory. Her areas of research interest include the pathophysiology of diabetes and insulin resistance, liver cortisol metabolism and its role in metabolic syndrome and NASH, etc. Dr. Basu’s 2022 research funding included NIH R01 DK29953 (R Basu PI – “Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance in Man”) and several industry-supported studies, and she was an essential Co-Investigator on additional NIH grants (e.g., R01 DK85516, DP3 DK106785). Dr. Basu had at least eight peer-reviewed publications in 2022. Dr. Basu continues to serve as Chair for UVA’s IRB-Health Sciences Research and Clinical Education Director for UVA’s Center for Diabetes Technology. She was also a member of the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation Endocrinology NAFLD/NASH Steering Committee and a member of the guideline development panel for the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology’s clinical practice guideline related to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Sue Brown, MD, is a clinical trialist whose work primarily relates to automated insulin delivery (artificial pancreas) systems. Dr. Brown’s 2022 research was supported by R01 DK085623 (Brown Co-PI – “Bio-behavioral Human Machine Co-Adaptation of the Artificial Pancreas”), R01 DK129553 (Brown Co-PI – “Advanced Artificial Pancreas Systems to Enable Fully Automated Glycemic Control in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus”), R01 DK133148 (Brown Co-PI – “Adaptive Motif-Based Control (AMBC): A Fundamentally New Approach to Automated Treatment Optimization for Type 1 Diabetes), several industry grants, and two institutional grants. Dr. Brown published at least eleven papers in 2022, including an invited editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine. Clinically, Dr. Brown is a general endocrinologist interested in metabolic bone disease and diabetes. In 2022, Dr. Brown was honored with a Patient Experience Award for the third year in a row. Dr. Brown is also a core faculty member of our fellowship program and received a 2022 DOM Award for Excellence in Mentorship. As described in this newsletter, Dr. Brown became the division’s Gerald D. Aurbach Professor of Endocrinology in 2022.
Robert Carey, MD, is the University of Virginia School of Medicine Dean Emeritus and a former President of the Endocrine Society. Dr. Carey’s 2022 research was primarily supported by NIH R01 HL128189 (Carey PI – “Renal AT2 receptors in hypertension”), and he is a Project Director for NIH R01 HL155834 (Turcu PI – “Primary aldosteronism subtypes: pathophysiology and steroid signature”). In 2022, Dr. Carey published at least seventeen peer-reviewed manuscripts; he delivered numerous external talks; and he fulfilled multiple professional roles (e.g., Co-Chair of the Endocrine Society’s Scientific Statements Subcommittee; member of the American Heart Association’s Commission of the Hypertension Specialists and Clinicians Study Guides Planning Committee; etc.). In 2022, Dr. Carey began service as the Co-Chair for the Endocrine Society’s clinical practice guideline related to primary aldosteronism.
Margaret Crook, MD, is a general endocrinologist interested in metabolic bone disease and calcium disorders. She co-founded Blue Ridge Endocrinology in 2010 but has practiced at the University of Virginia Endocrinology in the Charlottesville Pantops area since 2015. Our fellows highly value their rotations in her clinic, and Dr. Crook is a community referral favorite. Her patient survey results are outstanding, and Dr. Crook was honored with a 2022 Patient Experience Award. Dr. Crook is particularly interested in metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis, and she recently provided an expert perspective on abaloparatide for the Endocrine Today publication. In addition, Dr. Crook was interviewed for a 2022 Runner’s World magazine article related to thyroid disease in runners. (Runner’s World is a national/international running magazine with a print readership of approximately 1.5 million/month!)
Silas Culver, MD, is a recent iTHRIV scholar graduate pursuing basic science research related to obesity-associated kidney dysfunction and renal lipotoxicity; and the role of the (pro)renin receptor in obesity-associated hypertension, aging, and cellular senescence. Of great importance, Dr. Culver was recently awarded an NIH K08 career-development grant (project entitled “Role of Atp6ap2 in renal proximal tubule lipotoxicity”). Clinically, Dr. Culver is a general endocrinologist interested in adrenal disease, endocrine hypertension, and obesity. In addition to staffing inpatient consults and seeing outpatients at our main endocrinology clinic, Dr. Culver served the division (and Virginians) by staffing clinics in Fishersville. And in 2022, Dr. Culver was Co-System Leader for the NexGen Endocrine-Reproduction System (Pre-Clerkship) block for second-year medical students.
Alan Dalkin, MD, is a general endocrinologist with a particular interest in metabolic bone disease and calcium disorders. In addition to seeing outpatients in Charlottesville, Dr. Dalkin served the division (and Virginians) by staffing clinics in Fishersville. In 2022, Dr. Dalkin was honored with a Patient Experience Award for the fourth year in a row. Dr. Dalkin is the Department of Medicine Vice Chair and Director of Ambulatory Clinical Operations. He is one of three Associate Chief Medical Officers for Ambulatory Services at UVA Health. Dr. Dalkin is a member of the Endocrine Society’s In-Training Exam Steering Committee. He was featured in a 2022 Endocrine Society podcast on “Care Gaps in Primary Hyperparathyroidism.”
Christine Eagleson, MD, is a general endocrinologist who has made exceedingly valuable contributions to the division’s clinical mission, including our regional outreach. In addition to seeing patients in our main endocrinology clinic, she served the division (and Virginians) by staffing clinics in both Culpeper and Crozet. Dr. Eagleson is also the primary adult endocrinologist member for UVA Health’s Gender Health program, thus contributing to a critically-important institutional mission. These activities highlight Dr. Eagleson’s unending devotion to the underserved. Dr. Eagleson continues to function as a highly-valued preceptor for the fellows’ continuity clinic and serves on our Clinical Competency and Program Effectiveness Committees.
Leon Farhy, PhD, is a biomathematician whose primary role relates to research. In 2022, Dr. Farhy’s work was supported by UVA Strategic Investment Funding (PrIMeD) (Farhy PI – “The Biochip project”), and he obtained a two-year, $600K JDRF grant entitled “Improving prediction of T1D risk by establishing a self-administered CGM-based technology and whole genome-based polygenic risk scores in diverse populations.” In addition, Dr. Farhy served as an essential Co-Investigator for additional grants, including R01 DK085516, a Helmsley Charitable Trust grant, a UVA Strategic Investment grant, and at least one industry-funded project. Dr. Farhy published at least two peer-reviewed manuscripts and at least two scientific abstracts in 2022. Dr. Farhy continued to serve as the Associate Director of Education for UVA’s Center for Diabetes Technology and participated in a TrialNet Steering Committee Meeting in May 2022.
Heather Ferris, MD, PhD, is an early/mid-career basic scientist whose areas of interest relate to brain insulin and IGF-1 action and interactions among diabetes, cholesterol, and Alzheimer’s disease. Her 2022 research was supported by a large foundation grant (Ferris PI – “Discover novel binding partners of 7-ketocholesterol using clickable cholesterol probes”), an NIH R03 AG070428 (Ferris PI – “The brain cholesterol interactome”), and charitable giving. She also served as a Co-Investigator for two NIH R01 grants. Significantly, Dr. Ferris’s first NIH R01 grant (Ferris PI – “Mevalonate Pathway Regulation of Astrocyte ApoE”) was funded in 2022, in addition to a new NIH R56 grant (Ferris PI – “Cholesterol Metabolites as Regulators of Nicastrin”). Dr. Ferris also served as a member of the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Membership Advisory Committee and is an advisor for the ADA’s Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Interest Group. Clinically, Dr. Ferris is a general endocrinologist with a particular interest in diabetes, especially in older patients. She serves the division as our Endocrinology Grand Rounds Course Director.
Daniel Haisenleder, PhD, is a reproductive neuroendocrinologist with a long history of crucial basic-science research related to regulating gonadotropin synthesis. Dr. Haisenleder is the Director of the Ligand Assay and Analysis Core Laboratory in the Center for Research in Reproduction, a busy research laboratory supported by NIH R24 HD102061. This role includes the development and refinement of hormone assays. Dr. Haisenleder is a co-author of an in-press manuscript validating a multiple-marker test for early pregnancy outcome prediction. Dr. Haisenleder was also a co-author of the 2022 publication of FIT-PLESE, a large multicenter randomized trial to compare the effects of two preconception lifestyle interventions in infertile women with obesity. Dr. Haisenleder continues to serve as a UVA Animal Care and Use Committee member and an External Advisory Board Member for the Wisconsin National Primate Center.
Gregory Hong, MD, PhD, is a general endocrinologist interested in neuroendocrinology and pituitary disease: he is an integral part of our multidisciplinary pituitary program. In addition to being a highly skilled clinician, Dr. Hong is an outstanding educator and continues to do an exceptional job as our fellowship program director. Dr. Hong serves as one of five preceptors in our endocrinology fellows’ continuity clinic, and he Chairs our Clinical Competency and Program Effectiveness Committees. In 2022, Dr. Hong became a governing Council member for the Association of Program Directors in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism (APDEM) and became a member of the Endocrine Society’s Clinical Endocrine Education Committee. In addition, Dr. Hong continues to be a leader for the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology’s Self-Assessment Program.
William (Ben) Horton, MD, is a recent iTHRIV scholar graduate pursuing clinical research to investigate the effects of acute hyperglycemia on skeletal and cardiac muscle microvasculature. In 2022, Dr. Horton received research support from two UVA Launchpad for Diabetes grants; and published at least six peer-reviewed manuscripts. Of great importance, Dr. Horton was awarded an American Heart Association career-development grant (project entitled “A Comprehensive Approach to Reducing Glycemic Variability and Improving Cardiovascular Health in Type 1 Diabetes”) and a large JDRF (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) grant entitled “Therapeutic Strategies for Microvascular Dysfunction in Type 1 Diabetes.” Dr. Horton was awarded a 2022 DOM Excellence in Research Award. Also, in 2022, Dr. Horton served on national committees and grant review boards (described elsewhere in this newsletter). Clinically, Dr. Horton is a general endocrinologist with a special interest in diabetes. In addition to staffing inpatient consults, Dr. Horton served the division (and Virginians) by staffing clinics in Zions Crossroads.
Susanna Keller, MD, is a basic research scientist whose areas of research interest include insulin signaling, regulation of metabolism/energy homeostasis, insulin-regulated membrane trafficking, and nutrigenomics. In 2022, Dr. Keller was Co-PI for a UVA Engineering in Medicine Seed Award (“Nutrigenomics for Precision Health”), and she was an essential Co-Investigator on several grants (NIH R01 HL135018; NIH R01 DK118287; NIH R01 HL155165; NIH R01 HL128189; American Diabetes Association 1-19-IBS-105 Research Award; and Commonwealth Health Research Board award CHRB 207-06-22). Dr. Keller published three peer-reviewed manuscripts in 2022. Dr. Keller continued to serve as a UVA Animal Care and Use Committee member and was a valuable contributor to several SOM educational efforts.
Su Hee Kim, MD, is a clinical researcher supported by a K23 career-development grant (project entitled “Pathophysiology and therapeutic strategy for late reproductive-aged women with PCOS”). In 2022, Dr. Kim published a scientific manuscript entitled “Acute progesterone feedback on gonadotropin secretion is not demonstrably altered in estradiol-pretreated women with polycystic ovary syndrome.” Dr. Kim is pursuing a Master of Clinical Research, and in 2022 she spearheaded two important assessments of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database (both projects were presented at the 2022 Endocrine Society meeting). Clinically, Dr. Kim is a general endocrinologist with a particular interest in polycystic ovary syndrome. In addition to staffing inpatient consults and seeing outpatients in a PCOS-focused clinic in Charlottesville, Dr. Kim served the division (and Virginians) by staffing clinics in Fishersville.
Jennifer Kirby, MD, PhD, is a general endocrinologist interested in diabetes and obesity. In addition to staffing inpatient consults and seeing outpatients at our main endocrinology clinic, Dr. Kirby served the division (and Virginians) by staffing clinics in Fishersville. Fittingly, in 2022, Dr. Kirby was honored with a Patient Experience Award for the fourth year in a row, and she received a 2022 Dean’s Clinical Excellence Award. Dr. Kirby is our division’s Associate Chief for Clinical Affairs, the Medical Lead for our Endocrinology and Metabolism clinic, the Director of our Cardiovascular Diabetes Consult Service, and the Co-Medical Lead for Inpatient Glycemic Management. These activities and awards highlight Dr. Kirby’s clinical and leadership skills and sempiternal devotion to her patients and colleagues. Dr. Kirby is also an outstanding educator and mentor.
Susan Kirk, MD, is a general endocrinologist interested in endocrine disorders in pregnancy and transgender medicine. She has been a strong and effective advocate for gender-diverse patients at UVA and a key leader in the continued development of the Gender Health Program at UVA. Dr. Kirk has been our Designated Institutional Official and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education since 2006, and she was Chair of the ACGME’s Institutional Review Committee from 2017 to 2020. In recognition of her outstanding work, Dr. Kirk received the 2022 ACGME Parker J. Palmer Courage to Lead Award and the 2022 SOM David A. Harrison Distinguished Educator Award. Dr. Kirk was also the 2021-2022 Chair of the University of Virginia Faculty Senate.
Zhenqi Liu, MD, is a clinician-investigator whose primary interests relate to the regulation of insulin action in the vasculature and the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. Dr. Liu’s 2022 research was supported by R01 DK125330 (PI Liu – “Effects of Exercise and GLP-1R Agonism on Muscle Microvascular Perfusion and Insulin Action”) and R01 DK124344 (Co-PI Liu – “Role of Microvascular Insulin Resistance and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Diabetes”). Dr. Liu was an essential Co-Investigator for four additional R01s (HL142250, HL130296, DK116768, HL129510). In 2022, Dr. Liu published at least five peer-reviewed manuscripts; he served on the Endocrine Society and American Diabetes Association committees (described elsewhere in this newsletter) and as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Endocrine Society. Clinically, Dr. Liu is a general endocrinologist with a particular interest in diabetes and thyroid disease.
Kaitlin Love, MD, is a recent iTHRIV scholar graduate pursuing clinical research on micro- and macrovascular insulin resistance in type 1 diabetes and response to GLP-1-receptor agonism and exercise treatment. Of great importance, Dr. Love was recently awarded an NIH K23 career-development grant (project entitled “Therapeutic Strategies for Microvascular Dysfunction in Type 1 Diabetes”). She is also an essential Co-Investigator for NIH grants R01 DK124344 and R01 DK129510. In 2022, Dr. Love published at least five peer-reviewed manuscripts and delivered an outstanding talk (“Work Up of Thyroid Nodules”) at the Recent Advances in Clinical Medicine conference. Clinically, Dr. Love is a general endocrinologist with a particular interest in diabetes, and she is newly certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
Ralf Nass, MD, is a general endocrinologist who has made exceedingly valuable contributions to the division’s clinical mission, including our regional outreach. In addition to seeing patients in our main endocrinology clinic, he served the division (and Virginians) by staffing clinics in Culpeper. He also contributed significantly to our Cardiovascular Diabetes Consult Service consult efforts. Dr. Nass has also been an exceptional divisional citizen, routinely volunteering to cover unanticipated clinical needs. In 2022, Dr. Nass performed research in partnership with the Center for Diabetes Technology; he published two research manuscripts and a chapter for Yen and Jaffe’s Reproductive Endocrinology (widely considered the premier reproductive endocrinology textbook).
Helmy Siragy, MD, is a clinician-scientist whose primary interests relate to the endocrine/paracrine control of blood pressure and renal function. His 2022 research was supported by NIH R01 HL091535 (Siragy PI – “Prorenin Receptor Mediates Early Changes in Diabetic Kidney”) and NIH R01 DK114875 (Siragy PI – “(Pro)renin receptor mediates obesity-induced hypertension”). In 2022, Dr. Siragy published at least six peer-reviewed manuscripts and fulfilled numerous national professional roles (described in this newsletter). Clinically, Dr. Siragy is a general endocrinologist with a particular interest in adrenal disease and endocrine hypertension; in addition to staffing inpatient consults, he served the division (and Virginians) by staffing clinics in Zions Crossroads. Dr. Siragy adeptly organizes the division’s Research in Progress conference.
Meaghan Stumpf, MD, is a general endocrinologist interested in diabetes and transplant endocrinology. Indeed, Dr. Stumpf is the Director of our Transplant Endocrinology Program, which involves strong partnerships with the solid abdominal transplant group. In 2022, Dr. Stumpf was honored with a Patient Experience Award for the third year in a row. Dr. Stumpf also performs research with the Center for Diabetes Technology, and in 2022 she was the senior/corresponding author for a highly publicized research publication (“Accuracy of a Factory-Calibrated Continuous Glucose Monitor in Individuals with Diabetes on Hemodialysis”) in the high-impact journal Diabetes Care. Also, in 2022, Dr. Stumpf presented Endocrinology Grand Rounds (“Use of CGM in patients with ESRD on hemodialysis”) at Virginia Commonwealth University, and she increasingly served as a preceptor for the endocrinology fellows’ continuity clinic. Dr. Stumpf is Communications Director for the American Diabetes Association interest group on Immunology and Transplantation, and she is a member of the KPCOP (Kidney-Pancreas Community of Practice) Pancreas Workgroup (American Society of Transplantation).
Mary Lee Vance, MD, is a medical neuroendocrinologist who forms the backbone of our multidisciplinary pituitary program. She is a world-renowned pituitary disease expert and is routinely included in America’s Top/Best Doctors lists. Dr. Vance is a former President of the Pituitary Society, and in 2019 she received a Pituitary Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Although most of Dr. Vance’s current efforts are related to patient care, she continues to contribute to substantive team-based research and our educational mission. Dr. Vance published two research manuscripts in 2022.
Baby Endo Update
Baby Endo sightings in and around the Aurbach Building increased unequivocally in 2022, indicating increased comfort and/or boldness. Photographic evidence remains rare, although a quick-handed observer can occasionally grab a snapshot before Baby Endo disappears.
2022 Updates on Faculty Activities
Our division continues to recruit new Clinical Faculty members. Many thanks to the search committee—Drs. Ananda Basu, Sue Brown, Margaret Crook, Su Hee Kim, and Christopher McCartney—for leading the charge.
In 2022, the UVA Board of Visitors approved emeritus status for both Drs. John C. Marshall and Eugene J. Barrett. Our Emeritus Professors now include Drs. Eugene Barrett, MD, PhD; William (Bill) Evans, MD; John Marshall, MD, PhD; Anthony (Tony) McCall, MD, PhD; Richard Santen, MD; Margaret (Peggy) Shupnik, PhD; and Michael Thorner, MBBS. While some enjoy a much-deserved respite from their long and highly productive work careers, some remain active in our division’s activities.
Our Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) play critically important roles in our clinical care mission.
Michele Hamrick, ANP, is an outpatient endocrine nurse practitioner who cares for a substantial number of our endocrine patients. She has been a key member of our division since 2004, and Ms. Hamrick received a 2022 Patient Experience Award!
We recently hired three outpatient APPs!
Ellen Lam, PA, is a UVA graduate (BA 2015) who completed her PA studies (Radford University Carilion) in 2018. She worked as a PA in a busy endocrinology clinic in Austin, TX, from 2019 to 2022. She officially joined our outpatient team in January 2023.
Han Ding, FNP-BC, worked as an RN at UVA from 2006 to 2021. She obtained her FNP education at UVA SON (2020 graduation) and then completed an NP residency in Eureka, CA. She will join our outpatient team in February 2023.
Jessica Wunderlich, FNP (UVA SON 2017), will join our outpatient team in September 2023.
Elaine Hannah, AG-ACNP, and Milford George, FNP, are nurse practitioners who staff the division’s Cardiovascular Diabetes Consult Service.
We recently hired two inpatient APPs!
Christine Owens, AG-ACNP, joined the Cardiovascular Diabetes Consult Team in January 2023. She has worked as an RN at UVA since 2004 and obtained her AG-ACNP education at UVA SON (2022 graduation).
Katherine Connell, AG-ACNP, obtained her AG-ACNP education at Virginia Commonwealth University SON (2019 graduation). She has worked as an NP on the busy abdominal transplant surgery team since 2019. Her start date is to be determined.
Many thanks to the search committee members who helped recruit our new APPs: Elaine Hannah, MSN, AG-ACNP; Jennifer Kirby, MD, PhD (Chair); Christopher McCartney, MD; Ralf Nass, MD; Meaghan Stumpf, MD.
2022 Administration Staff Updates
Mrs. Christina Hamill joined the division in January 2021 as the Division Administrator. Before joining our team, she was the Unit Administrator for Geriatric, Palliative, and Hospital Medicine. Ms. Hamill received a 2022 Department of Medicine Award for Excellence in Administration!
Ms. Jessica Proffitt joined the division as Operations Manager starting in January 2022. She has now been at the University of Virginia for 12.5 years, most recently as Operations Manager for General/Geriatric/Palliative/Hospital Medicine. She also graduated from James Madison University in May 2022 with a bachelor’s in Human Resources and Professional Communications.
Ms. Amanda Powell joined the division as our Administrative Generalist in February 2022. She’s been at the University of Virginia for nearly 12 years, and was recently promoted to Grants Coordinator for our Endocrine team.
Ms. Tracy Mullins joined the division as our Finance Associate in January 2022. Prior to coming to the University of Virginia, she was a Financial and Personnel Coordinator at James Madison University’s School of Nursing.
Ms. Ruth Aldridge joined the division in August 2022. She’s been with the University for 25 years, most recently working for the School of Education as a Grants and Contract Assistant.
Ms. Danielle Richardson joined the division in October 2022 as our Senior Grants and Contracts Administrator. She’s been with the University of Virginia for more than 20 years, most recently as a Post-Award Research Administrator for the School of Education and Human Development.
Ms. Jane Blum joined our division in October 2022. She moved back to Virginia after a few years in Texas and has been a part of the UVA family for three months. While in Texas, Jane worked as a Customer Service Representative for Wayne Enterprises.
Ms. Heather Franklin joined the division in December 2022 as an Administrative Generalist after a one-year hiatus from the University of Virginia, where she worked as a Patient Services Business Manager II at VCU. Prior to that, she had been with UVA for more than ten years.
Ms. Martha Burner has been with our Endocrinology family for more than 20 years. She’s solely responsible for the Endocrine Grand Rounds and our Kenneth R. Crispell lectureship.
Mr. Jim Frederick retired in September 2022 after being a part of the University for 22 years.
Ms. Donna Harris retired in December 2022 after working with our Endocrine family for 44 years! She returned part-time in January 2023.
Well Wishes for a Happy Retirement: Dr. Eugene Barrett
Dr. Eugene J. Barrett, Madge Jones Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, retired at the end of November 2022 after an extraordinarily successful academic career.
Dr. Barrett received his medical degree, PhD, and residency training at the University of Rochester. He completed his fellowship at Yale University and remained at Yale as a faculty member, where he became Chief of the Yale Diabetes Unit and a tenured Associate Professor. In 1991, he was recruited to UVA from Yale University by Dean Robert Carey, in part to be the Director of the UVA Diabetes Center. Since then, Dr. Barrett has been deeply committed to the UVA School of Medicine and has demonstrated profound excellence in research, clinical care, education, and mentorship throughout his career.
Dr. Barrett served the School of Medicine as the Department of Medicine’s Associate Chair for Research (1997–2002); the Department of Medicine’s Vice Chair (2000–2003); the Program Director for UVA’s General Clinical Research Center (2002–2012); and the Program Director for two T32 NRSA training grants, one of which (DK007646) was recently renewed under Dr. Barrett’s leadership. In addition, Dr. Barrett has brought tremendous value to the University as a world-renowned researcher and clinical expert in diabetes. He has published at least 197 peer-reviewed publications, and Google Scholar indicates that he has 24,722 citations, an h-index of 79, and an i10-index of 197. NIH RePORTER suggests that he was responsible for bringing in $28,248,941 in total NIH funding since coming to UVA in 1991—although NIH was undoubtedly not the only source of Dr. Barrett’s research funding while at UVA.
Dr. Barrett has been nationally and internationally recognized for his achievements and service, bringing great honor to the University. For example, Dr. Barrett was a member of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) National Board of Directors (1997–2004), including terms as Vice President (2001–2002), President-Elect (2002–2003), and President (2003–2004). In addition, Dr. Barrett chaired the ADA’s National Professional Practice Committee; he was a member of the joint ADA and American Psychiatric Association’s Consensus Conference on the Metabolic Side Effects of Second Generation Antipsychotics; and he chaired the joint ADA and American College of Cardiology’s Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis of Heart Disease in Patients with Diabetes. Dr. Barrett has been a member of numerous NIH study sections; he has chaired the NIH’s Metabolism Study Section; and he has chaired the NIH’s Clinical Investigation Diabetes Obesity Study Section. He currently chairs the NIH study section that reviews P30 Diabetes Research Centers. He’s been on a number of editorial boards, and he was an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Physiology–Endocrinology, and Metabolism.
Dr. Barrett is now Emeritus Professor, and he will work part-time in 2023 to finish up an R01 grant and mentor early-career faculty in the division.
In summary, Dr. Barrett has made extraordinary contributions to the University over the past 31 years. The division, DOM, SOM, and University owe Dr. Barrett a tremendous debt of gratitude, and we wish him the very best for a long and fulfilling retirement!
2022 Fellow Updates
2022 Fellowship Graduates
2022 fellowship graduates: We graduated three outstanding fellows in 2022 (L to R): Dr. Janice McMillan, who is now practicing at the University of West Virginia; Dr. Ronak Patel, who is now practicing at Advocare Endocrinology Associates of Princeton (New Jersey); and Dr. Sarah Lee, who is now practicing at Virginia Endocrinology in the Richmond area.
Current fellows (L to R): Dr. Vladimer Bakhutashvili (second-year fellow) attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin and completed his IM residency at West Virginia University; Dr. Lisette Rodriguez attended medical school at Instituo Techologico de Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and is completing her IM residency at Florida State University; Dr. Katherine Mustafa attended medical school at DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and is completing her IM residency at Virginia Tech Carilion; Dr. Angela Vuong attended medical school at East Carolina University and is completing her IM residency at Wake Forest University; Dr. Woderyelesh Kassa (second-year fellow) attended medical school at the University of Maryland and completed her IM residency at Inova Fairfax; and Dr. Nawar Suleman (second-year fellow) attended medical school at Kalamoon University (Syria) and completed his IM residency at MedStar Health (Baltimore). We’re exceedingly proud of all our fellows: besides being excellent physicians, they’re exceptionally kind-hearted, thoughtful, and honorable.
2022 Fellowship Match: We’re exceedingly excited about our 2022 Match! Dr. Rosalind Basil attended medical school at St. John’s Medical College (India) and is completing her IM residency at Morehouse University in Georgia. Dr. Nicolas Reyes attended medical school at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and is completing his IM residency at HCA Healthcare/University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in Florida. Dr. Maria Sanchez Valenzuela attended medical school at Universidad ICESI (Columbia) and is completing her IM residency at St Barnabas Hospital in New York.
Additional Divisional Updates
In 2022, Dr. Sue Brown became the division’s Gerald D. Aurbach Professor of Endocrinology. An endowed professorship previously held by Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Shupnik, the Aurbach endowed professorship is for “eminent scholars” in endocrinology. This is an important recognition – indeed, an important celebration! – of Dr. Brown’s rich contributions to our division, the Department of Medicine, the School of Medicine, the University, and the public more broadly.
Dr. Jennifer Kirby received a 2022 Dean’s Clinical Excellence Award, which honors faculty who demonstrate clinical excellence and exemplary service to patients. The following is merely one of many highly laudatory comments from her nomination letters: “[P]erhaps the best endorsement I can give is this: Dr. Kirby is the first person I recommend to other physicians when in need of a specialist for diabetes and/or obesity; she is the first person to whom I would send my family members for management of diabetes and/or obesity; and she is the first person I will want to be my personal physician if I develop diabetes and/or obesity.”
Dr. Susan Kirk received the 2022 David A. Harrison Distinguished Educator Award. Given annually by the Academy for Excellence in Education, this is the SOM’s most prestigious teaching award, reserved for its most distinguished educators, recognizing a lifetime of excellence in education. In addition to highlighting Dr. Kirk’s excellence in education, her nomination letters also strongly highlighted her excellence as a leader, mentor, and role model. For example, two excerpts from her nomination letters: “In my opinion, Dr. Kirk has been the highest exemplar of leadership at UVA Health. Dr. Kirk assumed the DIO role in an institutional crisis and righted the ship. Indeed, because of Dr. Kirk, GME has become one of UVA Health’s greatest successes and one of its greatest assets. I also cannot overstate how important Dr. Kirk’s expert leadership was to the GME community — locally, regionally, and nationally — in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and the painful reckoning triggered by George Floyd’s tragic murder.” “I honestly don’t think anyone embodies UVA Health’s ASPIRE values more admirably than Dr. Kirk does, and I consider Dr. Kirk to be my highest aspirational role model — as an educator, mentor, and as leader.”
Dr. Susan Kirk received the 2022 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Lead Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This award recognizes outstanding designated institutional officials who demonstrate excellence in overseeing their institution’s graduate medical education programs.
Dr. Sue Brown received a 2022 DOM Award for Excellence in Mentorship; Dr. Christine Eagleson received a 2022 DOM Award for Excellence in Education; Ms. Christina Hamill received a 2022 DOM Award for Excellence in Administration; Dr. William (Ben) Horton received a 2022 DOM Award for Excellence in Research; and Dr. Jennifer Kirby received a 2022 DOM Awards for Excellence in Clinical Care. Congratulations to all!
The UVA Health Patient Experience Office recently announced the recipients of the Patient Experience Awards for FY 2022. A number of our faculty members—Drs. Sue Brown, Margaret Crook, Alan Dalkin, Jennifer Kirby, Meaghan Stumpf, and Michele Hamrick, ANP—received the 2022 Patient Experience Awards, indicating patient satisfaction scores in the top 10th percentile.
In other 2022 Patient Experience Awards news, a number of our clinics were listed among Clinic Top Performers (Augusta Specialty Care Endo, UVA Endocrinology Pantops) and Clinic Most Improved (Endocrinology Clinic at Fontaine, UVA Endocrinology Pantops, and Pituitary Clinic).
Dr. Kaitlin Love was certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM). Our division now has five faculty members who are certified by ABOM, including Drs. Samina Afreen, Jennifer Kirby, Su Hee Kim, and Silas Culver.
2022 was an exceptional year for our early-/mid-career clinician-scientists. In particular, since last year’s Medicine Matters newsletter featuring the endocrinology division:
Dr. Silas Culver received official notification (Notice of Award) that his NIH K08 career-development application (“Role of Atp6ap2 in renal proximal tubule lipotoxicity”) was funded.
Dr. Heather Ferris received official notification (Notice of Award) that her first NIH R01 grant (“Mevalonate Pathway Regulation of Astrocyte ApoE”) was funded.
Dr. William Benjamin (Ben) Horton received a career development award from American Heart Association (“A Comprehensive Approach to Reducing Glycemic Variability and Improving Cardiovascular Health in Type 1 Diabetes”) and a large strategic research agreement from JDRF (“Therapeutic Strategies for Microvascular Dysfunction in Type 1 Diabetes”).
Dr. Kaitlin Love received official notification (Notice of Award) that her NIH K23 grant (“Therapeutic Strategies for Microvascular Dysfunction in Type 1 Diabetes”) was funded.
Drs. Eugene Barrett, Ananda Basu, and Zhenqi Liu successfully renewed the Research Training in Neuroendocrinology and Metabolism T32 grant (NIH T32 DK007646) in 2022! NIH has funded this T32 training program for 30 years, which is noteworthy in today’s T32 funding environment. Dr. Barrett was Program Director for this grant for the prior cycle. Dr. Basu is the current Program Director, and Dr. Liu is an Associate Program Director.
Drs. Eugene Barrett, Rita Basu, and Christopher McCartney hosted/mentored medical students as part of the 2022 Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP).
A number of our faculty members served on scientific journal editorial boards in 2022, including:
Drs. Eugene Barrett (American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology & Metabolism; Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism); Rita Basu (American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology & Metabolism; Diabetes Care); Robert Carey (Hypertension; Journal of Hypertension; The FASEB Journal); Zhenqi Liu (Journal of Central South University (Medical Sciences); Chinese Journal of Diabetes; World Journal of Diabetes); Christopher McCartney (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism); and Helmy Siragy (Integrated Blood Pressure Control; Nature Research Group [Scientific Reports/Medicine/Endocrinology]).
A number of our faculty members served on scientific journal editors in 2022, including:
Dr. Robert Carey (Senior Editor for the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, Senior Advisory Editor for Hypertension, Review Editor for Hypertension – Frontiers of Cardiovascular Medicine); Dr. Jennifer Kirby (Review Editor for Frontiers in Endocrinology, Neuroscience, Nutrition, and Public Health); Dr. Zhenqi Liu (Associate Editor for the Journal of the Endocrine Society); and Dr. Christopher McCartney (Associate Editor for Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism). Dr. Helmy Siragy is a Guest Editor for a Scientific Reports collection related to the Cardio-Renal Axis.
A number of our faculty members served on NIH study sections in 2022, including:
Drs. Eugene Barrett (Chair of Special NIDDK Review Panel for Diabetes Center [P30] applications); William (Ben) Horton (American Heart Association 2023 Fellowship Clinical I Committee; NIH Human Studies of Diabetes and Obesity (HSDO) Study Section); Susanna Keller (standing member of NIDDK Special Emphasis Panel for R13 applications), Zhenqi Liu (ZDK1 GRB-2 (O1)1 Fellowship in Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Review Committee), Christopher McCartney (standing member of NICHD Reproduction, Andrology, and Gynecology Subcommittee); and Helmy Siragy (standing member of Pathobiology of Kidney Disease Study Section). Dr. Zhenqi Liu was also a reviewer for the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong and the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
A number of our faculty members served on professional organization committees in 2022, including:
Drs. Samina Afreen (Obesity Medicine Association’s Adult Obesity Algorithm Committee and CME Overview Committee; American Association of Clinical Endocrinology’s Diabetes, Cardiometabolic and Lipid Disease State Network Committee); Rita Basu (Chronic Liver Disease Foundation Endocrinology NAFLD/NASH Steering Committee); Robert Carey (Co-Chair of the Endocrine Society’s Scientific Statements Subcommittee; Chair of the Endocrine Society’s Baxter Medal Selection Committee; member of the American Heart Association’s Commission of the Hypertension Specialists and Clinicians Study Guides Planning Committee); Gregory Hong (governing Council member, Association of Program Directors in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism (APDEM); member, Endocrine Society’s Clinical Endocrine Education Committee; question writer/reviewer [pituitary section] for the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology’s Self-Assessment Program); William (Ben) Horton (American Association if Clinical Endocrinology’s Diabetes Disease State Network; American Diabetes Association Membership Advisory Group); Zhenqi Liu (American Diabetes Association Nutrition & Metabolism Interest Group [Chair]; American Diabetes Association Membership Advisory Group; Endocrine Society’s Publications Core Committee; Endocrine Society’s Global Engagement Advisory Group); Christopher McCartney (Chair of the Endocrine Society’s Conflict of Interest Advisory Group; Clinical Science Chair for the Endocrine Society’s 2023 Annual Meeting); and Meaghan Stumpf (Communications Director for the American Diabetes Association interest group on Immunology and Transplantation, member the KPCOP [Kidney-Pancreas Community of Practice] Pancreas Work group – American Society of Transplantation). Dr. Woderyelesh Kassa (fellow) interned at the Endocrine Society’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.
Dr. Woderyelesh Kassa (fellow) participated in the Endocrine Society’s Excellence in Clinical Endocrinology Leadership (ExCEL) program.
A number of our faculty members served on guideline development panels in 2022:
Dr. Rita Basu served as a member of the guideline development panel for the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology’s clinical practice guideline related to the diagnosis and management of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, published in Endocrine Practice in May 2022.
Dr. Robert (Bob) Carey serves as Co-Chair for the Endocrine Society’s clinical practice guideline for primary aldosteronism.
Dr. Anthony (Tony) McCall was the guideline development panel Chair for an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline related to the management of hypoglycemia in individuals with diabetes at high risk for hypoglycemia, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in December 2022.
Dr. Christopher McCartney continues to serve as a methodologist panel member for the Endocrine Society’s clinical practice guideline related to vitamin D deficiency, and he was selected as a methodologist panel member for the Endocrine Society’s clinical practice guideline related to precocious puberty.
Dr. William (Ben) Horton was a member of a panel that published an American Diabetes Association consensus report on diabetes-related heart failure.
Dr. Heather Ferris, our Endocrine Grand Rounds (EGR) Course Director, assembled a truly remarkable speaker lineup for the 2022–2023 academic year, including the following external speakers: Andrea Dunaif, MD (Mount Sinai) [sponsored by Center for Research in Reproduction]; Lynette Neiman, MD (NIH); Stephanie Seminara, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital) [Crispell Lectureship]; Apoorva Waikar, MD (Virginia Commonwealth University); Jeeyeon Cha, MD, PhD (Vanderbilt University); Karl Insogna, MD (Yale); Elizabeth Pearce, MD (Boston University) [Dunn Lectureship]; Cynthia Stuenkel, MD (University of California, San Diego); Peter Liu, MD, PhD (University of California, Los Angeles) [Thorner Lectureship].
Dr. Katie Love was our first faculty member to be awarded a divisional Faculty Career Development Funding Award. This divisional program involves a competitive application process to support faculty career development. Dr. Love’s application was entitled “Funding to Support Research Assistant for Diabetes-Related Research,” and the funding will support an undergraduate student working with Dr. Love.
In September 2022, Dr. Sue Brown published an invited editorial, “On the Path toward Expanding Treatment Options for Diabetes,”) in the New England Journal of Medicine.
In October 2022, Dr. Helmy Siragy published a paper entitled “Adrenal Insufficiency in Cirrhosis” in the Journal of the Endocrine Society. This paper was chosen for the Endocrine Society Thematic Issue on Adrenal Disease 2022 (based on Altmetric Attention Scores and Featured Article designations), and Dr. Siragy was featured in a MedPage Today interview related to this topic.
Several division members wrote/published textbook chapters in 2022:
Dr. Samina Afreen published a chapter (“Diabetes Mellitus in Acromegaly”) in the textbook Acromegaly (Springer 2022).
Dr. Vladimer (Lado) Bakhutashvili (fellow) published a chapter regarding hypothyroidism in pregnancy in Endocrine Diseases in Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period.
Dr. Rita Basu published a chapter (“Diabetes Technology for Precision Therapy in Children, Adults, and Pregnancy”) in Precision Medicine in Diabetes: A Multidisciplinary Approach to an Emerging Paradigm. She also served as editor for this book!
Dr. Christopher McCartney wrote a chapter (“The Menstrual Cycle and Disorders of Ovulation”) for DeGroot’s Endocrinology. He published a chapter (“Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, and Circadian Rhythms”) for Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine.
Dr. Ralf Nass wrote a chapter (“Physiologic and Pathophysiologic Alterations of the Neuroendocrine Components of the Reproductive Axis”) for Yen and Jaffe’s Reproductive Endocrinology.
Selected 2022 presentations:
Dr. Sue Brown was the expert speaker for a Meet-the-Professor session related to “Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery” at the Endocrine Society’s 2022 Annual Meeting.
Dr. Heather Ferris was the plenary speaker for the PRIME (Prevention and Remediation of Insulin Multi-morbidity in Europe) annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain. She also presented at a FASEB Science Research Conference (Molecular Metabolism: From Cell Biology to Systems Physiology) in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Dr. Gregory Hong delivered an Endocrine Educator Forum presentation entitled “Virtual Interviews for Endocrine Fellowships: Lessons Learned and Strategies Moving Forward” at the 2022 Endocrine Society meeting and chaired an American Association of Clinical Endocrinology’s (AACE) Self-Assessment Program board review session at the annual AACE meeting.
Dr. Zhenqi Liu was an expert presenter for an Endocrine Society educational activity entitled “Telling the Twincretins Apart: GLP-1 and GIP in Type 2 Diabetes Management.”
Dr. Helmy Siragy spoke at the 2022 Egyptian Society of Hypertension meeting (“Secondary Hypertension: Clues and Views”) and the 2022 European Society of Hypertension meeting (“Appraisal of Current Renal Mechanisms Contributing to Metabolic Syndrome”).
Dr. Rita Basu secured two education awards to support CME/CNE offerings related to precision diabetes management. This complements an education award she recently received, and the combined value of these awards approximates $1M!
As highlighted in a recent CEO’s List email, this was the 10th year in a row that UVA Health – under the leadership of Dr. Susan Kirk – received continued ACGME accreditation with no citations from the ACGME’s Institutional Review Committee!
Dr. Richard (Dick) Santen participated (February 2022) in a White House Community Connected Health Initiative Roundtable Series related to “Patient and Provider Voices in the Community.” (Yes, that White House.) The backstory: Two years ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set up a session at Laurel Fork as part of a new program to fund broadband internet access in rural America. Given Dr. Santen’s work with telemedicine in Laurel Fork (and elsewhere), they asked him and a patient to give a presentation about the telemedicine program at the FCC session. This led to attention from the Telehealth Society and a published piece in that literature. Subsequently, the White House was looking for examples of providers and patients working with telehealth in rural, underserved communities: they selected Dr. Santen and the patient to give a presentation for the White House!